The Baseball Zone Blog

Rick Johnston | Dec 6, 2016 5:44:51 PM

Hitters... Let's become more aware

Everyone that has played the game and those of us that are still playing the game, will tell you how difficult it is to hit a baseball. In fact, one can argue, it is the most difficult athletic movement to create in sport. Just think of the thousands and thousands of swings that hitters take over their years of playing. And those thousands of swings that are taken still don’t produce positive results - the failure rate exceeds 70% for any hitter, even those that are the best in the world!

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Topics: hitting tips, Hitting plan, hitting, awareness, hands, power

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

Rick Johnston | Nov 14, 2013 2:22:00 PM

16 Pet Peeves of Baseball Coaches - Hitter Edition

You guys have issues also!

As I start to wind up on the Pet Peeves series, it is time to adress the hitters and discuss some of the items these guys do that are in most cases not surprising, but often not dealt with. In other words, is it the hitters that are to blame or can some of these be shifted to coaches and their philosophy toward hitting? Hmmm, that is a good question and maybe could turn into a Pet Peeve at some point.

Let’s try and explore more in depth many of the crazes that hitters do to drive coaches nuts and push them over the edge. Now coaches, remember, you may be responsible for some of these, so,as you nod your head while reading, ask yourself if some of these Pet Peeves could be changed if you as a coach spent the time creating an avenue of understanding with each hitter.

So, with this in mind, here we go:

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Topics: hitting preparation, Hitting plan, hitting strategy, hitting approach, hitting, baseball coaching, baseball pet peeves

Rick Johnston | Oct 21, 2013 3:51:00 PM

What Should You REALLY Be Doing In The On Deck Circle?

Ok, you are On Deck...What should you really be doing?

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Topics: warming up, hitting tips, hitting instruction, hitting preparation, Hitting plan, hitting strategy, hitting approach, on deck

Rick Johnston | Aug 30, 2013 7:48:00 AM

Commanding Your At Bat as a Hitter

For many a young hitter, taking command of their at bat seems like a monumental chore in itself. When I think about it, I find this to be very peculiar, as by the nature of the game the hitter is on the offense, not the defense. These type of hitters struggling to command their at bat are in no way not taking hitting serious nor are they not taking the game serious - they simply struggle to take their long hours of work and dedication from practice to the game. It is almost like when it is their turn, they put so much pressure on themselves (or someone else does) that they have lost the battle before it ever started. They have lost the battle in the on deck circle or lost the battle as they walked to the plate. But for whatever reason the link between practice and game seems to struggle to connect.

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Topics: hitting tips, hitting preparation, Hitting plan, hitting strategy, mental performance

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