Friday, October 8, 2010

Baseball Coaching Digest - Want to Be a Great Hitter? Learn to Be Patient

By Nick Dixon

One of the worst hitting flaws in baseball is "lack of patience" at the plate. This article discusses importance of being a patience batter and the reasons being a patient hitter puts the odds in the hitters favor. It also discusses one common baseball practice procedure that causes batters to not be patience at the plate

To be a great hitter, you must learn to defeat the pitcher. The pitcher's job is to get you out. The easiest way to get a batter out is to throw bad or unhittable pitches that "bait" the impatience batter into getting himself out. Having good patience at the plate allows the batter to have three traits that put the odds in his favor.

1) He does not chase or swing at bad pitches or unhittable pitches, so he does not get himself out.

2) He knows the strike zone and is content with taking a base on balls if he does not get a good pitch to hit.

3) His patience allows him to stay back, trust his hand speed, and hit the ball to all fields.

This flaw means that a batter attacks the pitch incorrectly or too soon. Being a great hitter requires skill, bat speed, and patience. Batters must know the strike zone like they know the inside of the bill of their cap! They must know what a strike is and when a pitch is out of the strike zone. Impatience hitters often fall victim to good pitching because they swing at bad pitches and get themselves out.

"Patience at the Plate"

Teach your hitters to be patience. They must learn to attack the inside pitch early, to attack the strike over the plate behind the front foot, and to attack the off-speed or fastball away late, just inside the back foot. Patience hitters hit to all fields. They never get fooled. They always seem to hit the ball on the "sweet spot" of the bat and frequently hit line drives.

"Practice for Patience"

One way to teach hitters to be patience is to not allow them to swing at everything during batting practice. I know that you have heard a coach say, "Swing the Bat"; to a kid that takes a pitch during batting practice. The coach becomes impatience with the player because the coach wants every batting practice throw hit. That tactic can often confuse young batters as to what pitches they should or should not hit in a game. You as a coach should remember, this one statement from this article, "If you want them to only swing at hit good pitches in a game, then make then take bad pitches during batting practice."

I advocate allowing all batters to take or let bad pitches go by during every drill and during batting practice. Often times, the only way you can hit a bad pitch is to take a bad swing. You do not want your players practicing bad swing because that leads to bad habits. What I suggest is to allow then to track bad pitches from the pitcher's hand to the catcher's mitt or until the ball hits the back stop screen, without swinging the bat. They are seeing the ball, and they are learning the strike zone. If you want to work on swinging at every pitch, have a "hit and run" batting practice session in which they must swing the bat at everything. Then they must concentrate, stay inside the ball, and make every possible effort to hit the ball to the desired location.

I hope that you found this article to be informative. If you want to read more of my articles or to read more articles on every aspect of coaching baseball, go to the Baseball Coaching Digest, the Youth Baseball Digest, and the Baseball 2Day Coaching Journal. Thanks for reading this article. Have a great day, Nick.

The CoachesBest Baseball Store has a great selection of 1400 Baseball Products. Check out the BatAction Hitting Machine baseball pitching simulator. This high speed training machine is 100% Guaranteed to raise Batting Averages and has a full year warranty.

Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, a sports training company established in 1999. Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of the BatAction Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Target Trainer, the SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and the SKLZ Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Youth Baseball Digest, the Baseball Parent Guide, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, and Blog4Coaches.

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1 comment:

Blue Boy said...

That one sentence should be, "If you want them to only swing at good pitches in a game, then make them take bad pitches during batting practice." Right?