Every player needs a hitting approach that suits their abilities. My goal was not to put too much air under balls because the outfielders usually caught them. For my body size, it was best to focus on hitting line drives through the infield and ones that landed in front of the outfielders. As you work with players, learn and understand the hitting plan that best suits them. This plan is a constant work in progress.
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- Define power to players - the ability to get the ball to “jump” off their bat, and not just to hit home runs.
- Having a "one way works for all" philosophy is not the right way to go about teaching. Every player has different tools and power potential. However, the fundamentals are just that and do not change for hitters.
- Learning different rhythm and load methods can help develop power, but that comes once the fundamentals are solid. For example, developing a higher knee tuck when preparing to swing can add power.
- Figuring out whether a player is, or is capable of being, a power hitter determines the hitting approach they should develop. A single's hitter should have a different hitting approach to maximize their talents than a batter who may be capable of hitting home runs.
- Analyzing the size of a player’s parents can help determine how big an athlete may eventually become, as well as their strength potential.
- However, all players can add power by perfecting the fundamentals, body maturation, swing repetition, and strength training.
- Analyze each player's strengths and weaknesses to come to a hitting approach that serves them best. For players with little power, develop a swing that promotes line drives and hard-hit ground balls. For players with exceptional power potential, learning to hit balls with a higher launch angle would be the goal.
- Be careful of listening to all the talk about the importance of a high launch angle that is the current rage at the major league level. One must understand that the major league player is a unique and highly developed physical specimen capable of hitting balls a long way. Most youth baseball players are not that, and teaching a high launch angle swing will only produce lazy fly balls and more strikeouts.
- Even though it is not all about lifting the ball, it is usually easier to tweak a batters’ swings to correct when they hit fly balls than when they hit several ground balls, as the latter usually has more difficult-to-change habits.
- Remember, adding a little launch angle eventually is doable once the hitting mechanics are sound. Of course, avoiding lazy hit balls on the ground is always a goal in practice.