You have probably heard someone say that hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in baseball. Well you haven’t heard wrong. Hitting a baseball, and hitting a baseball good enough to make some score is no easy feat. Physical fitness as well as mental focus both are needed to be a good hitter. Different strategies can be implemented for better hits, but beginners only need to learn a few basic steps. And then it’s very easy to move your way up.
Learning and mastering the fundamentals of hitting a baseball can be a bit difficult and may appear somewhat boring, but it’s the only way to be a fine player. The most important thing to keep in mind is that repetition, practice and perseverance will only do you good. Once you get the hang of it, your swing needs to be constantly worked on so that it becomes muscle memory. After all, you won’t have time to think and revise when the ball is being hurled towards you.
We will break down the fundamental steps of hitting a baseball for beginners in a way that makes it easy to understand and learn.
Having the right gear
No, having the best most expensive equipment does not ensure success. Yes, having decent equipment that is right for you does help a little. Starting out with wood bats is a great idea as it will help you in the long run. Not to mention, they are also cheaper. If you learn on a wood bat, it will be easy for you to learn to play on any kind of bat. Otherwise, any bat with a nice sweet spot is all you really need. Please don’t forget to wear protective gloves and helmet! Safety always comes first.
Get in position
The first step is to take your stance. Stand in the batter’s box. If you’re right-handed, you should stand in the box on the right side of the home plate. If you’re left-handed, then you should stand to the left side of the plate. Your non-dominant side (left side if you are right handed) should be aimed towards the pitcher’s mound. It is better to stand right across from the plate as this gives you the best chance to hit the ball, as opposed to standing too close to the front or back of the plate. When you have mastered the basic steps, you can switch with moving up or back depending on the kind of pitch being thrown your way.
Align feet and knees
You should stand with your feet about shoulder length apart. This balances the body. Your feet should be pointing toward the plate so your body is balanced and ready for the impact when you hit the ball. Depending on the pitch, it is usually a good idea to slightly bend your knees right before hitting the ball. This allows you more momentum and power.
Grip the bat
Grip the bat with both hands in such a way that your hands are slightly touching. Grip the bat a few inches above its base with your non-dominant hand. Your hold should be light so as to make it more flexible. This is where your bat affects you. If the bat is too heavy for you, it may compromise your hits. Hold your front elbow and hands at chest level when you are about to hit the ball. Your back elbow should be raised so that it is aligned with your shoulder. Be sure to slant your bat at an angle and not hold it completely vertical.
Swing the bat
As the ball approaches, start swinging the bat and take a step toward the pitch. This is the part where good timing comes in. When you hit the ball, you should shift your weight completely to the front of your body. Give yourself leverage with your back foot so that only the toes are touching the ground. When you actually hit the ball, your dominant palm should be pointing upward. Try to keep your elbow close to your body.
A big mistake beginner’s make is not following through after hitting the ball maybe just to save those few nanoseconds. Once you hit the ball, don’t try to stop the momentum you gave to your bat with a jerk. Let the bat swing even after you hit the ball. The bat should make a complete circle so that it almost reaches your shoulder. While this happens, you should flick your wrist a little bit and also keep your feet firmly planted to the ground.
Now that you have hit the ball and followed through, all that is left to do is run. Simply drop your bat to the side so you don’t trip over it. Be sure to not apply any force when you drop the bat. And run to the first base as fast as you can!