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
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.