Guest post by David Barnes
Being asked to hit a baseball out of the air with a thin piece of wood is quite a challenge, but it’s one that you can overcome if you know what you are doing. There are some ways to improve your swing and hit the ball with a satisfying crack! every time. Pitchers can have some difficulty as well. Throwing that ball in a straight line is not as simple as it looks, and it’s easy to end up causing a foul or embarrassing yourself with a poor throw. Here are our best tips for baseball lovers of all kinds to help them pitch and bat better:
1. Get into Position
The basic stance required for hitting the ball or throwing one is the first step toward doing these actions the right way. Batters should stand with feet apart, the head facing toward the pitcher, and the hands gripping the bat tightly. Pitchers should have their feet apart as well, taking one step forward when throwing the ball. These are really simple techniques, but they make all the difference in how someone plays the game.
2. Practice with a Tee
Young batters need to learn where they should be holding the bat and swinging it. The tee teaches them at what level the ball will be coming to them and how they should direct their swing. It helps them get into the motions at the right level without having to deal with an actual ball flying toward them.
3. Use the Right Bat
Your game is only as good as the equipment, and having a poor quality bat will not make for a pleasant game at all. You can use a resource like Bat Critic to find good baseball equipment that comes recommended by the experts. You might be surprised how much of a difference a properly weighted and balanced bat makes in helping you pull off consistent swings.
4. Grip with One Hand Up and One Hand Down
How you hold the bat is really important too. You should be holding it with one palm facing up and one palm facing down. That will help you to have better control over the bat and ensure a strong, consistent swing. If you find that you are hitting balls wildly all the time, then your grip is probably what is causing you trouble.
5. Watch the Ball
Keeping your eyes on the ball as a batter is vitally important. You want to make sure that you know when the ball is coming toward you and at what angle and speed. Always keep your eyes on the ball so that you can prepare your swing properly. If you look away for even a second, you could miss or you could hit the ball in the wrong direction.
6. Practice Throwing in a Straight Line
Pitchers need to be careful about throwing too far left or right. One thing they can do to help is put some lines down on the ground when they practice. These should be straight lines between them and the batting position. The pitcher then can practice throwing the ball between those lines and work on consistently pitching in that straight line.
7. Hold Off on the Fancy Stuff
This goes for batters and pitchers. It is hard enough to hit the ball or throw it properly without tossing in some fancy maneuvers. Keep things simpler for a while until you can play consistently. Once you become good enough at doing the basics, then you can work on inserting some curve balls into your game or try to go for a home run hit every time.
8. Know Your Strength
Not everyone can hit a home run, even when they swing with all their strength. If you know that power is your weakness as a batter, then you can try bunting every now and then instead. This can throw off the other team and give yourself a chance to at least run to one base. Even if you can’t be the team champ, you can at least be a reliable player who does make a difference and who helps your team take some bases.
9. Don’t Rush the Pitch
The biggest mistake that most pitchers make is that they hurry to get the ball to the batter. There is no rush, and the more time you take lining up the ball and planning the pitch, the more accurate you will be. If you rush the pitch, then you will be more likely to throw nervously or throw wild, and you want to give your entire body time to process exactly what the pitch is doing and catch up with your brain to pull off that perfect pitch.
Hopefully, some of these tips are ones that you can put to good use and improve your game.
David Barnes is a sports enthusiast who loves to spend time with his kids, learn to cook new meals, teach kids baseball, spend time outdoors, and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Most of all, he enjoys the fresh air in the sunrise.