Being on time and time for timing
Being on time is probably the single most important and biggest issue many hitters face when trying to hit a baseball.
Timing issues will break down any hitter’s swing (in my opinion) 90% of the time.
In the confrontation between the hitter and the pitcher…pitchers don’t play fair. And this is why hitting is hard.
Pitchers consistently will try and disrupt the timing and balance of hitters by using effective velocity, tunneling, movement and off speed.
What is being on time? For many it’s about getting back (hands, backside, either or, or both depending on how you hit) early enough to get the barrel out in front or to the pitch location on time and getting the foot down at the right time. Time for timing.
When do you start to get ready? This usually depends on the individual. Some will start when the hitter sees the pitcher’s backside, some when the pitcher breaks his hands and some will start a little later depending on what pre swing movements they have.
Being in a good position is crucial to seeing and hitting the ball *(see hitting positions). Walks are by products of being ready to hit and so is driving the baseball.
After the pitch is released a hitters timing has just begun. Being back early enough will help the hitters see the pitch. Good hitters work off the fastball and are ready to hit it.
What does this mean? A hitter will be ready for a fastball and adjust to off speed. It is very hard to look for off speed and still hit a good fastball. Good hitters know this. That’s why understanding timing is important.
Timing is not only being back early enough. It also has to do with the stride.
The stride is what pitchers look to disrupt. Things like getting a hitter out in front, getting his foot down too early or too late. Speeding him up and slowing him down. This is all timing and pitchers understand this very well.
The stride plays a huge part because hitters look for consistent repeatable mechanics which includes the stride length. We spend hours trying to make our swing become automatic to us. Repeatable. So stride length is a big part of that.
When the stride is disrupted, so is timing. One technique used is to get the foot down early. But too early will disrupt momentum, causing the hitter to stop and restart again. The stride must be fluid and organic. Not forced. Do you think about putting your foot down when you walk?
When making a positive move towards the pitcher when the pitch is released, the pitch will dictate the stride length. If executed properly a stride to a fastball will be at normal stride length and the stride to an off speed pitch my be slightly longer depending on how well you can wait or what you are expecting.
A good hitters will be able to make adjustments from pitch to pitch and understand who they are facing.
Posted in: baseball