Getting the most out of your batting practice will help you play better and improve your confidence at bat. Whether you're in the diamond or batting cage, these expert tips and techniques can ensure you get the most out of your game.
All batters, regardless of how far or hard they hit, are going to have a few areas where they could stand to improve. Ignoring these and focusing only on your strengths is going to negtaively affect your game. Playing any sport requires the mental confidence in your own abilities, even in the face of your worst weaknesses. The best way to strengthen your overall game is to assess your abilities honestly and note what you can work on. Committing to a time frame each week where you practice improving these areas will show drastic improvement over time. For instance, if you can't bunt, set aside at least an hour of practice time once a week where you bunt 20 balls as best as possible. Continue to hit 20 bunts for every good hit.
Any sport is mostly a mental effort when it comes to succeeding on the field. While certainly your strength and abilities are important factors, declaring your intention and knowing your goal are just as essential to seeing your swing succeed. Knowing each and every pitch that comes at you and how to best connect with it in the way you want is going to go further than practice in changing the essence of your game. Before anything is thrown at you, take a look around at the field. What needs to happen? Is anyone on base? Can you afford to hit a line drive? What if there's one out and a man on third? Are you looking for a homer or just a hit to get you on base? Decide before you swing, and then wait for the right ball--the one you need--before connection. If you're looking for a waist-high ball, don't swing at one near your feet, and vice versa. Not only can this raise your batting average, but it also is far more efficient.
Your balance at bat is one of the most important aspects affecting how your hit drives the ball. Each hitter's stance varies however you should generally aim to stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hands comfortably positioned near your back shoulder. You'll want to keep the majority of your weight on the balls of your feet to better counter your swing and ensure hard contact more consistently. Be ready to explode from your power reserve when the ball is coming at you.
Using your legs will make the power distribution more efficient and propel the ball further. Try rolling up on your back toe at contact and see how this changes your form.
Preparation for success during the game happens long before you are up to bat. For starters, use your time in the box to visualize the good swings you will take at the plate. Slowly go over each element that contributes to your success. Picture your form and feel how relaxed and confident you are. Look at the ball coming at you, and then visualize connecting with it in just the right way. This process will help you feel comfortable and assured before you even swing. When you get on deck, take swings like you would in the game. This is another part of the visualization process. Don't make a distinction between how you bat before and during the game. Bat 100 percent every time. Finally, take deep breaths as you head to the plate. Stay relaxed and don't tense up. You will be able to respond more intuitively and naturally this way.
With any sport that requires a certain physical stance or position, proper form will go a long way towards ensuring that you are consistently successful when batting. As you get better, don't let yourself slack. Good form requires consistent dedication and review. Try these techniques to better your form. Stay inside the ball. Keep your head down as you make contact with the ball. Lock your wrists all the way through the extension and avoid letting them roll after making connection with the ball. Choke up on the bat. And, most importantly, have a friend videotape you batting so you can better see how well you maintain your form and what you can improve upon.