Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to Increase Your Power Hitting

By Jim Bain

Anyone who coaches or hangs around the baseball park long enough will see the player labeled "Potential" but never seems to quite live up to expectations. He's the player no pitcher can seem to strike out, but he can't seem to buy a hit, because although he always seems to make contact, he can't get the ball out of the infield.

This otherwise very good ball player has one of two problems which require addressing in order to improve his hitting power. The first issue is one of faulty hitting mechanics, the player is not opening his hips quick enough or wide enough to generate sufficient power from the bat to the baseball.

A decent batting coach can view two or three swings and tell immediately if the player has a mechanical problem or a strength problem, one part which could be weak legs. The legs generate the power used to swing the hips open and strengthening the legs with squats and lunges will help, increased strength never hurts, in creating explosive hips.

However, the player's mechanics may be fine, and based on his ability to make contact on a consistent basis, indicates they probably are, then there is an upper body strength issue.

A player's wrist, forearms and fingers must be strong or else the power generated from the hips, legs and shoulders is absorbed at these points before the power can be transferred to the ball.

Look at it in this light. You have a 50' water hose hooked to the outside faucet (spigot) which produces enough pressure (100psi) out of the hose nozzle to shoot a stream of water 10' and knock a plastic cup off the table.

However there are three couplings in the 50' length of pipe which leak badly allowing water to stream out. Because of the loss of water to these 3 leaks, the 100 psi pressure from the faucet is reduced to 60 psi out of the nozzle.

There are numerous methods for strengthening the forearms, wrist and fingers, but one drill will increase the strength of all three at one time and improve the batter's swing.

It's a very basic, cave man actually, drill, but extremely effective. You'll need an old car tire which is not mounted on a wheel, a large truck tire or donut tire will not work well for this drill.

Using a rope or chain, hang the tire from an overhead structure or tree limb, where the middle of tire hangs at belt level of the hitter. Using a wooden bat, the hitting assumes his normal batting stance, then swings hitting the tire with the bat.

The intent is to swing through the tire, hitting the tire and moving it out of the way as you finish your follow through. Initially the hitter will not be able to move the tire very much, but as his strength increases the tire will be moved farther, due to the increased energy transfer from the bat to the tire, because the weak body parts are now strong.

Jim Bain - Former Minor league baseball player, who since retiring has dedicated his life to teaching baseball to youth. Visit his exciting info packed website:

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