Hitting the baseball right is not always a walk in the park; even seasoned baseball players don’t get it right all the time. There’s no doubt about it, even when the ball is pitched in the very same manner repeatedly, it’s still hard for many players to hit it the same correct way.
Now think about the diverse setups and stances that come up during different pitches, and you’ll see why hitting the ball right is such a big challenge. Each of these circumstances requires different approaches to how you hit the ball. Whatever the setup of the moment, what matters most is when you, as the hitter, get contact with the ball.
The good thing is that all is not lost with the right skills you can increase your overall performance as far as making correct hits are concerned. That is the primary focus of this article. Let’s see what you can do to improve your skills and keep hitting the ball like a pro.
Before we get into the actual requirements of hitting the baseball, let’s start with the preliminaries for the sake of starters.
You need to first get into the batter’s box. In case you are right-handed, you’ll be more comfortable and practical if you stand on the left side of the home plate. Alternatively, for left-handed players, stand on the right side of the first-base side.
Before you start the game or practice session (for beginners), establish which is your dominant eye. This is the eye that sees clearer than the other, just if your vision is not the same for both eyes.
The next thing is to take a stance. You can pick between the open, closed, and neutral stances. Base your choice of position on whichever of the three stands makes it easier for you to keep your dominant eye the coming ball.
From there, hold the bat firmly and keep your eyes on the ball and bear in mind that what you now need for a correct hit is a good swing. That’s our next point of focus.
The 7 Bare Minimums of a Good Swing
The following is a guide through the seven critical habits that you should cultivate for you to hit the baseball correctly as often as practically possible.
1. Always Hit Against a Firm Front Side
If your front side is wobbly, expect that to reflect on the quality of the hit you make. Being firm doesn’t mean your leg should always be stiff. No. You can still have a slightly bent leg, but you should place your leg in front of you such that it keeps the rest of your tors and hands behind the ball.
Maintaining this position will arrest your forward momentum while at the same time starting the axis rotation that you will be putting your force on. This is critical because if you lose this firmness on your front side, you’ll lose a lot of vital bat speed, and your head movement will increase significantly.
2. Your Back Foot Should be on Its Toe
When you apply force on your backside to generate momentum to swing, the power generated toward the ball is stopped abruptly by your firm front we highlighted earlier. This allows you to start the rotation in the process. What remains is the toe of the leg behind pressed slightly off the ground.
3. Hands Should be in a Palm-down and Palm Up Position
This arrangement will depend on whether you are right or left-handed. For the former category, if someone was to take away the bat at contact, then have you open your hands, your right hand should be facing up towards the sky – as if you are receiving some cash. On the same note, your left hand should be facing downwards.
If you are left-handed, the above scenario will yield opposite results for both hands. Whatever the case, this is the dominant bat-grip position you can be at the point of contact.
4. Have Your Eyes on the Ball
This tip might seem obvious; in any case, you might hardly hit the ball if your eyes are not firmly focused. However, this is usually easier said than done. You might have noticed how even professionals sometimes make weak hits even when the pitch is excellent for an obvious hit.
The problem, in most cases, is mainly due to inadequate focus on the ball. Part of the solution here lies in carrying out regular vision drills.
5. Head, Back Hip and Back Knee In a straight Line
To ensure you are balanced, and your rotation is even and focused, you need to have your back hip, back knee, and head in a straight line. The idea is to have your body in a position similar to having someone stick a pole through you fro head downwards.
This straight-line position ensures you are not too far forward to lose power leading to an inconsistent uphill swing. Such a swing would do a great job compromising the quality and accuracy of your hit.
6. Your Head Be in The Middle of Your Feet
Positioning your head this way gives your body a triangular formation with a broad base and pyramidal top. This way, you are in the most robust and stable position and allow you to rotate on an axis with near-zero head movement.
7. Hit and Swing through the ball
When bringing your bat down from your preferred starting position, keep it parallel to the ground while leveling to the ball’s trajectory. Time your movement. You have to hit the ball at the exact moment when your shoulder and rear hip swing forward to the point where your upper body is facing the pitcher squarely.
Swinging through the ball or following through means you don’t just make contact with the ball, but you continue applying force to your swing.
It’s obvious making correct hits all the time is not that easy. However, you don’t have to make the wrong baseball hits all the time or most of the time. If you follow the correct tips and fair practice as highlighted in the 7 Must-Dos to Hit a Baseball Right,
you’ll be on your way to hitting like a pro.