Become A Better Hitter

Two Surefire Ways To Improve Your Hitting

There is so much How To Become A Better Hitter instruction out there it is mind boggling. The simple way to improve or learn anything for that matter, is first to learn how to do it correctly. And second, to practice, practice and practice some more.

This probably seems obvious and too simplistic. Whether it is becoming a better hitter or a better knitter, practice is the key. But practice without the proper instruction can be disastrous.

While you are practicing, every motion you do repeatedly becomes a habit. This is a good thing as long as the motion is correct. If it’s not, the result will be a bad habit.

This is also called muscle memory. When an action or motion is done over and over, the brain records it. After a while, the body is able to accomplish the activity without thinking about it. Like tying shoes or riding a bike.

There are four main parts to a hitter’s swing. The stance, the stride, the swing and the follow through. Find out the correct way of doing all of these before you start to practice them.

That might mean spending money for some professional help. Or purchasing a book or video on the subject. But learn it right. Then practice.

It is easy to spend time working on something enjoyable, like hitting. Passion is an amazing motivator. The more time devoted to it, the more progress occurs.

This article is not so much about how to become a better hitter. It is about how to practice correctly to become a better hitter.

Start with the stance. No baseball is needed for this. A proper stance is one that is comfortable and balanced. Same goes for bat position. The bat should be held near where it has to be when your stride begins, but being comfortable is important.

Practice getting into your stance enough times and muscle memory will take over. The action will be performed without thinking about the mechanics of it.

Next comes the stride. Balance and keeping your weight back is the key to a good stride. The shorter your stride, the easier it is to maintain both. The stride is really more like a reach with the front foot. You stride but there is no movement forward. Do this until it becomes a natural part of the swing.

The swing. Your front foot has hit the ground and your bat is in the proper position which is a forty five degree angle over your back shoulder. Now you swing. Never combine the stride and the swing. You stride and then swing. Head goes down to the ball as your body rotates and brings the bat through the hitting area. Continue to do this movement until you don’t have to think about it. Your body will perform it naturally.

The follow through. Again, get the proper instruction. But basically the follow through is just your momentum after you hit the baseball. Hitting through the ball will produce a good follow through. If you are having trouble with this, try letting your top hand come off the bat during the follow through.

Work on these movements one at a time concentrating on each individual movement. Then, put them all together. Add the second to the first and then add the third and fourth until your are slowly practicing the entire swing.

The emphasis here is not the drills. It is the correct way to practice. Another thing to try is to perform all of this with your eyes closed. Visualize each movement as it’s done. This will also improve your balance.

Practicing the parts of the swing in reverse will improve muscle memory, too. Do the above movements the same way, but start with the follow through and work backwards. Like hitting the rewind button. This ingrains the movement forward and backwards into your memory.

Remember though. Before practice begins, make sure to have the proper instruction. Muscle memory will work to improve the swing and make you a better hitter. But it will work if the swing is practiced wrong, too.

Steve Ramer

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