How To Bat
Learning how to bat is a fairly straight forward process that anyone can learn. Once the basic mechanics are understood, the player can then start to develop their own batting style and determine if they are a power hitter, an inside hitter, a first pitch hitter, etc. But in the beginning, it is good to get the basics down pat.
To learn how to bat, you will need:
- A baseball bat
- A baseball
- Someone to pitch the ball
- Stance. When you are in the batter’s box, stand with your feet a little wider than your shoulders. Position yourself about halfway behind home plate and close enough to reach outside pitches. Keep your back straight and bend your knees slightly. This is a very basic stance that will allow you to cover the strike zone with your swing. Major league players have many different stance styles which you should not imitate until you can actually hit a ball. You have to remember these guys have spent a lifetime developing their swings.
- Hands and arms. Keep your hands together when you hold the bat but keep your grip loose. New hitters tend to drop the bat around their ribcages in their batting stances. This causes them to lose momentum when they swing so always keep your elbow up and parallel to your shoulder. When you elbow is up, your swing will stay level with less wasted motion.
- Swing. As the pitcher winds up, lean slightly back to help your body coil up for the swing. If the pitch looks good, take a small step towards the pitcher and swing. It is important to always step towards the pitcher when you swing, because if you step away your shoulders and head will follow and you won’t get in a good swing.
- Technique. To learn how to bat, have someone watch to make sure you are keeping your elbow up and taking a small step towards the pitcher when you swing. Many new hitters drop their elbow as the ball approaches which results in a choppy, ineffective swing. Never try to golf or uppercut a pitch. This is a poor, ineffective swing for distance and power. As you get better at hitting, try and swing down on the ball. This keeps the ball in play resulting in more hits.
- When you select a bat, do not pick up the heaviest one and think it will help you clobber the ball. You need to be able to swing the bat quickly and easily for it to be effective.