SBA’s Top Tips for Hitting Live Pitching:
Cody Hasting, SBA’s top hitting instructor is today’s guest writer for SBA’s weekly blog on Anything Baseball. Cody is going to explain how to transfer your practice swing to the game! Most Select teams have been practicing indoors since November 1st. Hitters have been doing plenty of tee work and front toss work. It is now time to transfer that swing to the game (Live Pitching). Cody gives you his top tips on how to below!
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With HS tryouts starting next Monday and Little league drafts being completed, it’s important to get ready to hit live pitching. Tee work and front toss are useful drills but nothing prepares you for the real thing like a full length pitch from a “real” pitcher.
In order to have more success off of live pitching, hitters need to focus on getting their foot down in time, good rhythm into the swing, and recognizing the pitch early.
Getting the foot down in time is important to the swing because the stride is what starts the swing. If the foot gets down too late then the hitter won’t have enough time to get his hands to the ball, too early and the hitter will be out front or off balance. Ideally the hitter’s foot needs to be down as the pitcher is releasing the ball, so when the ball is in the air all the hitter has to think about is seeing the ball and hitting it. Keep you approach Simple.
Stay relaxed and have good rhythm into the swing. A lot of hitters change their rhythm and timing when they step into the batter’s box against a pitcher. They tend to tense up and be stiff, disrupting their athletic rhythm, causing the hitter to be slow to the ball. Remember tight muscles are slow muscles, loose muscles are quick.
By creating a good rhythm into the swing it will keep the hitter loose, relaxed, and will help them be quick to the ball. Be an ATHLETE in the box and COMPETE.
The biggest priority when it comes to hitting live pitching is recognizing the ball (spin, angle of release, etc.) and watching it all the way to contact. Simply put if you can’t see the ball you can’t hit it.
Focus on picking up the ball right out of the pitchers hand and tracking it all the way to contact. I will guarantee you that you will see the location and movement of the ball. If the hitters are seeing the ball well, they will not only hit the ball better, but be way more consistent. So as a hitter focus on seeing the ball from the instant it leaves the pitchers hand to a contact point and you will be amazed how much your batting average goes up.