How to Hit a Baseball

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Hitting a baseball is one of the hardest things to do in sports. It involves mechanics as well as mental and physical standards.

Steps

  1. Stay calm and take deep breaths and it will come out. You wont be able to hit if you are nervous.
  2. Stand slightly open to the plate in a loose comfortable position with your legs a little wider than shoulder width apart and knees and hips well bent and your body weight perfectly centered in the middle. Make sure you stride square to the plate at least for complete plate coverage. Your hands should be about five inches away from your body and only a couple inches above your shoulder height.
  3. Imagine a box shaped area for following the ball. When the pitcher goes through his or her motion, imagine a box around his or her shoulder where the ball comes out. This will make it easier to figure out what he or she is going to pitch.
  4. Wait back as the pitcher is in his windup with about 60% of your body weight on your back leg. When the pitcher breaks his hands (separates his hands which were previously in his glove) you should take a light smooth stride only about 2 inches long.
  5. Prepare for receiving the ball. As your front foot steps forward your body weight should be shifting back to about 80% on your back foot. Your hands should be moving backwards very slightly while keeping a 90 degree bend in your front elbow. With the backwards motion of your hands, your front shoulder should be going forward towards the plate. All of this is done in very quickly and is known as the load.
  6. Keep your eyes on the ball. Once the pitch is in the air you have a fraction of a second to identify what pitch it is and where the location is, then you pivot, twist your hips and drop your shoulder to the plane of the pitch. Make sure you do not dip too far. This results in pop-ups. The only way to stop the pop-ups and get the hard line drives is practice on a tee. When you master the tee, move to soft toss. If you develop bad habits, move back a step. The final step is batting practice.
  7. Many people believe in swinging on a downward plane, but this is not the best way to hit. Swinging on plane will allow more balls to get into the outfield for doubles and triples. Backspin results in fluttering pop flys that continue to rise until they are going straight up. WRONG. GET ON PLANE.

Tips

  • Throw the knob at the ball but do not hit the ball, with it extending out. The barrel should hit the ball in the middle and it will go far.
  • On inside pitches, you should hit the ball out in front of your body, on an outside pitch you should let the ball get back in the zone and hit it behind yourself or at your body, on a pitch down the middle you should hit it right on top of your body with good extension.
  • When you identify a curve ball, sometimes it looks like its going to hit you. Do not buckle backwards, just stand your ground and if anything, turn into it and stay low, which will let you hit it with much more consistency and power.
  • Watch your bat hit the ball. If you are not looking at the ball when it comes in contact of the bat, you have less of a chance of getting a bigger hit or popping out.
  • Do not be afraid of fast pitchers - the faster the pitch, the further the ball will go. If you see the ball coming at your midsection, do not lift your hands and let it hit you in the ribs, press your arm into your side and let the ball hit you in the arm (its much better than taking one in the ribs).
  • Keep a loose grip so that you are relaxed, however, do not hold on too loosely or you will lose control of the bat.
  • When attempting to hit a curve ball, hit it right after it breaks. Swinging before it breaks will get you fooled.
  • Some people in baseball wreck their baseball career by always trying to hit homers. Sharply hit line drives which get you on base are much more effective and common than home runs. A fly ball hit to an outfielder is almost a guaranteed out.
  • If you have a reputation for hitting the ball to the outfield, sometimes its effective to bunt. This confuses the other team and can cause you to get on base without getting a sacrifice.

Warnings

  • Keep your back elbow down!
  • If your top hand (right hand for a right-handed batter) is not palm-up when contacting the ball, you will hit a ground ball.
  • Always wear protective gear and especially a helmet, you never know when a pitcher will slip up (accidentally or on purpose).

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