Don’t worry so much about your average, think about how many times you hit the ball hard out of 10. Keep track of your hard hit balls during practice and games for a true measure of hitting success.
What’s the secret to hitting an off-spead pitch?
Off-speed pitches are designed to get you to commit your weight too soon; to get you off-balance and take your body out of the swing. In essence, an off-speed pitch makes you become an “arms only” hitter and your power and effectiveness can be severely hampered.
Aggressive hitters are generally very good at hitting the fastball, but struggle with the off-speed pitch. Hitting the off-speed pitch requires discipline. Become great at recognizing the off-speed pitch and learn to react appropriately.
When trying to judge off speed pitches…
Be on the lookout for off-speed pitches that start up in the zone. They will always look like a ball and then fall back into the strike zone. Focus on the ball out of the pitcher’s hand and determine if it’s an off-speed pitch or straight fastball. If you recognize it’s an off-speed pitch, and it looks like a strike from the start, then it’s probably going to fall out of the zone for a ball.
Some of the greatest hitters have perfect mechanics and perfect swings all the time. Whether you go up to the plate 500 times a year or 50 times a year on your select teams…every swing has to be the same. Now that swing has to be the same in practice and in the game. That only happens when you do it mentally.
I want everyone to close your eyes right now…I want you to think of the best…most perfect hit you’ve ever had in your entire life. OK, open your eyes. Now what I want you to do is try to do that every single time that you hit.
Ben Boulware is the founder of America’s Baseball Camps, which he started in 1997. His nationwide camps have helped over 24,000 kids become better all-around players, and the successful techniques he uses to teach kids the art of hitting have been compiled into a DVD, Hitting Zone: Beyond the Bat.Beyond the Bat is the first DVD produced by Boulware, who played five years with the White Sox organization and won the 1994 South Atlantic League batting title. Boulware also had a successful amateur career, playing in both the NCAA Division II College World Series and Little League World Series.