Thursday, July 16, 2015

"I Hate Slow Pitchers"


                                                                                          (Photo credit: livestrong.com)
                                 
"I hate slow pitchers," said no true competitor ever.

Great hitters make adjustments, including the most elementary of adjustments: timing.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Take it easy. I know timing isn't easy...but it is simple.

Most hitters gobble up the average fastball: average velocity, average spin, average movement and average location. Crushed. Boom. See ya.

Most hitters also enjoy the challenge of a hard thrower. And most hitters hate facing guys who throw really, really slow. Especially when their arm action deceives them, indicating they should have at least modest velocity, and then it just nev-er-gets-there. Pop out. Weak ground pull side. Strike three, swinging, 74 mph fastball.

Most hitters...are average. But you don't want to be average!

Great hitters understand that adjustments in timing can be controlled by the hitter.

A hitter dictates his readiness to be in rhythm with a pitch and crush it by the point in a delivery at which he begins his load. Read the last sentence again.

So, if you're early on a fastball because it's really slow, delay the start of your load.

If you normally initiate your load when the pitcher throwing an 85 mph fastball is breaking his hands, and now you want to sit on his curveball, don't be a fool and get ready for 85 and then freeze and wait for the 72 mph CB to get there. That's just stupid. That's average.

Delay your load.

Conversely, when you are used to facing an 83 mph LHP and they bring in a dude chunking 90-plus, don't speed up your load...start sooner!

Here's a great drill for working on rhythm, timing and delaying your load:

"3 Plate Drill" (I stole this drill from a coach who is much smarter than me.)

In a cage, or on the field, align three home plates, all facing the same standard direction, one behind the other, with one foot of space between them. One will be closer to the pitcher, and one will be even closer. The hitter should take 2 swings at each plate, beginning in back, then advancing forward, thus increasing the relative velocity of the pitch. Hitters will have to acquire the skill of starting their load earlier as they advance forward. Finish the round by jumping from the most forward plate to the rear, and "climbing the ladder"again.

Now, for round two, start this hitter at the front plate, and move them backward for each round. Front, middle, back, front, middle, back. Now hitters must delay their loads.




1 comment