The Baseball Zone Blog

Kevin Hussey | Oct 1, 2015 6:30:00 AM

Why I'm Bad at Golf and How It Relates to Hitting a Baseball

I'm sure a golf expert would give me a lot of reasons why I'm a bad golfer. But there's one reason in particular that's also a reason why baseball players struggle. The reason I'm so bad at golf is because I look to see where I hit the ball before I actually hit it. As a result of trying to look where the ball goes, I pull my head off the ball causing me to mis-hit it. This concept is the same concept that affects young hitters, but it goes way past just pulling off the ball; it's a mental adjustment that needs to be made rather than a physical adjustment.

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Topics: hitting tips, hitting approach, hitting, batting cages, vision, mental mistakes, physical mistakes, golf

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 | Oct 3, 2013 8:17:00 AM

Minimize Hitting Variables Instead of Overcomplicating Them

We have all coached or worked with hitters and have experienced, tested and tried numerous techniques and styles trying to achieve the ultimate goal of hitting the ball consistently hard. It is also safe to say that during these styles and techniques that we have enlisted upon players, we have swamped them with endless oodles of information pertaining to the feet, hands, head, shoulders, grip, position in batter’s box and contact points to name only but a few. In doing so, many coaches (and trust me parents are sometimes worse) inundate hitter’s with so much “GOOD” information that they simply rob the hitter of natural actions and instead insert thoughts that rob the hitter of seeing the ball and hitting the ball.

It so clear and evident in numerous cases and situations that the infinite amount of “GOOD” instruction is creating so much tension, the hitter is unable to focus on the current task at hand. With this said, I cannot emphasis it enough, minimize or simplify the techniques you are trying to get across. Keeping these techniques simple and clear will help each hitter center their attention to a specific rather than an abundant of thoughts. Hitters have so little time, less than half a second to put it all together and hit the ball. These simple techniques, when delivered in a sound, progressive manner will yield positive results much faster than an overabundance of information in a short period of time. The concentration level needed for a hitter in a time frame of less than half a second cannot have outside interfering factors. 

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Topics: hitting tips, hitting instruction, hitting, baseball coaching, hitting power, hitting posture, vision

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