It’s so easy to over complicate the process of hitting a baseball. How to be a better baseball hitter starts with seeing the baseball. Here are 4 tips to help you see the baseball and hit it better.
It’s so easy to over complicate the process of hitting a baseball.
We take hundreds of swings off a batting tee. We analyze how our back elbow is driving down through the baseball. We examine our stride length and make sure our bat path is perfect.
This is all good stuff but it is possible we saturate our minds with mechanics we forget to worry about the most important part of being a good hitter, seeing the baseball.
Here’s the bottom line… You can’t hit what you can’t see.
It’s is a quote often used, and it’s the truth.
Have you ever noticed why there are some players with the prettiest and most fundamentally sound swing but aren’t very good hitters?
Also you have guys that don’t look pretty but they can flat out hit.
How well you see the baseball separates the good hitters from the great hitters.
A couple years ago, I began to really make a point of seeing the ball better.
It became a big part of my offensive thought process when I noticed a common theme among guys who were swing the bat well… all they would talk about was how big the baseball looked and how well they were seeing it.
Here are a few tips, things that I believe have helped me to see the baseball better:
Focus. Seeing the ball is about having good fundamentals… BUT… and this is a big one… you can’t get too focused on the fundamentals that you forget to focus and compete.
There’s actually a lot to unpack there (and we’ll get more into it in the Mental Side of Hitting – a free email course based on info shared with me by a Ranger’s Hitting Coach Chase Lambin (Click here to subscribe to that free email course: The mental side of hitting).
But for now, I’ll just say that when you’re in the box, battling the pitcher, is worst possible place to be thinking too much about your fundamentals.
Trust your hard work, and then just be in the moment and see the ball.
Baseball swing fundamentals. It is important to have a good axis of rotation so your head isn’t moving all around.
This comes from having a shorter stride. The goal is to get rid of unnecessary movement from your pre-pitch rhythm and your swing so you can keep your head as still as possible.
WATCH THE VIDEO – In the video above, I demonstrate and explain how bad mechanics can make your eyes bounce around… and how to have proper hitting mechanics so that’s not a problem!
Don’t be a cyclops. Unfortunately, it’s all-too-easy for hitters to have just enough angle to their head that they’re actually only seeing the ball well with one eye – which throws off depth perception. Keep your head turned toward the pitcher so you have 2 eyes on the ball, and don’t tilt your head to the side.
Again, it’ll help to watch the video above, where I give 2 exercises to help with this.
Eye sight. 81% of professional baseball players see 20/15 or better. If your kid needs glasses/contacts and doesn’t want to wear them, tell him it will help his batting average! Plus you can get sweet baseball sunglasses with prescription lenses. I had my vision fixed with laser eye surgery when I was in college. (I was afraid that something might go wrong, but in the end was very glad I did it.)
Vision Drills… Train your brain!!!! You need to see speed to get your eyes and brain prepared. Here are 6 ways to practice:
- You can stand in on bull pens,
- Hit against fast pitching machine during your off season,
- Do hitting drills that use smaller balls (like this one),
- Do drills at closer distances, or
- Have someone flip baseballs to you with colored dots on them. Each pitch you call out the color while the ball is in the air.
- This innovative company developed a computer game using footage of real pitches from the batter’s perspective.
To sum it up, how to be a better baseball hitter can quickly get complicated. Seeing the baseball might seem like a pat answer, but it’s a truth that is too often forgotten and can quickly become the source of a hitter’s problems at the plate.
More about how to be a better baseball hitter:
- 7 Absolutes of Every Good Hitter
- 5 Tips for Bunting
- Tips for How to Field a Baseball Like a Pro
- All Baseball Instruction articles