How Deliberate Practice Can Help You Hit the Ball Harder
By Garrett Gordon
Stop Hitting Just to Hit- Quality Over Quantity
We have all heard that statement before, but baseball and softball training seem to have not listened. Yes, one of the main ways to get better at hitting a baseball or softball we have to hit. But does that mean the more reps we take the better?
Although this may be true, you have to ask yourself how many quality reps are you actually getting. Check out how to train smarter and hit the ball harder more consistently.
Is This How You’re Training?
How many of you reading this feel that this is what you do or have done? I know that in my career I have done this day in and day out. But guess what at that time I didn’t know any better and I think most of you don’t know either. Hence why Baseball Rebellion exists and why I’m here now about to tell you how to hit on your own more efficiently.
Identify what you need to work on
As a player, if you are really trying to turn your game around and become a better hitter you have to first understand what needs to be fixed. Often times players at young ages have major flaws in their swings but can get away with it due to the poor competition. Furthermore, getting ahead of the game and laying down the foundation of good mechanics will set you up for success in the long term.
What if I Don’t Know What I Need to Work On?
For starters, a good place to start is to evaluate your statistics. If you are striking out a lot, not making solid contact or not hitting the ball harder this should be a good indicator that you’ve got some issues. Secondly, get a hitting evaluation done either in person or online. Here is an example of an online hitting evaluation.
By getting a professional opinion by one of our instructors you will know exactly what you need to do. You can also check out our other hitting articles available here on our website.
Have a Plan
First things first having a plan is key to not only getting better but also preparing your body and mind for the session ahead. After you know what you need to work on this is where you put it into action. In order to keep getting better, you have to practice with a purpose. As I have mentioned before taking mindless swings just to get reps will lead to creating bad habits.
This will also give you a false sense of actually getting better. Furthermore taking more reps does not necessarily mean you are getting better. I’ll say it again, quality over quantity needs to be the most important thought in hitting training.
Step One – Rack Turns
No matter how far along you are in your training, step one should always start with the Rebel’s Rack. Ideally doing your turns in front of a mirror will give you the most feedback. The importance of getting your body in the correct position is much more important than taking 100 mindless swings. The best way to develop a proper and explosive movement pattern is to train to go faster and hit the ball harder.
KEY POINTS WHEN DOING RACK TURNS
- Pay attention to where you are striding, IF YOU DON’T STRIDE STRAIGHT YOU WON’T HIT GREAT!
- Do not just go through the motions
- Make sure you keep your head and chest back
- Do not rush to get a million turns in, reset after every turn
- TURN AS FAST AS POSSIBLE!
Step Two- Tee Work
The Launch Angle Tee is a great tool to help you get a feel for the proper swing path before you start taking batting practice. Check out our 10 Tee Drills for Power to improve your tee training today. Although using a tee is great, do not take all your swings off it. Because at the end of the day, you have to be able to hit a moving ball!
KEY POINTS WHEN HITTING OFF THE TEE
- Do not hit off the tee just to get loose
- Move the tee around and adjust the height
- Make sure you are turning fast
- You shouldn’t be hitting the tee
- Get your work in off the tee then move to front toss or overhand batting practice
Step Three- Front Toss or Overhand Batting Practice
When moving onto front toss or overhand batting practice you need to know what you are going to be working on. The first round you are trying to get find timing and rhythm. Your body is still trying to get loose, really focus on squaring up the ball as much as possible. Take no more than eight swings your first round. After that, it’s time to take shorter rounds of around five to six swings turning as fast as possible focusing on what you need to work on. If you find yourself needing more out of front toss or overhand batting practice change the speed of the ball thrown.
KEY POINTS WHEN HITTING FRONT TOSS OR OVERHAND BATTING PRACTICE
- Take shorter rounds focusing on what you are working on
- Turn fast hitting the ball hard and in the air
- Make adjustments, focusing on not making the same mistake over and over again
If you are struggling, step out and figure out why
At the end of the day if you want to be good at anything you must practice. But it is not how much you practice it is how well you practice. The goal of getting better should be “work smarter, not harder”. When learning how to hit with proper mechanics this is crucial for your son or daughter’s development as a hitter. I really hope this article gives you a different perspective on how to look and approach practicing.
Understand that they must keep improving your skills if they want to perform better on the field. Take the time to do things right, do the drills that are specific to your son or daughter’s swing and most importantly don’t just hit to hit. Have them practice with purpose and they will find themselves in the line-up performing well in games.
Questions about this Article?
Reach out to Chas: email@example.com
Follow Chas on Twitter: @Garrett_Gordon
Learn More about Baseball Rebellion
Facebook: Baseball Rebellion
YouTube: Baseball Rebellion