Do’s and Don’ts of Batting Practice (Part 1) | Baseball Hitting Tips

– Hey it’s Coach Justin from
Ultimate Baseball Training, and in today’s video, we’re
talking about batting practice, more specifically, we’re talking about the do’s
and don’ts of batting practice. Now, this is gonna be a two part series. A two video series, so today, we’re actually talking about the things that you wanna
avoid in batting practice. If you’re lookin’ to really make the most of your time in the cage. If your really lookin’ to reach your full potential as a hitter, there’s some things that
you definitely wanna do, and there’s some things that
you definitely want to avoid. So that’s what this two
part series is about, today, let’s talk about what to avoid, if you really want to maximize
your batting practice. (baseball bat striking ball)
(electricity shorting out) (air whooshing) So the first thing, when
you jump in the cage, and you’re excited for batting practice, the first thing that you wanna avoid, is swinging at every
single pitch all right, and this is far too common. Ya know? Because player’s think, “Oh it’s B-P, it’s not a real game, it’s B-P and, everyone’s tryin’ to hit, and I need to make the most of my time, and it’s all about gettin’
as many swings as possible,” and all that good stuff, and I get it! You’re excited to hit, you’re– B-P’s probably the most exciting
part of practice, right? But when you step in the cage, in B-P, you’ve gotta show some plate discipline, you can’t be swinging
at every single pitch, and the reason why is because in B-P, the more you start to swing
at border line pitches, just because, “oh, he’s havin’
a hard time findin’ the zone, or I don’t wanna take too much time, I don’t wanna take pitches, and make, you know, my team mates wait,” or what ever? I get it. But the more that you
expand your zone in B-P, the more you start taking
border line pitches, or swinging at border line pitches in B-P, the more, and more, and more,
your zone is going to widen, and expand, and before you know it, you start swinging at pitches
that are really balls, your swinging at balls in B-P. What do you think is gonna happen when you step into a real game, right? You’ve heard the term, you practice. You play like you practice, right? So, if you wanna play well, if you wanna play
discipline in a real game, then you should focus on
having play discipline in batting practice. So don’t hop in here, and
swing at every single pitch. He still has to throw strikes, he still has to throw
the ball over the plate, now don’t be, too selective right? If it’s a strike, you should swing, and you should work on hitting the ball, sprayin’ it all over but, especially when pitches
are you know, border line, but their balls, you need to, show good play discipline in B-P, because that’ll help you
transfer it to a real game. So, we’re being aggressive, but we’re having some play discipline, so that we do the same thing in a game. Now the next thing that you wanna avoid in batting practice, and this is a trap, it’s an easy trap to fall into, and that is hitting the ball
to only one part of the field, so for a lot of hitter’s
it’s their pull side right? Because, most hitter’s
hit the ball further, harder, and further, to
their pull side, and also, a B-P pitch is comin’ in a lot slower than a pitch in a real game, so it’s easy, to start just hitting the ball
a little more out in front, and a little bit more out
in front than that, right? And you start pulling everything, or, the flip side can also be true right? You can have some hitter’s who– they’ve been taught, keep
your hands inside the ball, hands inside the ball,
hands inside the ball, stay inside it, and so they
almost do it to an extreme, and even on inside pitches,
where if it’s an inside pitch, we wanna hit the ball a
little bit more out in front of the plate. That’s a pitch we wanna pull. Sometimes hitter’s are
tryin’ to take everything to the opposite field, and then an inside pitch comes in a game, and they really, really struggle with it. And, so I wanna encourage you, don’t be one dimensional
with where you’re, hitting the baseball. Don’t just hit it to your pull side, don’t just hit it to the opposite field. Hit it where it’s thrown, if it’s an inside pitch, pull it, if it’s an away pitch, hit it to the opposite field, and if it’s a pitch right
over the middle of the plate, if you got a guy who
really is money with B-P, and he really just puts it
right over the middle of the plate. Then the majority of your
hits should be gap-to-gap. From the left center gap,
to the right center gap, in fact, that should be your focus, when you step in the cage,
your focus should be, staying in the middle of the field, and then if he leaves one
a little bit too far in, pull it, if he throws
one a little bit away, hit it that way, take it that way, but when you, your mind set should not be when you step in the cage,
okay, let me pull the ball, and if you start gettin’ reall pull happy, you’re really pullin’ it
down the left field line for a right handed hitter, or, you’re really hitting
it to the opposite field, that should tell you something right? You should try your best to
get back into the middle of the field, because the
majority of pitches are probably gonna be right over
the middle of the plate, so there’s no reason to
pull it down the line, or hit it down the
opposite field line, okay? So don’t hit it, don’t stay
in one part of the field, do a really good job of hitting
the ball where it’s pitched, and spray it all around the yard. Another trap that’s easy to fall into, that you definitely want to
avoid in B-P is over swinging. Okay, over swinging, and just
tryin’ to hit home runs, and, because here’s the reality of it, when you step in the cage in B-P, you might be able to get
away with over swining, because the ball’s not,
dippin’ and divin’, and movin’ all over the place. He’s not really changing speeds, you kinda know the exact
pace that he’s throwing, and you kinda know, he’s gonna put the ball over the plate, so it’s very very easy,
when you start havin’ a guy that’s throwin’ money B-P, it’s easy to start over swinging, and you hit one, let’s
say ya one hop the wall, and then your next one you
hit it mid way up the wall, and it’s easy to just
start swinging harder, and harder, and harder, and really tryin’ to just, lift the ball and hit home runs, but the problem with that, I encourage it, you wanna
hit the ball really, really hard, you wanna hit
the ball with authority, but when you start over swinging, the problem with that is, what’s gonna go? Your head is probably gonna go right? ‘Cause you’re over swinging, you’re tryin’ to do too much, and so, your head is probably gonna go, your front shoulder’s gonna go, and again, in B-P, it might
not be very noticeable, you might be able to get away with it, but as soon as you get into
a real type game situation, and you’re facing a real
pitcher, who’s mixing it up, he’s changing speeds, he’s
changing the pitches that he’s throwin’, some are fast balls, some are slidin’, curvin’,
and dippin’, and divin’, and doin’ all of these things, if all the sudden you
got into the habit of, you’re pulling your front side, you’re pullin’ your shoulder out, you’re pullin’ your head, you’re not truly watchin’ the ball. That’s not gonna be good, and so, home runs are great, it’s
great if you hit them in B-P, but you should really focus
on hitting hard line drives, and swinging with authority, definitely having an attack mentality, but, it’s a fine line, don’t over swing. Another big batting practice mistake, don’t lose your balance in B-P, okay. Because, if you lose your balance in B-P, it’s just gonna get blown outta
proportion in a real game, you’re gonna lose your
balance, even more because, like we just talked about, in a real game the pitch is
not thrown 40 miles an hour, and he’s not leaving fast balls, just right over the middle of the plate, every single pitch, like a lot of B-P is. He’s gonna be throwing
different pitches in different locations, different
speeds, different movements, all that kinda stuff, and so, if you’re losing your balance, this is something I see,
kinda too often in B-P, whether players are tryin’
to over swing or whatever, but when you finish your swing, and you’re completely off balance, you can’t hold your
finish, hold your balance, that’s not a good sign, because as a pitcher you
have to flip the script, think about pitcher’s right? What are pitcher’s tryin’ to do, and when do pitcher’s have success? Pitcher’s are taught to
keep hitter’s off balance, off balance and disrupt their timing. So, if that’s what your
opponent is tryin’ to do, the pitcher, if he’s tryin’
to get you off balance, then you’re not doing him any, you’re not doing yourself any favors, you’re absolutely helping him out, if you’re just getting
yourself off balance, in a real game yeah, you’re not gonna keep your
balance every single time, it’s not gonna be picture perfect, but in B-P, your timing should be down, and you should be able
to maintain that balance, good hitters have balance, but when you start getting off balance, whether you’re spinnin’ out, on your heel, or you’re getting out
over your front foot, or you’re divin’ in towards the plate, what ever that looks like, that’s not gonna be good when
a real game rolls around so, keep your balance, a great
way to do that is just think about keeping your
head between your feet, that’s somethin’ that’s really
helped a lot of players in our community. Because it’s an easy cue, you don’t have to think
about a million things, just a simple swing
thought, but in your stance, keep your head in between
your feet, and your stance, and when you go into your low, keep your head in between your feet, and when you get to your launch position, again , your head should
be in between your feet, even when you get to the
point of contact here, your head should be between your feet, the entire time, even as you finish, keep it between your feet,
maintain your balance, don’t lose your balance in B-P. And I’ll leave you with this, another thing you don’t wanna
lose in batting practice is, you don’t wanna lose your focus, that’s another big mistake that players, not only just in batting practice, but, at practice period, they start
to go through the motions, and they lose their focus,
and I’m a firm believer, baseball’s fun right? You gotta have fun on the field. It’s a game, at the end of the day, it’s not life or death, it’s a game! So you should enjoy yourself, but in B-P, what you have to realize, if you’ve got a roster full of players that all have to take batting practice, you’re not gonna get a
hundred swings in the cage, it’s just not gonna happen right? You might get, depending
on the size of your team, and however many guys you
got to throw B-P that day, and all that good stuff, you might get three rounds, you might get three
rounds, of five pitches. That’s 15 pitches, so all the sudden, if you’re first round in the cage, you kinda are laughin’ too much, and goofin’ around too much, and your mind is else where, all the sudden, your first round goes by, and you’ve wasted a third
of your batting practice, and it’s so easy, each group that’s taking batting practice,
might only last a few minutes, so if you’re not focused
for that few minutes, it’s so easy to get to the end of the day, end of practice and think,
“man, that’s, I wanted to work on that in B-P, but, I
just got caught up talkin’ to my buddy, and it just didn’t happen.” No, that’s not an excuse right? B-P is a time, for you to be serious, it’s a time for you to be
locked in, and be focused, you should be focused the entire practice, but really be dialed in, in B-P, cause you only get so many pitches, and now is the time in practice, in B-P. Now is the time to work on things, so when a real game comes around, all of what you’ve worked on transfers, and you have success. (air whooshing)
(baseball bat striking ball) (electricity shorting out)

12 thoughts on “Do’s and Don’ts of Batting Practice (Part 1) | Baseball Hitting Tips

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  2. The absolute worst thing that’s going on in some Little Leagues around the US is board members concerned about the parents feelings when it comes to are they getting their money’s worth.

    I attended a board meeting a few years back that had all coaches present and the president of the League told the coaches to have there players swing at everything pitched so there’s more action during the game.

    This continued with they were going to expand the strikes zone to encourage hitters to swing. When I questioned them as to how doing those things benefits any player in their future endeavors in baseball I was told the following “If you don’t like it leave”.

    Teaching kids to swing at garbage pitches and expanding the strike zone so parents see more action does nothing in the development of future players.

    Luckily the President was eventually fired but the league continues to this day with the same mentality.

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