It has been said that hitting a baseball is one of the most difficult things to do in sport. You are expected to hit a round ball with a round bat being thrown at you at increased velocity and movement.
Baseball is the only game where a 30% success rate will get you into the hall of fame. If you have a professional career spanning 10+ years and hit over. 300 you will be a heavy favorite in the Hall of Fame.
However we are not here to make Hall of Fame players, we're here to help young athletes who want to improve and enjoy baseball.
Lets get into the basic fundamentals of the swing for you to teach your child or your team.
1. Be comfortable and relaxed! Create a rhythm to relieve tension. If you are uptight your muscles will not be loose and your bat speed will suffer.
2. Line up your hands so your "knocking knuckles" are close to or in a straight line. These are the middle knuckles on your fingers. This will make the wrists looser and increase bat speed.
3. Maintain a relaxed grip on the bat. You do not have to clinch down tightly on the bat. You want a secure feel but your hands will clamp down as you swing.
4. Make sure the bat is in the proper "Launch Position" at a 45 degree angle just off the back shoulder a couple of inches, not too high or sitting on the shoulder.
5. Maintain a balanced stance, with the feet about shoulder width apart without too much weight on either foot. Shift your weight forward and back a couple times to get comfortable and balanced. One of my favorite teachings is "balance and power" You can't have power without balance…
6. Create a "One... Two... Three" count. "One - load the weight to the back foot". "Two - take a very short stride with the front foot closed". "Three - Swivel hips and squash the bug with your back foot" by keeping weight on the ball of the back foot.
7. Develop good weight transfer from a firm backside to a rigid, firm front side with the front leg straight upon completion of the swing. There should be some weight on the back foot. Remember STAY BALANCED!!!!
8. Take a direct path to the ball with your hands coming through flat and your elbows slightly bent. This is similar to cutting down a tree with an axe. Same motion.
9. Keep your head still and down at contact. The head should start just an inch or so off the front shoulder, and finish on the back shoulder as the swing is completed. The head should move VERY little only to look down as the contact point is reach out in front of the body. Keeping the head still will allow the eyes to focus on the ball.
10. Finish the swing high. If your player wants to release his top hand on his follow through, it is ok to do so AFTER the top hand makes contact with the front shoulder.
11. Hit to all fields. Don't try to always pull the ball, try to develop power to all fields and hit line drives to all fields.