Vee Hightower Hitting Tips (Ancaster Baseball)

PrintVee Hightower Hitting Tips

Written by Vee Hightower  

Common hitting phrases:

1. Attack strikes and take balls
2. Know your happy zone
3. Attack the pitch with timing
4. Drive the pitch with extension
5. Take a positive stride—stride to hit
6. Use a live back leg
7. Stay inside the pitch
8. Track the ball and time it
9. Hide your hands
10. Slow body—quick barrel
11. Attack and make contact out front
12. Get extended
13. Squash the bug
14. Stay closed
15. Go back to go forward
16. “TRUST” YOUR SWING

Hitting to win involves a hitter with a determined desire to be a winner. He has a winning purpose in mind as he steps to the plate. A hitter whose motivation and approach is, “What can I do to win?” has that determined purpose to concentrate during that plate appearance, and thus a positive chance to win the battle, and ultimately the war. Confidence, concentration and the mental aspects are important. Use all of these aspects to your advantage. Be prepared!

Hitters Mental Toughness Chart

1. Hitter makes no excuses for his actions. He takes responsibility for his play. He makes the most of the challenge and the opportunity that is presented to him.

2. Hitter’s desire to improve gives him consistent, quality work habits.

3. Hitter is coachable, is open to instruction, retains information and then slowly begins to apply it during practice and game situations.

4. Hitter is locked-in  mentally and physically during plate appearances. He is relaxed. His visual ability is enhanced.

5. Hitter displays confidence and patience in his attack and forces pitcher to come to him (throws strikes). He is mentally ready to swing and consistently gets his pitch to hit.

6. Overall hitter is confident in himself and his hitting abilities. His inward self-esteem (strength) consistently displays itself. Outwardly, during his plate appearances, he shows consistent mental toughness.

Mature, consistent hitters realize the importance of being mentally tough in their overall approach. They understand how important their attitude is for consistent success. They also know there will be adversity through out their careers as they play and develop. However, their desire to perform well, the intensity and concentration they display on a regular basis, and their love to compete are all plus factors that are foremost in their attitude and mental toughness.

General Hitting Tips

A) TOTAL CONCENTRATION
    • Bear down on every at bat
    • Do not let up in a lopsided game and keep the learning process going

B) TAKE HEALTHY CUTS when you get your pitch

C) SIT IN THE FASTBALL and adjust to other pitches
    • Have faith in your ability to adjust and learn
    • play a guesing game and you don’t improve

D) STUDY THE OPPOSING PITCHER
    • The quicker the better
    • Focus on release point
    • What is his best pitch?
    • Movement of pitches
    • Pitches—ahead, even, or behind in the count

E) BEAR DOWN IN THE ON-DECK CIRCLE
    • Get loose
    • Time pitchers delivery (stride as if you are at bat)
    • Practice stride and swing (game)
    • Concentrate on possible situations
    • Get the adrenaline flowing

F) BAT LENGTH AN WEIGHT
    • Make sure bat feels comfortable in your hands
    • Selection goals - Maximum bat speed
               - Maximum leverage and torque

• Clutch players want to be at bat with the game on the line
• Good work habits (WORK = SUCCESS)

It takes practice, patience, perseverence and determination to make a good hitter. Make the most of every opportunity and every at bat.

Stride and Swing

A) BACK LEG
    • Push and drive off back leg and foot
        Improves balance and power
        Legs and hips generate power
        Eliminate two key problem areas
            Collapsing back leg
            Lifting/Dragging back foot in swing
    • Stay firm on back leg to stay on top better
    • Collapsing back leg leads to uppercut swing

B) HIPS
    • Smooth pivot and rotation
    • Finish with belly button pointed at pitcher
    • Hips are the same on every swing. Adjustments are made with the hands

C) HEAD
    • Watch ball hit bat
    • Stay down until crack of bat
    • “If you can’t keep your head down, you won’t hit”

D) BAT
    • Held properly in the fingers

E) LOAD UP - GO BACK TO GO FORWARD
    • Initiate action...Use hands, arms, and body
    • Momentum = Better Timing + Quicker Bat + More Power
    • Do not hit dead-handed

F) SWING DOWN AND THROUGH THE BALL
    • Get good backspin on ball for carry
    • The quickest type of swing
    • DO NOT uppercut

Good Hip Rotation

A) Good hip rotation (back hip) is essential to any hitters power throgh the swing. He should feel freedom in this area and allow the back hip to rotate without restriction; don’t hold it back.

B) An ideal reference point to check on good back hip rotation would be:

    “Does the stomach or belly button rotate approxiamately 90 degrees towards the mound          during a complete swing?”

C) A hitter needs to realize that for his swing to work effectively for maximum power and strength, he should feel this action on a regular basis during practice sessions: (1) the back hip and hands will start together in the swing; (2) the back hip and hands take the same direction to the ball through the swing.

D) The hitter who is able to allow this correct action to take place in this back side approach to the swing, will gain maximum power  through his hips and will begin to use the strength he has in his upper half.


In the On-Deck Circle—Final Preparation

A) The hitter should know the scoreboard (score, outs, runners on base).

B) The hitter should watch the pitcher’s release point.
Does it change on different pitches?

C) The hitter should know the pitcher’s second best pitch—his most consistent pitch besides his fastball.

D) The hitter should become a coach at home plate if necessary.

E) The hitter may use deep breathing for added relaxation.


In the Batter’s Box—Time for Battle

At this time the hitter needs to control his emotions and mentally take control of the situation, what ever the circumstance, and not allow the situation to take control of him.

RELAX - the hitter should know within himself he has perpared well for this time.

Be aggressive, but smart

Stay positive, be ready mentally and physically.

Now is the time to see and react to win.

TWO STRIKE HITTING - Think contact, contact, contact!

    1. Increase the strke zone to its entire size
    2. Think up the middle and the other way
    3. Look fastball, anticipating off-speed pitch and adjusting down.
    4. Hitter does not deserve to look middle in for his pitch to turn on.
    5. Hitter must battle pitcher’s pitches.
    6. Don’t give up, put the ball in play.
    7. Make the defense work by putting ball in play; anything can happen.
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Printed from ancasterbaseball.ca on Sunday, December 17, 2017 at 8:59 AM