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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Effective Baseball Hitting With Good Training

By Chris Moheno

Baseball is the national American pastime. Many have started appreciating the game by playing in Little League as they were children. Though considered as just playtime, the basics of the sport are inculcated at this early age. There are two aspects of the game that is most notably developed at all levels of the sport, from backyard catching time with another person to the major leagues. These are baseball hitting and baseball pitching. As can be seen in the sport, baseball pitching is the first line of defense that a baseball team against an opponent. But to this can be offset by good baseball hitting.

Effective baseball hitting or baseball pitching can only be achieved through baseball training.

What is considered as effective hitting?

In hitting, the very first thing learned is the batter's stance when up on the plate. The stance determines the baseball pitching strike zone. The zone would be the area with the most probability of getting hit by the batter with the bat as it is within reach of the batter. So having a smaller strike zone by crouching would gain the advantage for the batter since there would be a smaller strike zone and thus more likely that the pitch would be called a ball or it would be hittable into play. But being too crouched would mean being impeded from swinging the bat and hitting the ball.

The second must learn for the hitter would be the correct baseball grip and weight. Baseball hitting is all about being able to swing the bat fast enough and hard enough to hit the ball into play. But if the ball is hit hard enough, the ball may just sail up and over the field fence within the lines and be called a homerun. This is baseball hitting's prized achievement, to make a home run against baseball pitching. With this, the batter is able to score on his own or if others are on base then he can bat them in for the score, hence the statistic RBI for Runs Batted In.

How do you train for it?

The runs scored in baseball hitting determine who wins the game. So grip on the bat and the weight of the bat must be both comfortable and easy, as the bat merely becomes an extension of the arm. When the bat is swung, it must be in one sweeping motion without any wasted movement to generate the speed needed for the bat to hit the ball into play.

A further training issue is the hip swing. This is where the power for baseball hitting is generated to offset the skill of baseball pitching. The hip swing is all about being able to generate force and power to help the bat in hitting the ball. Having the larger muscle groups of the torso does this and the legs create a quick swivel motion to help the arms generate sufficient speed and power for the bat to hit the ball. In essence, the muscle groups of the legs and torso area acting like coiled springs can drive a bat at a much faster rate and a quicker pace.

The do´s and don't s of hitting the ball

An effective baseball hitting technique is through the use of a hung baseball. In this exercise, a baseball is hung using a piece of rope or string. The training commences by studying the bat's angle relative to the height and distance of the pitch from the batter.

Repeating the batting technique several times and each time increasing speed and recoil movement of the batter's body create what sports scientists call as muscle memory. The baseball hitting technique allows the body to remember the exact adjustments that were in place to deliver the same movement and thus generate the necessary speed and power to hit the ball into play. By adjusting the baseball's height and distance, the batter then can see the minute adjustment's that need to be made in order to make contact between bat and ball.

Remember though, not to over train, as this could result to pain and even injury. As much as you may want to hit the ball perfectly every time, learning baseball really does take time.

Perhaps, the best form of baseball training that you could do would be live game play, through either scrimmage or experience in actual game situations.

Baseball hitting can be practiced time and time again through the use of a live pitcher or an automated pitcher to see what needs to be adjusted in the batting stance and swing to generate the optimum set of movements to generate the most power for the bat. It is here where legends are made and hall of fames become immortalized.

Chris Moheno has a long time passion for sports in general and for baseball coaching more specifically.

His goal is to spread the word about effective non-fluff baseball training techniques for both more experienced and young baseball players, to help them perform better during the game.

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick