02 Oct 2020

3 Kids Baseball Drills That Are Fun to Practice Indoors

There is no better time for kids to be working on some fun baseball drills indoors. The current baseball season is winding down and next season is waiting in the batter’s box. Therefore, now is the perfect opportunity for youth players of all skill levels to continue working on consistent baseball swing mechanics by themselves at home.

A number of important hitting fundamentals can easily be practiced at home with a few simple baseball drills indoors or in the backyard.

All successful hitters and swing coaches agree that in order to have the best chance at making quality contact with the ball there are a few core components of the baseball swing that must be practiced repetitively:

  1. Proper control of the barrel of the bat. (Keeping the barrel of the bat through the hitting zone as long as possible)
  2. Optimal launch angle
  3. Good rotation of the body creating higher angular velocity or “turn speed”

When these components of the baseball swing are accomplished, the hitter’s giving themself the best opportunity to make contact with the baseball. Fortunately, for hitters of all skill levels and ages, these crucial parts of the baseball swing can be practiced and perfected with a few hitting drills at home.

Baseball drills for kids should focus on teaching the correct swing plane and bat path, but should also be fun. Here are 3 of the best baseball hitting drills for youngsters to practice at home that make learning these core fundamentals fun.

 

 

Drill #1: Youth Baseball Bat Path Drill

OBJECTIVE: Aim for A Large Target up The Middle 15-25 ft Away
Beginners should start with a simple drill first. After setting up a hitting net or target, attach the lightweight plastic cup to any bat with the velcro straps. Insert a standard tennis ball. The hitter should begin by taking normal swings. Start with trying to launch the ball straight up the middle. Launching a ball up the middle indicates they maintained the barrel through the hitting zone. Bat path is a very hard concept to learn without instant visual feedback.

Once they get the hang of that, set up a target that’s about 4 feet off the ground and 15-25 feet away. Aiming for a target using the swing trainer allows hitters to practice getting on plane with a pitch by visualizing as well as feeling the ball launch at a slightly upward trajectory or angle. When line drives are launched straight at the bullseye, the hitter knows their swing path is correct. And they know the barrel is staying long through the zone. Hitters struggling to get on plane with a pitch will benefit from self-teaching hitting aids like Line Drive Pro.


Drill #2: 500 Point Baseball Target Practice Hitting Drill

OBJECTIVE: First Player to Score 500 Points Wins
Use the LDPT Hitting Target to challenge opponents to a competitive game of point-play. Who will score 500 points first? Each hitter takes the same number of swings in each round. The first one to hit all the points wins. This is the most advanced drill for younger hitters. But without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable drills for kiddos to practice at home.


Drill #3: Indoor Batting Practice Warm-Up Drill

OBJECTIVE: BP Warm-up & Feel Proper Swing Mechanics
If you’re looking for a great indoor drill to get a feel for correct swing mechanics, mix in several sets of reps with the Line Drive Pro Trainer before other hitting drills. Use it as a warm-up drill or alternate between the swing trainer and soft toss, tee work, or batting practice. This reinforces positive muscle memory and increases the effectiveness of BP and live hitting drills. It’s also a great way to break up the monotony of batting practice and keep young ones engaged. The visual feedback allows the batter to make adjustments until the feel of a proper swing path is achieved.

 

These Top Baseball Drills for Kids Check the Following Boxes:


KIDS BASEBALL DRILLS SHOULD BE FUN/ENJOYABLE

Make youth baseball drills fun. Kids can practice their swing, get in reps, and improve without even knowing it if it’s fun and holds their interest. If your child is not interested in and enjoying the drills, they will not want to continue. Within these drills, players can create their own games. They can either challenge themselves or friends/teammates using the point system. The more games you come up with to test the players’ learned skills, the more they will want to compete and advance. Simply put, kids will be more inclined to repeat a baseball drill if it’s enjoyable and fun. It’s even more important for younger kids because the easier it is to understand, and the more fun you make it, the more they’re willing to put in the work to get better/improve their swing.

 

YOUTH HITTING DRILLS SHOULD REINFORCE POSITIVE MUSCLE MEMORY

All baseball drills should reinforce proper baseball swing mechanics and build positive muscle memory. Don’t practice bad habits. Having fun is a huge part of retaining your young slugger’s attention while practicing. However, if the drill is not reinforcing the above-mentioned hitting fundamentals and concepts of a proper swing then it will not be an effective drill or help with improvement.

 

NO BASEBALL DRILL EXPERTS NEEDED

Youth baseball drills should be practical and easy for both the coach/parent as well as the hitter to pick up. Little league coaches and parents do not hold PhDs in baseball swing mechanics. Baseball drills for kids need to provide instant and easy-to-decipher visual feedback. Easy-to-read visual feedback eliminates the confusion that may occur from different coaching techniques and/or verbiage. The more youth hitting drills can provide easy-to-understand feedback, the steeper the learning curve will be for youth hitters. Read more on why Baseball Hitting Aids Are The Best Coaches.

 

BASEBALL DRILLS KIDS CAN PRACTICE INDOORS

Drills must be easily practiced from home without a lot of space. With recent COVID-19 restrictions and weather changing, it’s more important than ever to find a way to practice by yourself in the comfort of your own home. Youth baseball drills shouldn’t require large expensive batting cages or access to a baseball field. With the Line Drive Pro Swing Trainer and a hitting net, players can easily get reps in anywhere, anytime using their own bat.

 

WHY DO YOUNGSTERS LOVE THESE BASEBALL DRILLS?

When all of the above-mentioned criteria is considered, one baseball training method stands out above the rest. And Baseball Made Fun agrees that the Line Drive Pro Trainer is one of the best hitting trainers for young players looking to fix swing flaws and improve their swing anywhere. Learning what proper swing mechanics feel like through fun drills at home is invaluable.

LineDrivePro hitting aids make baseball practice fun. The hitting target allows young players to challenge themselves or others to competitive games based on scoring points. Points are designated on the baseball hitting target and are scored like darts on a dartboard. These entertaining drills can be practiced from home, and stress the importance of barrel control through the hitting zone.

Not only are these competitive games within the drill fun, but they also reinforce the proper mechanics of a good baseball swing. Being able to integrate exciting games and competitive target practice drills indoors makes the LineDrivePro the best youth baseball training aid on the market.

 

KIDS BASEBALL DRILLS THAT PROVIDE VISUAL FEEDBACK ON THEIR SWING PATH

When a hitter has proper control of the barrel of the bat, they are allowing it to stay in the hitting zone the longest amount of time possible. Learning this control is crucial to a young hitter’s swing, which translates to success at the plate early on. Once the muscle memory for barrel control and optimal bat path is attained, hitters can focus on hitting the ball where it’s pitched.

Youth Baseball Drills for Swing Plane

 

Just as important as building positive muscle memory, is the ability to receive instant visual feedback so your hitter can diagnose common swing flaws on their own. Line Drive Pro Trainer drills offer instant feedback on every swing. This makes self-improvement easy to grasp and enjoyable for kids of all ages.

Kids will instantly know if they kept their barrel through the zone and maintained a proper bat path based on where they launch the tennis balls.


✓  PROPER SWING PATH

X  POOR SWING PATH

 

 

 

Conclusion

Drills that are fun and don’t require a lot of space create a relaxed environment where kids can practice important fundamentals on their own without complex technology or intimidating coaching terminology. There is no need to head out to a baseball field or batting cage. No need for an expensive hitting instructor to work on your child’s swing when there are basic drills you can do with the LDPT ProBundle in your own backyard or basement.

By implementing an intuitive training aid that allows kids to bring fun baseball drills indoors, you’re giving them the opportunity to not only train more but also have more fun. Although it’s relatively simple to use, it’s extremely effective and has been backed up with scientific data. Youth training aids and hitting drills should be exciting and teach proper mechanics at the same time. Developing proper swing mechanics at an early age in a fun environment is the best approach to achieving future success at the plate.

If you’re looking to introduce your child to some new baseball drills, integrate target practice drills or point-based games that use LDPT Training Aids. Kids as well as MLB players can benefit from hitting aids that are easy to grasp and can be used indoors. It’s a great way to improve all aspects of swing mechanics and make baseball drills fun!

15 Aug 2019

Aristides Aquino Improves Swing Mechanics with Line Drive Pro Trainer on MLB Tonight

Cincinnati Reds outfielder, Aristides Aquino, is punishing baseballs and unless you’re a diehard fan, you probably haven’t heard the name until recently. Sports analysts have attributed his new stance and improved hitting mechanics to a number of factors, including his secret weapon / training tool—the LineDrivePro Trainer.

The Cincinnati Reds organization signed Aquino in 2011, and since then, he’s had his struggles, hitting for occasional power, but at a low contact rate.

Aquino was eventually invited to ML Spring Training, and that is where he met 1st-year assistant hitting coach Donnie Eckerd. They immediately went to work making changes to his stance and dedicating time to the swing path. At 6.7” Aquino is an intimidating figure in the batter’s box. His power has never been in question, but the rate at which those homeruns came throughout the minor leagues was of concern. With 28 homers in 78 games at the Triple-A level this year the Reds, who were looking to add more power to the lineup, eventually called up Aquino to Cincinnati.

Aquino’s new swing approach has paid dividends in the big leagues. Aquino has hit nine home runs in his first 14 big league games—an all-time MLB record. He recently hit homers in the second and third innings against Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks and again in the fourth against Dillon Maples. In another game against the Chicago Cubs, he crushed a homerun with an exit velocity of just over 118 miles per hour. This is the hardest hit baseball of any type for the Reds according to StatCast.

 

Reds Hitting Coach On Aristides Aquino Swing:

Donnie Ecker, Reds assistant hitting coach, said: “…it’s all about getting Aquino’s bat in the zone as long as possible and making the most efficient moves toward the ball that he can.”

 

Aquino used to be hunched more and his shoulders would move down toward the ball. By standing taller in his stance, he is more free and fluid in his swing through the zone, with his bat taking a slight upward angle, while still on plane with the pitch and in the hitting zone as long as possible.

The LineDrivePro Trainer is undoubtedly the best hitting tool for developing the barrel control necessary for hitting hard line drives and homeruns. Proper bat path through the strike zone allows for various points of contact, which helps the hitter impact the ball more consistently.

Using the hitting aid correctly forces the hitter to maintain the proper barrel position in the hitting zone to get the desired outcome of launching the ball back up the middle of the field. With continued use of the training tool in practice, muscle memory and proper “feel” of keeping the barrel in the hitting zone and on path are attained, and that translates to solid contact at the plate, and in this case, record-breaking home runs.

Ecker and Aquino work with the LineDrivePro baseball swing trainer ahead of games to remind him where his swing needs to be. His new stance at the plate may look unique, but the philosophy of optimal swing path and keeping the bat in the zone as long as possible is something we’ve heard over and over again regarding players tweaking their swings in the era of the launch angle, and clearly, it’s working for him too. The correct angle at which the bat enters the zone is crucial to consistent and solid contact and using the swing trainer on your own bat with our Hitting Target will help players at any level quickly see results.

This simple hitting aid is so effective at giving players results in the game, MLB Tonight recently broke down how pros like Aristides Aquino are using LineDrivePro Trainer to improve their swing path and mechanics. The LineDrivePro Trainer is the best hitting aid for developing a hitter’s feel for the proper swing path like Aristides Aquino, and the analysts on MLB Tonight, couldn’t agree more.

Helping young players understand barrel length through the hitting zone at an early age is crucial in their development. With continued use, hitters will impact the ball harder and more consistently.

ORDER YOURS NOW HERE!

08 Nov 2018

GIVEAWAY: Enter To Win A Signed Javier Báez Baseball

Every year, around this time, we all stop to give thanks for the many wonderful things we have been blessed with… loved ones, our health, and BASEBALL! This Thanksgiving season, the team at LineDrivePro is especially thankful for athletes and coaches, making the sport and path to improvement fun, just like you!

To show our “thanks” and appreciation to our customers, we are giving away the following grand prize to one lucky winner:

  • An autographed Javier Báez baseball
  • A FREE LineDrivePro Trainer Baseball Hitting Aid of your choice

Baseball Hitting Aids Giveaway

Here’s how to enter for a chance to win:

  1. You must LIKE this Facebook post

  2. You must also COMMENT in the Facebook Post why you’re thankful for baseball

  3. Do both before November 19th, 2018

ENTER NOW


Terms & Conditions:

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. No ghost accounts.

03 Mar 2018

Proper Swing Plane / Bat Path Drills

Proper swing plane or bat path through the hitting zone allows for various points of contact, which helps the hitter impact the ball more consistently. Developing the barrel control to stay long through the zone gives the hitter some room for error in making contact with a pitch. By getting on plane with the pitch, the hitter can be slightly early or slightly late and still have a good chance of impacting the ball.

Proper Baseball Swing Plane

The physics are pretty simple. Get the bat on plane early in the swing and you will have more of an opportunity to accelerate to the ball. The longer it’s accelerating on that path, the greater the bat speed, and the faster the bat is moving, the harder you will hit the ball. Developing muscle memory for getting on plane quick and staying on plane longer will provide various points of contact and more power.

The correct angle at which the bat enters the zone is crucial to consistent and solid contact, but this can be a very difficult component of proper swing mechanics to master for any player. Common swing flaws can usually be fixed by focusing on how the bat is working through the zone. These are the 2 most common issues hitters usually experience:

  1. The barrel is in and out of the zone: The hitter works across his body and across the plate. While using the LineDrivePro Trainer, the hitter will see the ball launch to the pull side.
  2. The path is too long: The hitter drops (loses) the barrel early and either drags the bat across the plate or swings up through zone. With the LDPT, the ball will launch up or to the open side.

A Swing Path Trainer with Instant Feedback on Proper Bat Path

The instant visual feedback from the trajectory of the ball enables the hitter to learn how their bat is working through the zone and feel what adjustments need to be made. The LineDrivePro Swing Plane Trainer simplifies technical jargon and complicated terminology. The baseball swing plane trainer visually demonstrates hard-to-explain fundamentals so hitters of all ages and skill levels can learn how to eliminate common swing flaws and focus on building proper baseball swing mechanics.

Utilizing baseball hitting drills that promote proper swing plane is paramount for baseball or softball players looking to get more hits. LineDrivePro gives hitters the tools to see how the barrel is working through the hitting zone so they can make the proper adjustments to their bat path.

Swing Plane Drills

Aiming for a target 25 or 55 ft. away allows hitters to practice getting on plane with the average pitch by seeing & feeling the ball launch at a slightly upward trajectory.

Setting up the LineDrivePro Hitting Target either 25’-30’ (for juniors) or 55’ (for advanced players) away at the proper height ensures hitters practice staying on the exact plane of 5-7 degrees – the downward angle of an average MLB pitch (softball will vary). When line drives are launched straight at the center of the target the hitter knows the bat path is correct and the barrel is staying long through the zone. Hitters struggling to get on plane with a pitch will benefit from the self-teaching hitting trainers.

The LineDrive Pro Swing Trainer & Hitting Target keep hitters engaged and having fun while they practice. These simple drills can be set up anywhere and provide hitters with a visual target to aim for and a point system to make things competitive. Get ready for the season and order the ProBundle during our Spring sale now! 

27 Feb 2018

Best Hitting Aids for Youth Baseball

As parents, we all want to see our kids performing at the top of their hitting game. However, the road to achieving peak performance can seem complex and daunting. There are numerous hitting aids for youth baseball players on the market. There is also an abundance of coaches willing to offer expensive private hitting lessons. So which youth baseball hitting aids make the most sense for your son or daughter?

The key is to select the training source that makes developing the proper swing path a fun and intuitive process. Preferably without draining your wallet. Enlisting the help of a hitting coach tends to be thought of as the most trusted route to take. While hitting instructors will agree that having strength through the hitting zone is an absolute.  Each hitting instructor teaches bat path in a unique way that can sometimes be controversial. This can cause issues with learning proper baseball swing mechanics for youth players. However, The LineDrivePro Swing Trainer takes the guesswork out of it through visual feedback that the hitter sees and feels. The baseball hitting drills are also fun. Check out our list of kids baseball drills for 3 youth hitting drills young hitters will enjoy.

Hitting Aids Youth Baseball

Ranked One Of The Best Baseball Hitting / Training Aids

BY BASEBALL MADE FUN

The LineDrivePro Trainer baseball hitting aid has a proven track record of helping youth baseball players to both develop a feel for and see the results of a proper swing path through a no-pressure, natural progression. In fact, a recently posted article by Baseball Made Fun named the 5 Best Hitting Aids, and LineDrivePro Trainer was #1 on their list of hitting aids for youth players. The site found LineDrivePro to be the most effective training aid. This is due to the simplicity of how it straps directly to the player’s own bat, creating a natural experience for the hitter. The immediate visual feedback offered by seeing the ball leave the bat makes the process of learning proper swing mechanics intuitive for the player and shows that baseball hitting aids are the best coaches. Plus, learning to control ball movement makes training fun by turning hitting drills into a game of target practice using our Hitting Target & Swing Trainer ProBundle.

We know that each player is unique and improvement is a continuous process.  You may find the need to re-evaluate your young hitter’s training needs as they grow and develop. The great thing about LDPT is that it is applicable to a hitting program designed around its sole use or utilized as a hitting tool within a broader training approach. Athletes of all ages and skill levels can benefit from the use of The LineDrive Pro Trainer as it is one investment that will continue to help your hitter refine his or her ideal bat path for years to come.

 

ALSO SEE: 5 Best Baseball Hitting Trainers – A Guide To Selecting The Best Hitting Aids for Improving Your Swing

 

02 May 2017

Scientific Data Showing Why The LDPT Is Effective

The Data Doesn’t Lie: Proof Showing How The LDPT Effectively Trains Hitters To Have A More Connected Swing

Today we are taking a look at the Line Drive Pro trainer. We have one of our professional trainers strapping the Line Drive Pro Trainer onto the bat, and we are going to take a look at swing mechanics from a kinematic and biomechanical standpoint.  One great thing about the Line Drive Pro Trainer is that it gives you excellent visual feedback to whether your swing is connected and carries the bat through the hitting zone.

This can be seen here at 240 frames per second on a high-speed camera, you can see how when the ball is released forward through the middle of the cage how connected the hitter is. This allows for a higher turn speed, which we call angular velocity. When the hitter is connected, the hands stay tighter to the body through the turn and the barrel releases out in front thus carrying through a larger hitting zone. You can see him working closer to full speed here, and you can see how far the barrel works to the front side of the zone, which allows for greater variances on either side of timing.

You want the barrel to enter the zone deep into it, and stay in it out in front, which allows the hitter a bigger window to make contact. This is something we were able to measure, if you look where the barrel enters the zone, you can see how far forward in the zone he attacks the slow pitch. The barrel then stays through the hitting zone. This is what Line Drive Pro hitting trainers are designed to do – give you visual feedback. This allows the player to not need to think about hitting mechanics because a correct swing will be visually seen. When the swing is correct it’s going to be faster and allow you to keep the barrel in the hitting zone longer.

So now let’s look at the objective proof. The objective data we used is from the Diamond Kinetics app and 3D body sensors, and we used these to check how far the barrel stayed in the hitting zone. In this case, the particular high-speed swing we saw measured 35 inches into the zone. I remember doing studies in the past of Albert Pujols and Joe Mauer when they were in their prime and I said the reason they did so well was that their barrels stayed in the zone 36 inches. That meant they were staying in the zone more than most big league hitters, which gave them more solid opportunities for contact.

With the use of the Line Drive Pro we were able to push the barrel through zone longer, in this case the instructor was able to stay in for 35 inches. When you look at the graph on the right it represents our angular velocities, this is our turn speed, and also shows a swing in sequence. The red signifies the lower body or the hip speed feeding into the core up the chain, which feeds into the lead arm, and eventually the bat.

You can see how each peak goes just a little bit later than the previous one, and that is what makes a connected swing with tight rotation. You can see this reflected at the bottom, look how the turn speeds and angular velocity begin to go higher and higher, as we spike at the end with the barrel releasing into the zone. When we have a swing connected like that you’re going to have a constant build-up of energy that’s released when the barrel goes through the strike zone.

Angular Velocity LDPT

 

What we’re looking for is top speed in an efficient high-ceiling swing where we are getting everything out of our body. But at the same time the Line Drive Pro can give us negative feedback. We’ve all had hitters that we’ve seen cast the bat out away from them. The visual feedback will get the ball going to work down the opposite field line early. As you can see, the bat is getting out away from his body, and a longer arc around the body begins moving off his front hip. With the Diamond Kinetics app, this time the barrel only stayed in the hitting zone for 31 inches. You can see how the arc is further away from the body and eventually cuts off out of the zone. This is a longer slower swing path and we’re getting the same feedback from our kinematic apps that he’s getting from just the visual feedback seen where the ball is released from the Line Drive Pro cup.

Now when we look at that same long swing in the graph compared to the connected one, we had the connected one over on the right, that’s the one that’s in sequence. The body is maximizing its efficiency and transfers energy up the chain. Here on the left, the swing that gets away from our body early means that hands are being released early and it’s no longer in sequence. The body is no longer transferring energy in an efficient pattern, which means we have wasted energy that’s never going to translate into a higher turn speed thus a higher bat speed.

Notice how the numbers at the bottom are a lot lower than the connected swing, only maxing out 1307 degrees per second as opposed to 1590 degrees per second. We can see that the turn speed is slower thus a reduction in bat speed.

The same would hold true for the player that rolls over early and cuts the bat off the front hip early out of the front side of the zone. You can see that the rollover is going to give us the visual feedback of the ball going down into the pull side. The same thing showed up when we tested it kinematically. This time the barrel was only in the hitting zone for 29 inches as it cut quickly off the player’s front hip. We see this type of pattern is one that doesn’t give us a chance to make solid contact throughout the zone, which means timing has to be precise. The visual feedback created from the Line Drive Pro Trainer will tell us that we’re cutting the bat off early. It’s cutting off our front hip and out of the zone and the ball is rolling over to the pull side.

Improve Baseball Swing Mechanics Through Visual Feedback

I like hitting drills that create feel for players without causing them to have to think a great deal. That’s exactly what the Line Drive Pro does and it was tested here with objective data. We know that the Line Drive Pro Trainer will make the hitter more connected, thus increasing his turn speed as well as keeping the bat through a longer hitting zone. This gives you the type of visual feedback that is very easy to understand for the player which is why this is a great tool for players of all ages to use and improve swing mechanics.

03 Jan 2017

2017 ABCA Convention

Don’t miss LineDrivePro Trainer at the 2017 ABCA Convention in Anaheim, CA. Baseball’s biggest trade show is taking place Thursday, January 5th through Saturday, January 7th. The annual ABCA Trade Show is one of the major highlights of the Convention. Over 300 exhibitors will be at the ABCA Trade Show to display state-of-the-art equipment and products, including hitting aids, apparel, field equipment, hitting/pitching machines and software. Be sure you stop by Booth 483 to check out the hottest hitting aid on the market.

See all the schedules, speakers in the 25 clinics, 19 presentations in the Expo Theater, ABCA Trade Show details and other events at http://www.ABCA.org/convention

ABCA Convention

Jan 5 – Jan 8

Anaheim Convention Center
800 W Katella Ave, Anaheim, California 92802

BOOTH 483 – LINEDRIVEPRO TRAINER

 

31 Oct 2016

Trick Or Treat

Hurry, there’s only a few hours left to take advantage of our Halloween promotions:

 

FREE SHIPPING FLASH SALE:

Devour this deal before it disappears! Use ‘SCARY’ at checkout for FREE SHIPPING. (Cannot be combined with other sales/offers. Expires 11-01-16) 

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SCARY SWING SWEEPSTAKES:

Scary Swing? We’ve got just the trick! Treat a friend with a scary swing by mentioning them in the comments of this Facebook post and you’ll both be entered for a chance to win a FREE LineDrivePro Trainer on 11-01-16.

 

 

27 Sep 2016

The Importance Of Muscle Memory In Baseball Swing Mechanics

PART I – The Science Behind Biomechanics & Muscle Memory

For athletes, muscle memory is extremely important. And for hitters, the best way to improve baseball swing mechanics is through muscle memory training. The key is repetition. Consistent physical repetition helps develop a feel for the proper swing path and trains the brain on the impulses necessary to perform the desired action without conscious effort.

To better understand how muscle memory works, development can be broken down into three stages:

1. The Cognitive Phase

Learning begins by developing an overall understanding of hitting mechanics – how to hold the bat, getting into a hitting stance, basic swing instruction, etc. In this phase, it is extremely important for a hitter to feel as well as see what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong. Visual feedback and feeling how different body parts or muscles groups are working is beneficial for adjusting the swing.

2. The Associative Phase

The athlete understands the fundamentals of hitting and is in the process of refining swing mechanics through practice. With consistent repetition, the athlete’s biomechanics or movements are guided by sensations derived from receptors located in muscles, tendons, and joints. For tips on basic hitting fundamentals, check out our Baseball Swing Mechanics Hitting Guide.

3. The Autonomous Phase

The skill of hitting becomes mostly automatic and proper baseball swing mechanics are executed without thought. The brain stores and recalls all of this information to send to a hitter’s muscles when it is time to perform at the plate.

The more consistently you repeat any motion the more reliable your muscle memory becomes and over time proper swing mechanics become part of an innate reflexive action. Now keep in mind that practice makes permanent, but not always perfect. If you repetitively practice a bad swing, you end up being really good at repeating mistakes and reinforcing bad habits. Whether trying to improve the consistency of your swing or correct common swing flaws, using hitting trainers to guide you through a correct, repeatable motion can help make the desired movement and mechanics familiar to your body. Once the muscles memorize how the proper swing feels during practice, the hitter will be able to work the barrel correctly through the zone without conscious awareness during the game, leaving nothing but the pitch to focus on at the plate.

PART II – The Science Behind Processing A Pitch

Considering a batter has only milliseconds to react to a pitch it’s imperative that all attention while in the box is given to quick decision-making.

From release of the pitch, a 95 MPH fastball takes about 400 ms to reach the plate and on average it takes an MLB player 150 ms to get their bat around. In addition, it takes approximately 100 ms for the brain to process an image, in this case, the baseball, and 25 ms for the brain to send a signal to the body to swing. So, that leaves 125 ms to decide whether to swing or not and how.

The batter must predict the ball’s path subject to a variety of pitch types. Since pitch recognition has to occur in a fourth of the amount of time it takes to blink, it is mostly a learned reaction. An experienced hitter’s brain is capable of anticipating information it has not yet received – identifying the possible trajectory of the ball before it even leaves the pitcher’s hand.

Once a decision is made, a signal in the eye sends a message to a part of the brain that controls the muscles. The brain must then send a signal to the muscles, telling them to swing. The batter has a 7 ms margin of error to connect with the ball. Swinging too early or too late will generally produce a swing and miss or weak contact. However, optimal timing and proper bat path through the strike zone allow for various points of contact, which helps the hitter impact the ball more consistently. Developing the muscle memory needed for keeping the barrel in the hitting zone for as long as possible increases a hitter’s chance of success each at-bat and is one of the most important aspects of baseball hitting mechanics.

24 Jun 2016
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