Sunday, August 16, 2015

Swinging vs. Hitting

                                                                                             (photo credit: nytimes.com)

Too many hitters work on their swing, but not on hitting. What's the difference?

Swinging is mechanical. Most hitters work on their swing in the cages. They think about their mechanical flaw, take fifteen swings in a round, and aim to put in reps. The velocity . This is swinging. This is preparing to have a better swing. Your swing will follow your approach.

Hitting is not just in the game.  Hitting is not just in the game.

Hitting is when you prepare mentally for your next pitch. You are engaged in competition, in battle. You are relaxed...but fighting like mad. Hitting happens when front toss or live thrown pitches have a velocity that becomes stressful. Stressful velocity means you cannot simple see the ball and hit the ball. You need a plan. What am I on time for? What will I take. Creating this type of an approach/energy combination...this is what hitting in practice should look like.

Hitting in the game provides stressful opportunities and challenges in which to compete and learn. During practice, every hitter should provide more of those game-on-the-line opportunities in their mind's eye.

Smart preparation gives a hitter confidence. Confidence under pressure allows that hitter to see the ball better, and for his muscles to be relaxed enough to be quick and fluid.

Cage hitting, front toss, soft toss, tee work: these are all enhanced with competitive breathing, game-like routines and pace. Take your time. Visualize your pitcher, his uniform, his mechanics and his release.

Work on hitting as much as you work on your swing. You know you won't be able to think about your swing in game. If you have prepared to compete, your swing will take care of itself.

Great hitters can create that competitive energy required in game, during their pregame or preseason routine.

College and high school hitters should emulate much of what a big leaguer does, but they must prepare differently in relation to the types of repetitions they take.

Their is a time to work on the swing, and their is a time to work on hitting. Try splitting up your reps 50/50 this week, and you may find that you are more physically and mentally prepared. 

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