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Hitting, Hitting, Hitting
Thanksgiving is usually considered the start of off- season baseball training in the Northeast. Fall baseball and football are over at this point and the off season officially begins. The next 4 months will have a direct impact on your performance this spring and summer.
As I meet with players, I get very concerned when they say, “I’m going to the cages and I’m going to hit every day!” Hitting is a very important part of a players’ game and may indeed be the most important. A player must be well rounded and work on every aspect of his game: Hitting, Fielding, Arm strength, and General strength and conditioning. Make sure you divide your time between every skill you need to improve on!
Keeping with this week’s topic we will focus on off season hitting. The off season is a great time to re work your swing. Some need minor adjustments some need a complete overhaul. Whatever you are working on make sure you mix up your routine. Make sure you are doing a lot of different hitting drills. Taking live BP is great but most players take what I call “empty swings”. Example: How did it go today? “Great! I took 300 swings”. What did you work on? “Nothing really”. Empty swings.
When you are taking live swings, you have to be working on something! Hitting the ball the other way, Being more selective, there is no right or wrong but work on something. Making a list can be very helpful. If you are going to take a round of 15 try this:
2 pitches: Hit and run- Hit the ball the other way
5 pitches: Hit a hard ground ball (Infield back man on 3rd)
5 pitches: 3-1 count (only swing if its perfect)
3 pitches: HR round (try to hit a home run)
The bottom line is mix it up- I like to see hitters work in small rounds 8-10 is ideal. Hitting alone is very difficult. Taking 200-300 swings in a row is not an ideal way to train. You become tired quickly and the mind can wander (Empty swings). Suddenly you find yourself just trying to hit the ball and no longer working on anything.
Search online for “hitting drills”. There are all types of drills, even drills you can do at home.
As you begin your off season make your swings count- Work on something!
About the author: After graduating college, Mike opened “The Home Run Club” a 10,000 square foot indoor baseball and softball training center in Worcester, MA. In 2003 Mike was hired by the Montreal Expos as the Northeast Area Scout. He covered New England finding players at high schools and colleges through his region. In 2007 as the Expos became the Washington Nationals, Mike continued to be the area scout covering New England but added regions such as NY, NJ, PA, DE and Washington DC. Fast forward to 2011, Mike joined the Toronto Blue Jays as a MLB Professional scout. He would scout Minor league and Major league games. Then in 2013, Mike moved back to amateur scouting with the Blue Jays covering New England, NY and NJ. Mike left the MLB scouting and the Toronto Blue Jays in 2018 to concentrate on his advancing younger student athletes on the right path to success in baseball/softball.
Now Mike is the Director of Player Development for Firecracker Sports and in his spare time, is the current President/Owner of Premium Baseball Advancement. A baseball consulting business that focuses on players ages 13-18. “PBA” focuses on Development, Consulting, Scouting, and College Placement. Mike believes that all players can improve their game with Strength and Conditioning, Proper nutrition, Sports psychology, and Baseball skill work.
For more information or have questions that need answers, email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.