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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Baseball Coaching Tips - Practice Hitting Vs Game Hitting

[Recreation-and-Sports:Baseball] I often get the question, why is it that a player seems to have correct hitting mechanics, and he practices well, particularly in t-drills and soft toss, where his form and technique are good. And then when he gets into the game, everything goes wrong.

By Joe Brockhoff

Let's understand three important principles when we talk about how to hit a baseball:

1. Mechanics, which include form and technique
2. Judgmental principles
3. Confidence

When a player is hitting off of a tee or in soft toss, this involves only mechanics. There are no judgmental or confidence factors at all involved. Whereas, in the game, judgmental principles may be even more important than mechanics. This involves reading the pitch and taking appropriate action.

Here is one of my best baseball coaching tips. The player who does only short-toss and t-hitting misses out on a major part of hitting, and that is judging the pitch in space (trajectory). When we practice with soft toss, it is "pitch - hit". But when we hit in the game, the sequence is "pitch - trajectory - hit".

And no player can perform at his best unless he has confidence. Tension forces a player to do things he would not do during practice. So how do we make the transition from practice to the game?

Hitting is a conditioned reflex. A hitter must practice to "groove" his stroke, and then trust it. In other words, 'no stinkin thinkin' at the plate. It's see-ball, hit-ball, have fun!

Toss and tee hitting only provide practice of mechanics, and the hitter needs much more. Not only does he need to see pitching from a distance, but he also needs to have some pressure put on him during his practice sessions.

In our baseball hitting tips, we can add a measure of pressure on the hitter in a batting cage by using a Power-10 series, where he works to hit 8 out of 10 pitches hard. This puts pressure on him to get a high score. He can also run a series of power-10's using out youth baseball hitting drills. This will also increase his confidence level.

There is an old saying that is so true:

Play like you practice and practice like you play. This was never more important than in the game of baseball. So here are some ideas to help accomplish this.

1. Batters should have some practice where they get some distance from the pitcher, either a machine or live pitcher.
2. Put some tension in the practice.
3. In every batting cage practice session, include a "Power-10", 7 or 8 hard hits out of 10 to increase confidence level and a good feeling of performance.
4. Use practice that simulates game situations and encourages players to feel good about their performance.

Former Tulane Hall of Fame Baseball Coach, Joe Brockhoff, fully explains his baseball hitting drills with the Super 8 Hitting System, completely demonstrated with videos and hitting drills to help you hit with more power and raise your batting average.

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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