Mindset

Hitting is more than just stepping into the box and swinging the bat. A good hitter starts long before the bat is ever in hand. All good hitters have established routines that they follow. They eat the same meals, warm-up the same way and sometimes acknowledge the same superstitions.

Playing professional baseball is no easy task. It is quite a challenge to show up everyday at the park and step to the plate 500+ times in a year. Effectively following this routine requires proper rest and nourishment.

  • Establish and follow a routine
  • Proper rest & nourishment
  • Determine goals & objectives for each day
  • Be aware of field & weather conditions

Each day at the field should have a purpose. Everytime you execute a drill, there should be a purpose. Are you working on opposite field? Are you working on off-speed pitches? Mechanics? Determine the objective early and never loose site.

Understanding and evaluating field and weather conditions can be a great advantage. Learn these easy basics and you'll always have that 'home-field' advantage.

Pre-Game

With any sport, in any athletic situation, it's extremely important that you warm up your muscles in order to get blood throughout the body to avoid injuries. When stretching, we want to focus on flexibility. You should never feel pain when you are stretching.

Whenever you get the chance, you want to try and get in some tee work, soft-toss, and then live. Tee work is great for working on the mechanics of your swing. Since the ball will always be a strike, focus your attention on the mechanics of your swing. Soft-toss helps you establish a bit of timing and rhythm with your swing. Live work is where you get to put it all together.

On-Deck

You don't have a lot of time on deck, so be sure to use it wisely. Most of this preparation can be done in the on-deck circle, or in the dug-out if league rules won't allow on-deck hitters.

  • Take some practice swings
  • Focus on game situations
  • Get your timing down

Now is not the time to worry about your mechanics. Remember to stay relaxed and focus on the task at hand - getting into the "Zone."

At-Bat

Hitting Zone

There are five areas of your swing that you should become very familiar with. Each of these areas is just as important as the next. If you go from step one to step four, you'll find yourself in trouble more often than not.

As with everything you do, it's important to be able evaluate and correct yourself. The five areas (steps) are outlined below:

  • The pitcher has the ball
  • The ball is 10 feet out in front
  • Point of contact
  • Through contact - about a foot past contact
  • Your finish

Mastering these five areas takes a lot of dedication and hard work. They will not magically appear overnight. But with purposeful practice and defined goals, you can improve on these areas dramatically.

Post-Game

When you get back to the dug-out, or after the game is over, there's still one more thing you need to do. Every player that wants to get better, must evaluate their performance.

Did you accomplish the goals you set for yourself? How can you improve on the areas that need some work? What new goals can you set for yourself? These are valuable questions that deserve your attention.

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