You must have heard the old saying ‘hitting a baseball is one of the hardest things to do in sports,’ and those who have played the game know this to be true.
Think about it: batters must slap the ball with a thin piece of wood with the ball being hurled at you with incredible speed and accuracy. Add the fear of getting struck by the ball on your body, and you’ve got a challenge even to make contact.
That’s why a lot of coaches try to teach young baseball players to overcome their fear of the ball and get in the right position to hit a baseball out of the park. The earlier you learn to swing a bat, the easier it will be for you to hit the ball hard and far.
If you do the basics right, you’ll notice that everything clicks into place, and that allows you to hit the baseball for a home-run with the bases loaded.
Every batter knows that their aim when at the batting end is to hit hard and hit right with the goal being to hit the ball as far as possible in the field.
400;”>Hitting the ball out of the park is the crux of baseball when you’re batting, and it’s the main reason why so many players struggle to hit the ball perfectly.
The Basics of Striking a Baseball
It may seem simple to people who haven’t played the game, but as a professional MLB player and they’ll say that hitting the ball hard has got nothing to do with how hard you swing your bat.
Anyone can do that, but to hit the ball perfectly requires extensive practice and diligent training. That’s because you must be aware of the momentum of your bat, the placement of the bat, and the most vital part is the timing of your swing.
Add all these factors together, and you’ve got the ingredients of a good hit that may turn into a home-run if you hit it sweetly.
When you’re swinging the bat correctly and hit the ball hard, but the timing of your swing is late, you won’t get a good connection. At the same time, if the timing and placement of your swing are perfect, but there is no power in your swing, you won’t hit the ball far.
To help you, we asked professional MLB players to share some tips on the fundamentals of hitting a baseball like a professional MLB player. These are as follows:
Find the Right Grip
You won’t manage to hit the ball if you don’t have the right grip on the bat because the way you hold the bat determines the power and speed of your hit.
So, if you’re holding the bat close to the barrel and choke the grip, you’ll gain more speed with your bat swing, but there won’t be any hitting power. That means you’ll make contact on some balls, but they won’t go far into the field.
However, if you hold your bat closer to the bottom, you’ll lose out on bat swing speed, but gain momentum and power for your hits.
You must practice extensively with both grip styles of holding the handle and find the right grip for you where you can not only strike the ball with power but also swing the bat quickly to connect properly.
Perfect Your Batting Stance
You must also perfect your batting stance as without that, you won’t manage to hit the ball at all. This also comes with practice, and body positioning counts for a lot in improving your ability to swing the bat at speed and with immense power and momentum behind it.
A good stance involves planting your feet on the ground firmly, and they should be wider than your shoulders, so you get a big swing.
You should balance your weight on the balls of your feet so that you get more flexibility with bat control and a longer swing. This stance is perfect for hitting balls out of the park because it gives you the freedom to swing the bat at speed, allowing you to hit the fastest pitches cleanly.
Hitting the Ball at Right Spot
Professional baseball players have a technique for hitting the ball out of the park, and they have mastered it to perfection.
There is a ‘sweet spot’ on the ball, and if you manage to hit that perfectly, the ball invariably goes out of the park for a massive homerun.
The pitcher knows that and will try not to throw the ball in ‘the hitting zone’ or ‘the arc,’ where the batsmen are in the ideal position to hit the ball.
If your goal is to hit the ball out of the park, hitting the ball straight-on isn’t going to get you the best results. The biggest hitters in MLB who regularly score home-runs tend to focus on hitting the baseball at the lower two-thirds of the ball. That gives the ball elevation, height, and distance as it flies off the bat and into the crowd.
So, the next time you’re practicing hitting the ball, keep your eyes on the lower two-thirds of the baseball and try hitting it. That’s not the easiest technique to master, but if you manage to hit the ball right perfectly, you’ll become the home-run maestro.
Don’t Stop Your Bat Swing Mid-Way
Most players tend to make the mistake of stopping their bat swing the moment they connect with the ball, which means they don’t get a lot of distance or power on their hits. It’s the easiest mistake to make for a batter and one that you can easily rectify. The goal for every batter is to hit the ball with as much power and momentum as possible, which is achieved by a strong and fast bat swing.
Professional baseball players have massive swings after they hit the ball, and they follow-through the swing to complete the hit. They don’t stop after making contact, which means that more force is applied to the ball, and it goes further.
A good way to practice is to try hitting one ball after another repeatedly, which means you’ll need to swing continuously to hit the other balls.
With the continuous motion of the swing and the follow-through of the body, you add more power to your hit and essentially makes the difference between a ground ball and a home-run.