OPTIMAL HITTING MODEL FOUNDATION GRIP, STANCE, LOAD, SWING, FOLLOWTHROUGH APPLICATION ANALYSIS ANTICIPATE SYNTHESIS HITTING THE STRIKEZONE READING THE PITCH OCULAR TRAINING SITUATIONAL HITTING IN THE MOMENT ADJUSTMENTS SHANNON SULLIVAN
FOUNDATION GRIP The bat should be held in the fingers resting against the top of the palm. The “knocker” knuckles of both hands should be lined up. The grip should be held loosely to allow range of motion in the wrists during swing.
FOUNDATION STANCE Each player will have their own “personality” in their stance. However there are common things that need to be present for a successful foundation to swing. Head turned far enough for chin to be on front shoulder. Front elbow is at 90 Hands are even with the top of the strike zone Bat head is perpendicular to front forearm Hands are held even with back shoulder.
FOUNDATION STANCE Lower Body Weight is evenly distributed. Knees slightly bent Weight is on balls of feet. LOAD Weight is shifted to back leg, amount depending on hitter. Head stays still. Weight is shifted by hips moving away from pitcher.
SWING The swing is initiated with the front foot heel drop which locks out the front leg and begins hip rotation. Simultaneously the front arm initiates the swing by throwing the front elbow to the upper inside quadrant of the strike zone. The back arm is lead by the back hand guiding the bat head in a straight line to the ball, by “throwing the hands above the ball.” FOUNDATION
FOLLOWTHROUGH -three phases Push Through Extension Breakdown FOUNDATION
FOUNDATION DRILLS PROGRESSIVE BROKEN DOWN TO PRACTICE EACH PHASE OF THE FOUNDATION REPETITION CONSISTANT FEEDBACK (VERBAL & VISUAL) QUE
APPLICATION STRIKE ZONE ARM PITS SOME PART OF A LEGALLY PITCHED BALL MUST PASS THROUGH THIS STRIKE ZONE TO BE CALLED A STRIKE TOP OF KNEES REMEMBER THAT THE POSITION IN THE BATTER’S BOX MAKES NO DIFFERENCE. THE PLATE AND THE BATTER’S NATURAL STANCE AT THE PLATE ARE THE CONTROLLING FACTORS.
APPLICATION TRACKING THE BALL MOVING HEAD & EYES TRACKING THE BALL IS WATCHING THE BALL FROM THE PITCHER’S HAND INTO THE CATCHERS GLOVE/MITT USING A SLIGHT MOVEMENT OF THE HEAD AND EYES GUIDED BY YOUR NOSE
DRILLS Tracking drill: hitter calls strike or ball as early as possible tennis balls with color machine balls live pitcher APPLICATION
The Trained Eye Experience Variable Knowing Your Strength Picking a pitch Knowing the count stats In round numbers, the first pitch shifts the K:BB ratio from 2:1 to either 1:1 (ball one) or 5:1 (strike one). ANALYSIS
Batters who reached 1-0 had a batting average 51 points higher than batters who started with strike one, with even larger gains in slugging. ANALYSIS
Hitting with 2 strikes Choke up Split the grip No stride Inside out swing Reduce the zone The On Deck Circle Notice umpire zone Establish timing Recognize type of pitcher Fast starter Slow starter ANALYSIS
Ocular training Training the eye to decrease reaction time Progressive Light variations Ocular drills Following fan blades Tennis ball machine Progress up to seeds faster than in normal conditions Colored balls ANALYSIS
Leadoff Get on base Set the tone Anyone on the lineup could be come leadoff Not limited to first inning Awareness Know where fielders are playing. Know who is slower on the corners. Know the pitchers tendencies on certain counts. ANTICIPATE
Runner In Scoring Position Hit behind the runner Outs can determine pitch to hit Notice where fielders are playing Pick a pitch and stick to it. ANTICIPATE
A great hitter will be able to do the little things while in the moment. See a mistake Hear a cue from the coach FIX IT IMMEDIATELY In the box Not a place to think React Adjust React Adjust SYNTHESIS
Common mistakes Pulling ball foul Foul off away Foul straight back Off balance Popping Up Chopping Down How to fix Let ball get in deeper Swing earlier Throw hands on top Check stance width Throw top hand harder Throw front elbow to up and in. SYNTHESIS