Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hitting

Hitting a baseball is often considered to be the hardest thing to do in all of sports. Although it may look easy, there are many components that make up being a successful hitter in baseball. These components include swing mechanics, bat speed, hand-eye coordination, and a strong mental approach to name a few. According to my book 9 Innings of Hitting, "The main goal for a hitter is to hit the ball hard on the barrel of the bat consistently" (Silva 144). Personally, I think that you can achieve this through good swing mechanics and a strong mental approach.

Something that I notice when I am not hitting well during the season is that I am not totally comfortable and confident when I am at bat. The author of my book, Troy Silva, suggests that if the hitter doesnt feel comfortable in the batters box, he wont feel confident (Silva 214). I agree with this 100 percent.

One thing that Silva feels is important in the hitters ability to arrive on time (to the ball) and on plane is the hitters batting setup and stance (Silva 214). Silva suggests that any players stance should have their feet "shoulder-width apart or wider, and lined up straight" (Silva 235). Another tip that Silva gives is the hand placement. He feels that they should be "around shoulder high" (Silva 242), and that the shoulders "should be as straight as possible toward the pitcher, but a little open or closed probably wont hurt" (Silva 242). As you can see below, I have tried Silvas suggestions by having my feet a little bit more than shoulder-width apart, my hands are at the shoulder high length, and my shoulders are slightly closed/turned.
I found that by making these adjustments with my stance made me feel more comfortable as a hitter. Because I became more comfortable, I was also able to gain confidence in my abilities. Moving on to the actual swing, Silva talks about hip rotation causing "the back foot to squish the bug (or in other terms, the hips and feet rotate in a circle)" (Silva 302). As you can see below, my back foot is squishing the bug and my hips and my back foot are in the motion of rotating in a circle. As for the hands, Silva says that hitters should attack the hands forward which will allow the barrel of the bat to level out behind the ball (Silva 323). Below, you can see that my hands are forward and my bat is at a level angle where it will meet the ball on plane.

I will continue to work on these adjustments that Silva has talked about during my practices this winter in order to prepare myself for the actual baseball season in the spring and summer.

Q: What are some suggestions you have heard from your coaches in regards to hitting mechanics?
Citation: Silva, Troy. 9 Innings of Hitting. Indiana: Dog Ear Publishing, 2013.

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