The Baseball Zone Blog

Kevin Hussey | Apr 28, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Hitting and the Technical Domino Effect

There are hundreds of small techniques that a hitter can use to their advantage. Some techniques are more important than others but all of them have a purpose. It's rare for someone to know all the proper techniques with regard to hitting, but as long as you know what you're trying to accomplish, you can determine what’s needed to properly execute the skill. In this instance I will be discussing how to prevent pulling off the ball and why that’s important to avoid. A technique necessary for every hitter is to be able to put themselves in a position where they can keep their head and body on the ball as long as possible. Here's how you can make that happen.

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Topics: hitting tips, hitting instruction, hitting, hitting zones, hitting mechanics, The Baseball Zone, hitting stride issues, Canada

Ryan Armstrong | May 13, 2014 8:53:00 AM

Baseball Drill of the Week | "Self Toss"

This week's Hitting Drill of the Week is "Self Toss"

Self toss is a drill we use to promote synchronization and connection in our athletes - in other words getting the parts in the right order. This drill is also useful in creating momentum as well promoting a strong visual process. Self toss is a drill that is used by all of our hitters but is especially useful to our hitters who struggle to get the parts in the right order. We love to use it as a warm up drill.

When doing the drill we start the hitter facing their target (which can be the back of a cage or centerfield...or wherever). From here, the hitter simply walks into their hitting position, tosses the ball out in front to roughly their front foot, and swings, all the while continuing movement and maintaining connection and synchronization of their moving parts. It is a great baseball drill with immediate feedback.

Check out Coach Army (@tbzarmy) with a demo below

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Topics: hitting tips, hitting instruction, hitting preparation, hitting, baseball drills, hitting drills, momentum drills, hitting mechanics, synchronization, connection

Ryan Armstrong | May 6, 2014 6:30:00 AM

Baseball Drill of the Week | "Quarter Turns"

This week's Hitting Drill of the Week is "Quarter Turns"

Quarter Turns is a hitting drill we use to promote rotation and weight transfer through the swing. We do this by starting the drill in a "quarter turned" position, thereby already getting the hitter into a position on the way to rotation and transfer.

When doing the drill we just need to start in a regular stance and, as stated, just start the lower half into its rotation and weight transfer or "pinching" of the backside to the front side. From here, the hitter can simulate an at bat, either off a tee or with a partner doing front toss. We find that the Quarter Turn drill can help the hitter more naturally get better rotation and transfer after being artifically placed in a quarter turn start. Obviously the intention is that by working on this it will then help transfer to their regular swing. Coaching cues would be to watch for the hitter's finish to include full rotation as well as transfer to the front side with little to no weight on the backside while maintaining a balanced hitting position. 

Check out Coach Army with a demo below

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Topics: hitting tips, hitting instruction, rotational power, hitting, baseball drills, hitting drills, hitting power, hitting rotation, hitting mechanics, bat plane, weight transfer

Rick Johnston | Feb 20, 2014 9:26:00 AM

Are Bad Looking Hitting Mechanics Always Due to Bad Mechanics?

Theory: If any player were to meticulously heed to the optimal biomechanical principles of hitting they will be successful, correct? 

Hmmmmm...

Certainly following these principles will maximize the chances that a hitter has put the bat on the right path of a pitched ball with maximal force (if there is intent to match), but it certainly does not always equate to success. If it were that easy, then few hitters would ever fail at the rate of over 70%, like they do now.

So, the presence of a good biomechanical approach is wonderful, but this alone does not tell hitters where to swing, what to swing at and when to swing. It simply shows how to swing. The average person can swing a bat or a golf club fairly well pretty quickly (under no pressure of course), but does that mean they will hit well or score low? No way and that is a definitive NO WAY. 

The underlying problem that occurs when one believes biomechanical principles equal success is this…everyone looks for the quick biomechanical "fix" when things go bad. Well, it usually doesn’t work that way. In fact, most swing issues have little to do with the swing, but more to do with the other components that now AFFECT the swing…In other words the cause and effect theory. There is a cause that has an effect on the swing. Hitters, when struggling, look for instant fixes with areas…the hands, the feet, hips, front shoulder, etc…all with the same goal - to produce a much more successful swing. However, more often than not, failure in the swing has less to do with swing itself or the biomechanical principles one is exhibiting than it does other factors. There are numerous principles that ger overlooked that have an extraordinary effect on a hitter's biomechanics.

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Topics: hitting tips, hitting instruction, Hitting plan, hitting strategy, hitting approach, hitting, baseball coaching, pitch recognition, vision, hitting mechanics

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