I thought I would give a few things I try to stress and keep in mind when working with a player. As a hitting coach you should be able to communicate and recognize certain things when watching and working alongside a hitter. Hitting is the hardest thing to do and the easiest to lose a feel for. As a hitting coach you try to stay vigilant, positive and keep things simple.
A Hitting coach
That all hitters are different.
Take what they have and try to make it more efficient.
Strong hitting position-
For the most part all good hitters get to the same strong hitting position.
Practice or cage work
Is made up of repetition and consistency
Improve feel and muscle memory
Maintain feel and muscle memory
Create building blocks for success
Keep players from getting ahead of himself
Realistic as well
It’s Different for each player as well
is what Hitters want to have. A swing that produces consistent hard contact.
An efficient swing helps you see the ball longer, make better swing decisions and hard contact.
is very important to having
Efficiency in a swing. Good balance quicker bat speed. More compact.
Not being ready on time-
is the cause for breaking down the swing 90% of the time.
3 things that can interfere with an efficient swing:
Rhythm- lack of it
Timing- not ready
Balance- lack of it
These things are part of the technical (improvement work) side of the swing and should focus on these things in cage work and on deck. They are not part of the strategic (game planning and what the pitcher is doing) side of the game.
Stick to basics of the swing:
Positioning in the box
Grip- proper grip can improve bat speed and the ability to use the whole field
Being ready on time- being back with lower half and hands.
Staying on the ball- plate coverage and not pulling off
Strong stable lower half (feet, knees, hips) most Important. 60/40 insteps. Weak lower half/ weak swing. Ground force. Starts the proper swing sequence. Linear not over rotating.
Timing of Load and separation (load and stride with head centered)
Bat path and attack angle– Staying inside (not letting the hands get too far away or too close to the body) throwing the barrel to the plane of the ball
Shoulders- squared (middle of mound)
Head- still, head on ball, helps with balance
Cause and Effect- if these things aren’t efficient…it can alter the swing in a way that loses power, torque, directness or bat path to the ball.
Drills I use to create feel or Muscle memory:
Load and go drill- feet are shoulder width apart. Load back square with lower half and getting hands back in a strong position then stride to ball. This is done slow and deliberate.
Walk away drill- for load and separation. Walk towards ball sideways. Back foot inside of front.
Low ball drill- ball is flipped down away. Loading back. Must use back leg. Back leg takes the hitter down to ball and through ball.
By making adjustments or corrections in a hitter’s swing when needed can help them focus on what’s important:
Seeing the ball, making good swing decisions and hitting the baseball hard.