Hitting a baseball is not an easy task. Whether it’s been pitched by a batting machine that throws the ball in the same manner or by a pitcher who’s throw can’t be determined. You may have noticed in some games that most hitters don’t hit a baseball the same way. This is because the difference in their stance and body setup makes it seem like they hit differently. However, if you look closely and neglect the hitter’s body movement and other pre-pitch movements, you’ll notice they are more alike than you thought. In this article, we’ll discuss different steps and guidelines to follow when learning to hit a baseball.
Steps to Making a Good Swing
There are certain things that need to be mastered before perfectly hitting a baseball. These include your body position, stance, leg movements, and so on.
Getting into the Correct Position
Positioning yourself in the batter’s box
The batter’s box is usually 4ft wide and 6 inches long. It’s an area on the baseball field marked by lines; the batter or hitter is expected to stand in the box when at-bat. One of the main focuses when standing in the batter’s box is that the barrel of your bat should be over the plate when you take a swing. A great way to start is by standing at the center of the box; this helps you get comfortably position your feet inside the box. For experienced hitters, standing at the center helps them find the best position for their swing. After getting comfortable in this position, you can experiment by taking steps towards the front of the box or away from it.
Figure out your dominant eye
Figuring out your dominant eye helps you choose the perfect stance at the plate. You will need a player or an object to figure it out. Ask the person to stand about 20ft away from you or place an object within that distance. Stretch your arm out and keep both eyes open; you could use either of both arms. Stick out your thumb in a thumbs-up position, ensuring it blocks your view and shut one eye. If you can still see the object or person without any changes, close the other eye. The eye that sees the object that sees the object clearly is your dominant eye.
Hitting a baseball greatly depends on your stance. There are three types of batting stances; you just have to stick to the most comfortable one for you.
- Square Stance: The square or neutral stance is the most common stance. You stand with both your feet at an equal distance from the home plate and parallel to the edge of the batter’s box. This position allows you to keep both eyes on the pitcher and the ball.
- Open Stance: Stand with your front foot further away from the home plate than your back foot. This way, your chest is slightly directed towards the pitcher, making you open to the pitcher.
- Closed Stance: For this position, stand with your back foot farther from the plate than your front foot. This causes your back to face the pitcher, rather than your chest, as in an open stance, making you closed to the pitcher. This makes it harder to see the ball.
How to Grip and Raise the Bat
Start by placing the handle of the bat in your bottom hand; if your right hand is your dominant hand then the bottom hand is the left, and the other way for your left. Ensure the end of the handle is on the ground at the front of your front foot.
Wrap the index finger in your bottom hand around the bat and keep the bat held in your fingers, not your palm. Grab the bat with your top hand the same way you did the bottom hand with the bat also in your fingers.
Grip the bat very lightly and keep your muscles relaxed. Raise the bat keeping your shoulders in a straight line, bend your elbows and keep the drawn back.
How to Swing
Keep your eyes on the ball from the moment it leaves the pitcher till it makes contact with the bat. Move your body weight to your rear leg, raise your front foot and take a short step in the direction of the pitcher. Raise your back heel while keeping your front leg stable. Swing the bat using your arms and both your hips.
Just like every other sport, the key to mastering these steps is practice and more practice. You should start with practicing how to make swift movements while still maintaining your balance and the speed of your hip. You should also practice your stance and find the one that most comfortable for you.
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