Batting & Pitching Blogs

Elite hitting Instruction In Baseball And Fastpitch Softball

Posted on July 22, 2016 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

If you are looking for hitting lessons that truly make a difference in a baseball or fastpitch softball players career make sure you find an instructor that can show you how to use your bat and body correctly.  The problem is almost everyone is being taught bad hitting cues that are causing them to have bad hitting mechanics.  How can you figure out what is right and what is wrong?  Do your homework, make sure they don't teach twisting or rotating the back foot or hips, fast hands, staying back swing down, or any other bad hitting cues (listed below).   Make sure they teach you how to use your body and bat together.   Make sure they can back up what they teach with video using the swings of the very best hitters in Major League baseball and Team USA fastpitch softball.   Don't take someones word for it that they know hitting or they were a good player.  Just because they were a good player doesn't mean they know or can teach hitting.


We average ten or more new students each week for baseball and fastpitch softball hitting lessons. They drive in from West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia.  Almost every one of them have been to hitting camps, clinics or to other hitting instructors.   On our website I say we teach hitting differently and you will be amazed at the results.  When people call they say their kids are being taught all the things that on our website we say you don't want to do in your swing.  They are looking for something different because the lessons they are getting now aren't helping.   I tell them to come in and get a video lesson, then they can see step by step the way the very best hitters actually swing the bat.  They also will see and learn why almost everything they have been taught actually makes hitters worse.


At the beginning of the lesson I ask them about previous instruction and what hitting cues they have been told to use in their swing. They all tell me virtually the same bad hitting cues like:

 

  • Back elbow up
  • Squish the bug
  • Twist your hips
  • Use fast hands 
  • Throw your hands at the ball
  • Swing down
  • Stay back

 

These are hitting cues you never want to tell a hitter. These make a hitter use mainly their arms which causes them to hit the ball with much less power and hit more soft grounders and pop ups. Their swing looks jerky and out of control because they are swinging so hard with little power.  Swinging this way is why most hitters don't get close to their real potential.   I give many hitting evaluations every day and almost every hitter I see is at only 35 to 50% of their full potential because of what they are being taught by their coaches and other instructors.


I then ask how they transfer the energy from the bat into the ball at impact, students and parents both have no idea.   This is a very important aspect of the swing but is not being taught.   If you don't transfer the energy correctly it will significantly reduce the amount of force that is put into the ball.   This will reduce power, cause the ball to float off the bat and even sting their hands because the ball is actually over taking the bat.


Very few coaches and instructors (about 1 in 100) know the correct way the very best hitters in baseball and fastpitch softball actually swing the bat from start to finish. This includes Major League hitting coaches that tell their players to swing down through the ball, twist the hips, get on top of the ball and use fast hands. You hear the same thing from former players every night on ESPN. That is why hitting stats have been going down so much in the last decade. You see some of the best hitters each year going into long slumps and staying in them for long periods of time because the coaches and players have no idea how to fix it.  


Elite instruction is when players and parents are taught the complete swing from start to finish.  With the help of video you see and learn what each step in a great hitters swing actually is and how they work together in the correct sequence to create a more powerful and consistent swing.  When you see it step by step, you now know this is the way you want to swing the bat.   You then learn how to improve each step and why it will make such a tremendous impact in your swing.  Learning to use the body correctly you will see your swing become much more powerful, be able to hit line drives more consistently and improve your timing significantly.


True elite instruction will teach you why great hitters look so effortless, smooth and so powerful in their swing.  There is an actual art to it. One parent said it was like a magic trick because he couldn't believe the change in his son.   Once he learned to swing correctly he couldn't believe this was the same hitter.  He never imagined his son could hit the ball so hard while swinging so effortlessly.   We see results like this every day with baseball and fastpitch softball hitters.


If you feel you are not hitting the ball as hard and consistent as you would like or your timing is off and want to learn more about elite hitting instruction call Mike Sedberry at 304-722-6393.

Fast hands a worst hitting cue for baseball and fastpitch softball

Posted on July 22, 2016 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Everyday in our batting cages I hear fast hands being told to hitters by their parents and coaches.  I even hear former Major League Baseball players on ESPN talking about using fast hands.  New students that come in for lessons, whether baseball or fastpitch softball, have been taught by their former instructors and coaches to use fast hands and have even been told they need to make them stronger.


I have talked before that fast hands will put baseball and fastpitch softball players into slumps immediately.   Alex Rodriguez is a prime example, a great hitter that has been in a six year slump because his hitting coach wanted him to stop taking a step, just put his foot up then down so he could stay back and use his fast hands.   He went away from using his 230 lb body and started using mainly his arms.  Very Bad Move.  He went away from his normal stride he had been using for 16 years (with great success) and took his body out of the swing. This one change started the decline of his power and production when he went to using fast hands going into the 2010 playoffs.   He continues to get worse because he doesn't have any coaches able to show him how to get out of using his arms and fast hands.  It has become so bad that he was pinch hit for and even put on the bench during the 2012 playoffs.   He hasn't lost his ability to hit with power. The hitting coach changed him from being one of the most powerful hitters of all time into a singles hitter just because he wanted him to hit with fast hands.  Until he changes back to using his body he will continue to decline.


When players are taught to hit with fast hands they will end up swinging mainly with their arms which causes loss of power and makes it extremely hard to hit the middle of the ball (line drives) consistently.  Players that use fast hands feel the bat go out and then pull it back in taking it out of the hitting zone way too fast.  This creates a small area (up to one foot) that the bat is in the hitting zone.   Their timing has to be almost perfect to hit the ball hard.   This makes off speed pitches very tough to hit hard because batters with fast hands pre commit or start their swing too early and can only slap at the ball if their timing is just a little off.


When a hitter uses their body correctly they can generate significantly more force that can be transferred into the middle of the baseball or softball consistently.  Their hands are not pulling the bat out of the hitting zone but actually allowing the bat to accelerate three to four feet through it.  This means a batter has a three times larger area to hit the ball hard in and gives them a larger window which improves their timing significantly.   When you swing with your body there is no committing early to your swing because you don't need to.  With a more direct path your bat is faster to the hitting zone (up to 50% faster), you can watch pitches longer, a big advantage to every hitter.


We provide video lessons for each new student so they can see how they actually swing compared to the way the very best hitters in baseball and fastpitch softball swing the bat.  Students and parents are amazed when they see how much slower their bat is to the hitting zone when they are using fast hands.  Many are even half way through their swing before they finish their stride because the bat takes such a longer path to the hitting zone and they are always trying to catch up to the ball.  Our students learn how their body allows a more direct path to the hitting zone making their bat faster and heavier to the ball.  They start feeling so effortless and are amazed to see how the ball can explode off the bat.  It is such an amazing difference.


If you would like more information or would like to learn how to use your body correctly you can call Mike Sedberry at 304-722-6393.

Hit Line Drives ConsistentlyFor More Success

Posted on July 22, 2016 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

In my last blog about pitching I mentioned that depending on whose research you look at when you hit a line drive you have a 70 to 80% chance for it to be a hit.  When you hit a grounder there is only a 25 to 29% chance it is a hit and a fly ball has a 20 to 22% chance of being a hit.  These percentages are virtually the same for High School, College and Major Leagues hitters.


This means that you have a three times better chance of getting a hit with a line drive.  Players in baseball and fastpitch softball that consistently hit line drives have higher averages and increased production.   The simple fact is hit more line drives and you will be much more successful.  Easier said than done.  Almost all batters (up to 99%) hit many more grounders and fly balls than they should because of the way they swing the bat with their arms.  They would hit many more line drives just by learning how to swing correctly with their body.


When batters come in for their first lesson, whether baseball and fastpitch softball players, I first ask what hitting cues they are trying to do in their swing. The students and parents tell me the hitting cues that their coaches and other instructors have told them to do, these are just some of the worst ones:


  • Back elbow up
  • Squish the bug
  • Twist your hips
  • Use fast hands
  • Throw your hands at the ball
  • Stay back
  • Swing Down 

 

I then have them hit live pitching and video them.   I now get to see how many of the cues they actually use in their swing.   What I tend to see are the players that are doing most of these hitting cues are really struggling.   The average hitter in a slump will use 3 or 4 of them and a better hitter not hitting as good as they want will use a couple of them.


When Major League players are hitting their best they are doing none of these.  If they are doing even one of these they will go into a slump until they get back to using their body correctly.  The problem is if you do the first one, squish the bug, you will end up doing all or most of them.   


We have many students come in from Little League to college.  Almost everyone of them use mainly their arms to hit whether they are a baseball or fastpitch softball player.  After they hit a round we discuss what they have been working on and 99% tell me the same bad hitting cues listed above.   I show them on the video where and why they are losing their power, bat speed and ability to hit line drives consistently just because they are doing these hitting cues in their swing.   It is fascinating to see the looks on their faces when I put them beside the very best Major League or fastpitch softball hitters and they see that they aren't doing any of these hitting cues, they are actually doing the opposite.


When taught the proper hitting mechanics it is remarkable how batters become so much more powerful and they are now able to hit line drives consistently.  They look so effortless and the ball explodes off the bat. The game becomes slower and so much easier.


If you would like more information how you can hit more line drives and become a much better hitter call us at 304-722-6393.

Hit The Ball Harder With More Line Drives

Posted on July 22, 2016 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Almost every batter that comes in to use our cages whether they play baseball or fastpitch softball swing basically the same way, mainly with their arms.  They will start the first round swinging hard as they can using fast hands and usually miss the first few pitches till they get their timing down and then hit mostly weak grounders and pop ups.  They then slow down their swing a little to try and hit line drives.   The problem is when they hit the middle of the ball it usually floats off the bat and the bat tends to slow down at impact.   Then they are told to finish their swing. They try to swing harder to finish their swing and go back to hitting mostly weak  grounders and pop ups. Then they try swinging slower again to hit line drives and the process starts all over again. This is why most hitters are not consistent.


Parents and coaches don't understand why the batter usually doesn't finish their swing when they hit the middle of the ball.    When they swing harder so they can finish their swing why do they hit the ball weaker with mostly grounders and pop ups?  The simple reason is they aren't allowing the bat to hit the ball with enough force.


As I have talked about in my past blogs almost everything that is taught (up to 99%) makes a hitter use mainly their arms or fast hands to hit the ball.   When a hitter swings this way they actually take force out of the bat, making it lighter to the ball, so they hit the ball much weaker.   It is much harder to hit the middle of the ball with fast hands.  If you do hit the middle of the ball it will be more of a slap which causes the ball to float off the bat.  This is why the bat slows down at impact and also causes the stinging in the hands many hitters experience.


Major League hitters that use fast hands go into slumps immediately because they hit the ball so much weaker.   Look at Alex Rodriguez who has been in a six year slump because he is using fast hands.   He is hitting the ball so weakly he is now being called a singles hitter only because what he has been taught actually takes force out of his bat.   If someone showed him how to use his body correctly like he did before he could hit the ball so much harder than he has the last six years.   Sad that a great career has spiraled down so much only because he went away from swinging with his body because he was told by the hitting coach to start using fast hands.  


Your body can provide the forward momentum needed for you to create the maximum energy and force to put into your bat.   With more force your bat will become much heavier to the ball and will accelerate through the middle of the ball much more often.   You will hit the ball much harder and it will now explode off the bat.  My baseball and fastpitch softball students tell me they barely feel the ball now when they hit it, almost like they are hitting air, no matter how hard the pitcher is throwing because the bat has so much more force.  With more force the bat goes straight through the middle of the ball (line drives) much more consistently like a sledge hammer.


When you correctly use the body and bat together the game will slow down.   All great hitters when they are hitting well are in a zone and everything seems in slow motion.  This is what makes hitting a baseball or fastpitch softball so much easier.  When doing this it is amazing how much better any hitter can become.  If you would like to learn how to use the body correctly and hit more line drives with much more force call Mike Sedberry at 304-722-6393.


Hitters What Hurts A Swing In Baseball And Fastpitch Softball

Posted on July 22, 2016 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Everyday I hear so many things told to baseball and fastpitch softball hitters that will not help them.   I see batters confused when they come in for a new lesson because they are told so many different things they need to do when they are hitting.   It seems almost every coach and instructor teaches hitting differently.   The problem is most most of what is taught, up to 99%, will make the hitters even worse. Every hitter that comes in for lessons just wants to hit the ball harder more consistently.   The bad thing is they won't be able to do this if they keep working on the BAD hitting cues they are being taught.


Some of these bad hitting cues taught are:

  • stay back
  • keep back foot down or planted
  • no stride or step
  • fast hands
  • throw your hands at the ball
  • use top hand
  • snap wrists at impact
  • roll wrists at impact
  • back elbow up
  • rotate or twist your hips
  • squish the bug or pivot back foot
  • swing down or level
  • extend your arms at impact
  • don't dip back shoulder
  • keep barrel of the bat above your hands
  • hold the bat tighter

 

Everyday we get calls from parents that say their kids are being taught these hitting cues.   These bad hitting cues are being taught from tee ball to the Major Leagues.  These are what 99% of coaches, hitting instructors, High School, College, pro hitting camps and even other parents are teaching their hitters.


A hitter actually doing any of these will not be able to hit their best or even close to it.   All of these hitting cues will make a hitter swing mainly with their arms.  I see this everyday.   Kids come in and are pulling the bat so hard with their arms, hitting mostly weak grounders and fly balls, their timing is very inconsistent.


If they do hit the middle of the ball their bat almost stops and then they pull the bat in to try and get it moving again.   The parent or coach will tell them they need to finish their swing.   They can't finish their swing because the ball is actually overtaking the bat at impact causing it to almost stop.   When swinging mainly with their arms a hitters bat is slowing down and is being pulled out of the hitting zone while still trying to hit the ball.   This causes batters to have many more weak hits than they should because the sweet spot of the bat is going forward only six to twelve inches then it is pulled out of the hitting zone.   Your timing has to be perfect to hit the ball hard and as pitchers get better this makes hitting the ball consistently so much tougher.  When the very best hitters in the Major Leagues are swinging mainly with their arms they are in slumps and stay in them until they start using their body and bat correctly.


Most hitters can hit up to three times more line drives than they do now if they learned how to use their body and bat a better way.   You want the bat going forward and accelerating out through the ball at impact.   When performed correctly the sweet spot of the bat will be on the plane of the pitch for at least three feet making your timing so much better. This makes it much easier to hit the center of the ball on the sweet spot of the bat much more consistently.  Major Leaguers are hitting their best when their bat is going forward for three to four feet through the hitting zone.   This is why great hitters, when they are hitting the ball well, look so effortless and powerful.


When our baseball and fastpitch softball students learn to do this correctly it is amazing the difference how the ball comes off the bat. Parents tell me they can see and especially hear the difference.  Hitters tell me they feel like they are hitting through air because you barely feel the ball going off the bat.  The ball will actually ricochet off the bat rather than float off.   They hit many more line drives, so much harder and much more consistently.   They can't believe how this makes hitting so much easier.   My students learn what a great swing feels like.   Now if they feel something different in their swing, they know how to self adjust even during the same at bat.   Being able to do this allows hitters to better avoid getting into slumps.


If you would like more information or want to learn how to use your body and bat a much better way call Mike Sedberry at 304-722-6393. Learn how you can make hitting so much easier in baseball and fastpitch softball.

Slow The Game Down To Become A Great Hitter

Posted on July 22, 2016 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

I want to thank everyone for taking the time to read my blogs about hitting and pitching.   I really appreciate the emails, calls and comments asking for more information.  Many baseball and fastpitch softball players have come in interested to learn how to swing with their body rather than their arms.  The results have been amazing.   Students that couldn't hit the ball out of the infield are now hitting homeruns with high batting averages.  Parents keep telling us how much more power their kids have and how they are hitting so many more line drives.   My students say one of the things they have noticed, as they started swinging with their body the game has seemed like it is slower and they see the ball so much better.   They are becoming confident because they are now hitting the ball hard consistently even off the best pitchers that they use to dread hitting against.


I have also been hearing from a few people saying that you have to swing with your arms and use your hands or wrists (fast hands) to make the bat go faster.  You have to rotate to bring the bat around then use your wrists or top hand to snap through the ball.  Most people think this is how you swing because that is what they have always heard.   These teachings are what makes hitting a baseball or fastpitch softball consistently much more difficult than it needs to be.  It makes the game faster, the opposite of what you want.


You can see when players are in slumps they swing fast, look very jerky and they don't see the ball as well.   The game now becomes so fast to the hitter that  they feel they have to swing faster to keep up with it.   This causes them to swing at more bad pitches, hit the ball weaker and makes their timing worse.


When a hitter is hitting their best they are using their body, the correct way, to generate tremendous force and transferring it into the bat and through the ball.  This is a completely different swing than using your arms or hands, it looks so effortless and is so powerful.   They see the ball much better and the bat is in the hitting zone up to three times longer.   Since the bat is going faster to the hitting zone they can watch the pitch a little longer before starting their swing.  This is what slows down the game for a hitter.


Josh Hamilton for example had a fantastic first two months of the season in 2012 when he hit .368 with 21 HRs and 57 RBIs.   He suddenly went into a terrible slump for two months in June and July hitting just .202 with 8 home runs and 27 RBIs.   Why was he so productive the first two months, then the next two months he was less than half as productive.   He went into the slump because he started swinging harder with his arms and fast hands instead of his body and the game became much faster.  He hit 4 homeruns in one game and on ESPN they showed all 4 of them in slow motion.  The former players kept saying he accomplished this because he had the fastest hands in baseball.  I could see during all four swings he wasn't using his hands at all they were just going out with the bat.  He was using his body and that was slowing down the game making hitting very easy for him. 


He then started swinging faster and immediately went into his two month slump.  During the slump his bat was doing almost the opposite through the hitting zone, coming in slower and being pulled right or out of the hitting zone way too fast.  He wasn't letting his hands go out with the bat he was now using his hands to make the bat go faster.  The problem was it was going faster out of the hitting zone.   He used so much effort with very little power.   He was swinging at so many bad pitches because he was starting his swing earlier to catch up with the ball.


He finally came out of the slump in August hitting .310 with 7 HRs and 28 RBIs.  Why was he in the slump for so long?   Because everything he was told to try made him still swing mainly with his arms and the game stayed too fast.   He stayed in the slump until Hamilton said "he stopped listening to everybody and made the game slow again".  It is that simple.  He simply went away from swinging with his arms and back to using his 6 foot 4 inch 240 lb body to hit the ball harder much more consistently.  Using his body and not arms or fast hands, allowed his bat to be faster to the hitting zone so he could wait longer before starting his swing and be more selective at the plate.  The bat can now be in the hitting zone up to four feet which allows him to hit many more line drives consistently.  He again looked effortless and so powerful when he swings with his body. The game again slowed down to Hamilton and it is much easier for him to hit at the high level he is capable of.


It is amazing how one of the best athletes and hitters in baseball can have MVP numbers with so much power and production the first two months just because he made the game slower by swinging mainly with his body.   When he started swinging more with his arms, the next two months, the game became faster and he became a below average hitter.   There was a major decrease in his production to less than half only because he stopped using his body and started using his arms to swing the bat.   If only he had someone that could help him feel and know the difference between the two swings.   He then could feel the difference right away and have the knowledge how to fix it, even for the next at bat, not after two months when he finally quit listening to everyone telling him to swing faster.


Almost every hitter (99%) that comes in to hit in our batting cages mainly swing with their arms because of what they are taught.    They hit more weak grounders and pop ups than they should and maybe have only four hard hit balls out of 16 pitches. They swing so hard and the ball seems to float off the bat so soft.


We show hitters how they can hit at an elite level just by using their body a much better way.   The difference is amazing when you see students hit the ball hard 14 or more times out of 16 pitches.   They look so effortless and the ball seems to jump off the bat.  When they hit this way the game seems slower and makes it so much easier for them to hit at the high level they are capable of.


Come in and see how we can help you slow the game down and hit at your highest level.  For more information or questions call Mike Sedberry  304-722-6393.

Avoid getting bad hitting instruction

Posted on July 21, 2016 at 11:55 PM Comments comments (0)

When looking for someone to teach you how to hit a baseball or fastpitch softball make sure they are going to show you how to use your body and bat correctly.   As most of you know over 99% of instructors, coaches and hitting camps teach things that cause a hitter to use mainly their arms.  Because of this very few hitters use their body in their swing.  This causes hitters to hit the ball much weaker, be less consistent and way off on their timing.


It is very important for parents and players to learn how the very best Major League baseball hitters and Team USA fastpitch softball hitters actually use their body in their swing.  Hitters in baseball and fastpitch softball that learn to hit with their body the same way will see a significant increase in their power, how often they hit line drives consistently and have great timing.   Because 99% of instruction consists of bad hitting cues very few hitters use their body in their swing, the ones that do use their body stand out from the rest.


I have a 14 year old student that three years ago could barely hit the ball out of the infield because he was being taught by his coaches and the High School coach to stay back, twist his hips, swing down and use fast hands.  His dad said he was ready to quit baseball because he was hitting so bad.  We worked hard on getting him to swing with the body, the opposite of what he had been doing.  He and his dad worked on using his body every day and the results have been amazing.  He went from being a hitter that was hitting so bad he wanted to quit, just because of bad instruction, to being the most powerful hitter ever in his Little League.  He set the all time home run record with 22 during the regular season, he hit 5 more home runs in 3 games of all stars and he had a .750 batting average.  He did all this while only weighing 90 pounds because he learned the correct way to use his body when hitting.  Amazing turnaround.


In an elite travel team game on a High School field he hit a homerun well over a 350 ft fence that had a 20 ft wall.  His dad said almost every parent came up wanting to know the bat he was using because there was no way he could hit the ball that far with such an effortless swing. He told them it wasn't the bat it was Mike Sedberry's swing.  They still wanted to know the bat so the next time up he had his son use a wooden bat.  He then hit the ball harder than with the metal bat but it never got more than 10 feet off the ground.  In the video there is a train going by and you can hear it hit the wall between whistles.  The ball hit 10 feet up the fence so hard it sounded like a shotgun blast.  The dad said that really got the other parents buzzing because their kids were swinging out of their shoes like they had been taught and his son was barely swinging.  That's because he was using his body NOT his arms.


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This video is his homerun just swinging with his body.

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This Video is the double off the wall with the wooden bat. His first swing he pulled faster with his arms.  He told me he stepped out, told himself to relax and just use the body, next pitch off the wall. Because he know's what he is doing in his swing he was able to fix it for the next pitch.  This is so valuable.


Even most of the very best MLB hitters have no idea what they are actually doing in their swing.   As discussed in an earlier blog, read Derek Jeter no stride swing update, in 2011 he changed the way he was hitting because the Yankee hitting coach told him not to stride, this would allow him to have fast hands and this would help him watch the ball longer.  He worked on this all spring and into the regular season.   With his new approach, using mainly his arms, he instantly became a below average hitter.   After hitting around .200 the first 10 games and had no power he went away from the no stride and fast hands, went back to a stride and used his body more.  He got his regular swing back and ended with a pretty good year hitting .297.

  

If he knew more about his swing he would never have changed.   When his coach told him these new things he wanted him to do, he would have known there was no way it would work.  Jeter could have told him why it would not work and then he could have avoided the slump that followed.


This seems to be a common theme among active and former professional baseball and fastpitch softball players.   Almost every former player, coach and instructor at all levels have almost the same approach to hitting.  They teach squish the bug, twist the hips, fast hands, swing down, stay back, get on top of the ball, etc.   The best hitters do none of these, if they do any of these they will go into an instant slump.  Most coaches, at every level from coach pitch to the Major Leagues, will "teach" what they have always heard themselves, without taking the time to study and learn what really happens in the best hitters swing.


There are very few instructors that truly know the way the best hitters actually use their body and bat in the swing.   If you are interested in learning what an elite baseball and fastpitch softball swing really looks like and how it can make a tremendous impact in your swing and on your career call Mike Sedberry at 304-722-6393.   With our video lesson, you will see what makes a great swing and you will learn step by step how you can achieve this.   Knowledge about your swing is very important because when you get bad advice you will know why it will not help and you can ignore it so it won't put you into a slump.


We also work with teams or groups that want to greatly increase their productivity and have much more fun in the process.

Timing for baseball and fastpitch softball hitters

Posted on July 21, 2016 at 11:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Timing for a hitter in baseball or fastpitch softball is very important.   Without the proper timing your bat will not be in the hitting zone at the right time, making it much more difficult to hit the ball consistently.  There are two types of timing that hitters need to learn.


The first type is the batters own timing during their swing.


Most people do not think of this but it is very important.   When we video students hitting, most baseball and fastpitch softball players at the half way point in the swing, when comparing 5 different swings, their bat is in 5 different positions up to a two foot difference.   This means the hitters own timing is off and makes hitting a ball so such harder than it should be.  When your own timing is off this makes the pitchers job so much easier.  The speeds in our cages are 45, 65, and 85 mph.  When I watch a hitter during a round it is easy to tell how much their own timing is off.   For example a right handed hitter during a round, with the machine throwing the same speed each pitch, will go from pulling the ball directly left to being late hitting the ball directly right to everywhere in between.  This means at the halfway point in their swing the bat is rarely in the same position. To have your own timing it needs to be in the same position every swing.


Most instruction (99%) as I have discussed in previous blogs will make hitters swing mostly with their arms causing their own timing to be inconsistent, up to a two foot difference.   Hitters need to learn the proper way to use their body with the bat  to have their own timing become very consistent meaning the pitcher will have a much tougher job trying to mess up the batters timing.


The second type is proper timing of the pitcher.


The pitchers job is to try and mess up the hitters timing so they won't hit the ball hard.  Most hitters like I said before do not have their own timing consistent so they make the pitchers job much easier.  Once you learn to get your timing correct now you can focus on how to time a pitcher.


Most hitters wait till the pitcher releases the ball and then tries to time the speed.   This doesn't work very well because if a pitcher is throwing hard they try to swing faster to catch up to the ball and if a new pitcher comes in that throws slower they will be way ahead of the ball and try to swing slower to wait on it.   This means most hitters will use different swings when facing pitchers that throw different speeds causing them to ruin their own timing in the process.


Hitters need to learn to time a pitchers arm.  This makes timing a pitcher so much easier.  For example, say a pitcher is throwing average and you are taking your step when they release the ball and your timing is good.   When a faster pitcher comes in most hitters will take their step again when they release the ball and try to swing faster to hit it.   You want to take your step with a faster pitcher when their arm is about two feet before release so you can take your step and swing normal without having to go faster.  If you change your swing speed you will change your timing which will again make the pitchers job much easier.


Come in and learn to how to use your body and bat in a way that will enable you to have your timing very consistent, you will add so much more force into the ball, and hit line drives up to three times more often.  You will learn how to make the pitchers job much more difficult and how to time a pitcher properly to make hitting so much easier.   Call us at 304-722-6393 for more information, you will be amazed with the results.  

Fastpitch softball hitting update

Posted on July 21, 2016 at 11:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Every new fastpitch softball student that comes in for lessons is looking for the same three things.   More power, hitting line drives more consistently and better timing.  We talk about what they have been learning.  Most have been to hitting lessons or clinics before and everyone of them have been taught some or all of the BAD hitting cues below:

 

 

  • Keep back elbow up
  • No stride
  • Squish the bug
  • Use fast hands
  • Throw hands at ball
  • Twist the hips
  • Swing down through the ball
  • Get the barrel of the bat out quickly
  • Snap the wrists at impact  

 

 

The problem is if a hitter actually tries to do any of these hitting cues they will swing  with their arms which will cause a major loss of power, consistency and make their timing much worse.   Most of these hitters will pull the ball straight into the ground or weak pop ups to the opposite field.  We see this in our batting cages everyday.  This makes too many good athletes give up on softball because they are not having fun being so inconsistent.  This doesn't need to happen. 


The very best hitters in Fastpitch Softball have power, consistency and great timing.   At the highest level they swing with their body.  My students learn how to use the body so they can swing the same as the very best hitters in softball.   As one parent said " this swing puts my daughter into a whole new world with her softball.  I just was hoping to get her to hit the ball out of the infield but now she hits the ball with more power than we ever dreamed of and she looks like she is barely swinging."   


Below is one of my students that is changing from swinging with her arms to using her body.  She is 10 years old and weighs 70 lbs.   Her dad said she was an average hitter with not much power when they started doing lessons this Winter.  Her team started playing in tournaments in the Spring and she already has hit 9 homeruns this year.  She missed number 10 last week by five feet but ended up with a triple.  She is now using her body to swing the bat and has so much more power consistently hitting the ball hard.  



If you want to be the hitter you always dreamed of,  you want to learn the exact hitting mechanics of the very best hitters in fastpitch softball. The problem is very few instructors, coaches and former players teach how to use the body.  It seems 99% of what is taught everywhere are the bad hitting cues from above.   Learn the correct way to use your body and become the hitter you always dreamed of.  


If you would like more information on how to use your body to swing the bat and get more power, consistency and better timing call Mike Sedberry at 304-722-6393 for more information. 

High School Baseball And Fastpitch Softball Hitting

Posted on July 21, 2016 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (0)

We have many High School baseball and fastpitch softball players come in each day to use our cages for batting practice.  It is great to see so many players working to get better.  


Almost all of these hitters you can see right away  are using their arms to swing the bat.  They are swinging so fast, pulling the bat down and out of the hitting zone way to quickly.   They hit the ball hard only 3 to 4 times per round of 16 pitches.  Most hits are weak pulled ground balls or popups to the opposite field.  


I ask them what they are working on when they are hitting.   Almost everyone (99%) says they are trying to swing down, pivot the back foot or squish the bug, stay back, twist the hips, use fast hands, get the barrel out fast, and snap their wrists or top hand at impact.   These bad hitting cues are what they are being taught to do.   Any of these hitting cues will cause you to be half the hitter you could or should be.   


My High School Baseball and fastpitch softball students learn how to swing with their body, not their arms.   When they come in to hit most of them will hit the ball hard 12 or more times out of 16.   Their swing is so smooth and effortless because they are using the body.  Many times other people and parents hitting will gather behing their cage and watch trying to figure how they hit the ball so hard consistently while looking like they are barely swinging.  Last week two parents asked the dad of one of my students if they could film his son.  They had never seen someone hit the ball so hard while they looked like they were barely swinging.   He was so proud.  


A couple weeks ago one of my fastpitch softball students hit a round and she hit 14 line drives out of 16 pitches.   The two high school baseball players that were in line waiting to hit next sat back down on the bench.  When the dad asked who is next they both said " I'm not following that."   They didn't move until she was finished hitting and left the building before they would go back into the cage and hit.


A dad even called saying "the coaches on his travel team are trying to figure out why his son is hitting the ball so much harder, consistently, than anyone else and he is barely swinging.  The other hitters look like they are swinging out of their shoes and are mostly striking out or hitting the ball soft and rarely hitting it hard.  They even said he could hit it harder if he would swing down and swing faster.  I told them we were taught that before and he could barely hit it out of the infield.  We found Mike Sedberry and learned something completely different.  He is more than twice the hitter he was before we met you."  


Learn how to use your body and become the hitter you dreamed of, effortless and powerful.   Call Mike Sedberry at 304-722-6393 for more information.  You will be amazed at the results.