A major part of being the best hitter we can be is to be “tough to strike out.” A good hitter should have no more than a 10% strike-out ratio. The strike out gives us NO chance to help our team. By not putting the ball in play, we give the defense their easiest out.
While no one has to be convinced that a strike out is not good, we cannot fear the strike out. We must not let it affect our boldness when we come up to bat. We should hate it, despise it, avoid it like the plague, but NEVER fear it. Know that every time we come to bat, we will make SUPER CONTACT.
So the first part of the process is TOTAL CONFIDENCE, to completely eliminate our fear of the strike out.
Part two is “How do we do this?”
In today’s game it is absolutely essential that the good hitter is “short to the ball” with a good compact stroke.
The Super 8 Hitting System gives us the hitting tips to practically eliminate striking out. It explains the biggest secret in hitting. It is called the “drive” action. It is short, direct, and will immediately improve contact.
By consistently practicing the “drive” action, a player can be assured that he can improve his ability to put the ball in play over 90% of the time.
To do this, the player gets into a “45º drive position”, which means that before we initiate the stroke, we rotate the hips half way to the pitcher. For the right-handed batter, this would point the knob of the bat and the belly button about where the second baseman would play. Then all the hitter needs to do is to snap the bat on the ball.
Three advantages happen immediately:
1. The batter will see the ball better: better read and ball movement.
2. Movement of the hips after this is minimized because the batter is already in one-half a pivot. This makes the stroke extremely short and quick. The body has basically completed its role. From here the hands just snap the bat.
3. Hands now go directly to the pitch in a straight line, linear to the pitch.
Seeing the ball should be twice as easy for the hitter, eliminating “swing and miss” of the pitch, outside and inside the strike zone.
Players that perfect this technique rarely strike out.
We fully explain the “drive action” in the Super 8 Hitting System, completely demonstrated in a series of baseball hitting videos, which includes many baseball hitting drills.
HITTING TIPS: “DRIVE” — One of the biggest hitting secrets in baseball.
Hitting Drills For Baseball
Hitting Drills for Baseball: SWING DOWN…….GOOD OR BAD?
We have heard for years, that for a player to be a good hitter, he must swing down on the ball.
While there is some truth to this, young players totally misinterpret what swing down really means.
First, let us understand the direction the ball comes to us. A pitcher pitches off of a 10 inch mound and because he is elevated when he pitches the ball, the ball will come to the hitter diagonally down. If you we can visualize a ball coming to a hitter on a downward plane and the hitter also swinging on a downward plane, the hitter has only one chance to intersect with the ball on contact.
When hitters hear the term “swing down”, they will almost always swing on a vertical plane. Perhaps coaches teach this because in their minds, this would be a short stroke. However, while swinging down would be shorter, which would be beneficial, this action does not place the bat in alignment for the best contact with the ball.
Swinging down is also popular with coaches because they feel it will hit ground balls in little league and youth baseball, where fielders struggle to make these plays. In other words, more chances for errors give them a better chance for getting on base.
This is a negative way to think about learning how to hit in baseball because it does not maximize hitting ability. As a player grows in the game, there will be other players who will be excellent in fielding and throwing out grounders.
Here is another important point, and we have tested this time and time again with our hitting drills for baseball. Swinging down hits more pop-ups than ground balls. We identify the action of “swinging-down” that hits a pop-up as a “scrape”. The ball counter acts the downward swing and can actually hit a pop-up each time.
So where is the adjustment? We do not swing down. But we do go down. By driving to the ball diagonally down, keeping our hands above the ball, and the bat head above the hand as we pivot (drive), this puts us in perfect position to make the best contact. We then invert the bat so that the top hand goes under the stroke, then goes diagonally up. This perfectly matches the pitch.
We go to the ball diagonally down, and our stroke goes diagonally up. NEVER do we want the bat head to point to the ground after contact.
If that happens you will usually see a pop up because the bat will hit the face of the ball rather than the core of the ball.
Techniques that show how to hit in baseball are fully explained in our baseball training web site for the”Super 8 Hitting System”, completely demonstrated in a series of baseball hitting videos, which includes many baseball coaching tips and baseball coaching drills.
Great Baseball Hitting Drills – Keeping Your Head Down
Pulling off the ball is a common mistake by many hitters. In order to get consistent contact, the hitter must be sure his head stays closed, in other words, looking down into the contact area. Here are some great baseball hitting drills to help you out.
It is very easy to get into the habit of pulling off the ball. This is especially true for power hitters.
Have you ever seen a power hitter hit a home run and thereafter, he can’t couch the ball? What happened?
The home run took him out of himself. So as he pivots, he is also pivoting his head.
First of all, hitters should never take a 100% stroke. Doing this invites pulling off the ball.
For efficiency, the stroke should be no more than 95%, saving 5% for command.
As coaches, we sometimes go too far in the other direction by telling them to “just meet the ball.” And now they start to aim the bat, which is not good either.
Hitting is a controlled explosion. Continue to be aggressive, with a 95% stroke.
So what do we advise? The hitter is pulling off because he’s rotating his complete body when he hits.
He must focus on his head rotating in the opposite direction to the hips. As the hips rotate to the pitcher, the head should rotate to the ball.
Here are three baseball hitting drills for this:
Place a pile-on or glove across from the hitter just outside the batter’s box in front of home plate (45% angle). After the hitter makes contact, he looks into the pile-on area. This keeps the head inside.
DRILL #2 (with pitching machine or live pitcher)
Hitter assumes his stance, with no bat. To simulate holding a bat, his top hand grabs the thumb of his bottom hand. Coach stands in back of the hitter and holds his head on both sides . The hitter takes batless strokes at the pitched ball, while coach restricts the head to keep it on the ball as it enters the hit zone.
DRILL #3 (Full Take)
The hitter will coil, stride, and read the pitch to the catcher.
This keeps the head independent and disciplines it to stay with the ball. Note: This head discipline should carry over to his regular hitting, in the “full take”, a pitch that is an obvious ball.
Coaching Points. The hitter should not go to the point where his head is pushing against the back shoulder. This locks up the back shoulder and restricts his extension.
The head swivels. It should never tilt while reading the pitch. This causes the body to tilt also and the eyes to look on a vertical plane. Eyes must stay basically horizontal for best vision and body control.
These techniques are fully explained in our baseball hitting instruction web site for the “Super 8 Hitting System”, including batting aids and a series of baseball hitting videos, which demonstrates many baseball hitting drills.
Coach Joe Brockhoff