There’s nothing more satisfying for a baseball player than hitting the ball out of the park, but you won’t be striking the ball crisply every day you bat. Frustration will kick in if you’re in a batting slump, and you’ll find yourself trying to hit balls that aren’t meant to be hit. Most players will try using different bats, use a lighter bat, or even try standing further back to get out of their slump.
What most players overlook is that they can fix the way they are striking the ball by changing the position of their hands when holding the bat. It doesn’t matter what baseball bat you use. If you don’t hold the bat properly, you’re never going to get the results you’re after. That’s the main reason why so many baseball coaches teach their students how to hold a baseball bat properly. It’s vital to hitting the ball and getting on base consistently.
Holding a baseball bat isn’t a complex skill and should be simple, but that’s only the case if you’ve been playing the game for a while. Most players don’t even think about things, like what grip to use and what angle their hands should be at. It comes naturally to them, and the simplest advice they’ll give you is “see the ball, hit the ball,” which is what you must do when batting.
However, if you look at the mechanics of batting, you’ll learn that there are two schools of thought regarding the proper way to grip a baseball bat.
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The Door Knocker Grip Vs. the Box Grip
Before we break down these two grip styles, you should know that both grip styles are perfect, and choosing one over the other is a matter of preference and comfort.
If you’re getting the results you want, it doesn’t make any difference what grip style you are using. With that out of the way, let’s get down to basics of holding the baseball bat.
1. Door Knocker Grip
The name of this bat grip comes from the way your ‘door-knocking knuckles’ are aligned in a straight line vertically on the bat’s handle. This style is a new one and has been praised by many to be the most authentic way to grip a baseball bat. However, not everyone prefers this grip style, but it’s a comfortable grip that keeps your fingertips close to the bat handle.
That ends up giving you more control when batting, which is ideal for contact hitters. You get more bat control using this grip, and that could end up being the difference between a line drive down the middle, or a ground ball to second base.
2. Box Grip
The name of this bat grip comes from the way your knuckles form a box on the side of the bat when you’re holding the bat. It is the most common bat grip among baseball players of all skill levels and ages and is the grip that feels most natural. You’ll find that most professional baseball players prefer the box grip because it generates more power from your swing.
This grip makes it ideal for power hitters who want to swing through the line of the ball. Your back elbow is up in this grip, which promotes more power through the swing, and you can’t roll your wrists over before or after making contact. All these things work in your favor when you’re batting.
Why You Should Have a Proper Bat Grip
All types of baseball bat grips are acceptable, irrespective of what you may have heard about them from others on the internet. You should experiment with the grips until you feel comfortable with one, and you may even find that you prefer a grip that is in the middle of these two. The important thing is that your grip and the way you hold the bat are working for you and getting you the right results.
There are numerous benefits to having a proper bat grip, which allows you to not only have quicker bat speed but also get more whip on your strikes. You won’t exert any pressure on your body with a proper swing and will be in much better body shape to make a stronger contact. With the right bat grip, you’ll also generate more power behind your strikes as you’ll manage to drive through the ball. The most important benefit of having a proper bat grip is that you’ll be able to adjust during the swing if you do end up getting fooled by a pitch.
What You Must Remember When Holding a Baseball Bat
Irrespective of what approach you take, when it comes to holding a baseball bat, there are some things that all players and coaches will agree on. You should keep them in mind before you go out to bat, as they’ll ensure that you don’t strike out when you get to the mound. Here’s what you must remember when holding a baseball bat, facing a fast pitcher at the other end.
1. Grip the Bat Loosely
You want to have maximum control over the bat when facing a pitch, and the best way to do that is by keeping a loose grip on the bat, which also increases power and bat speed. Your loose muscles are fast, and when you swing a baseball bat, there are millions of fast-twitch muscles that make the bat whip through the air. So, the next time you’re in the cage with a tee or on the field, you should test out gripping the bat loosely to find out if it works for you.
2. Don’t Hold the Bat in the Palm of Your Hands
You don’t want to hold your baseball bat from the palms of your hands, as you’re not holding it anymore but strangling it. This technique isn’t going to help your batting average because when you hold the bat so deep in your hands, you make it harder for yourself to make split-second adjustments to counter a pitch that could break in any way. Letting your fingers control the bat affords you better bat control.
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