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Discussion: Hitting

Posted Discussion
June 17, 2014
rightrj1
Men's 55
208 posts
Hitting
What makes a good consistent hitter? I mean the guys that hit 700+ each and every time you play with or against them?

Is it Swing Mechanics? or Pitch Selection?
June 18, 2014
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2664 posts
Practice. It gives the player confidence and knowledge of pitches and pitch selection. The batter should know what he can do with different type pitches.
I believe proper mechanics gives one the ability to get maximum or high bat speed, allowing the ball to get by fielders. But, a batter doesn't have to have good mechanics to be able to hit an easy line drive between two infieders or a perfectly positioned ground ball through the 3-4 or 5-6 hole.
June 18, 2014
Paco13
373 posts
I am going to comment since I am already signed on. I am not a great hitter but have a decent swing. What I did not have was discipline at the plate...but when I played with Metro Stars 50M few years back few of the guys (Baer, Geoff, Pat and few others) stress on me the importance of only swinging at strikes and been more selective. I probaly get walk 3-5 times during a tourney. That increases your OBP actually mines increased about a 100 points. Bottom line in my humble opinions is both and they are directly proportional to each other. One without the other don't work.

PR NINJA OUT

JESUS TE AMA
June 18, 2014
Fred S
Men's 80
93 posts
I agree with both. Practice is important. Being retired helps. If I don't have a game that day I am out hitting off my WD.

Patience and concentration are as equally important if not more. For me as a pitcher I depend on the batter not have patience to wait for the ball.

When I am not hitting it is usually because I am not waiting for the ball to come into my hit zone. That is when, like today, take a trip to the batting cages to work on my timing.
June 18, 2014
Perl
106 posts
BP, if Bruce says it I'm listening. He's a great hitter.

Know and trust your swing
Confidence
Discipline
Pitch selection
Be aggressive but under control

Hit your pitch and good things will happen

June 18, 2014
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2664 posts
Thanks for the props, Perl! I hope you and your family are doing well.
June 18, 2014
Omar Khayyam
999 posts
Great topic. I agree that discipline is a large part of it. Because I was hitting in the high 600s, my manager moved me to leadoff. Since then, with more responsibility to start the game off right, I am more selective and now hitting around .800 since batting leadoff. However, my slugging percentage is down a bit since I tend to hit more singles than trying to hit a long ball through the gaps.
June 18, 2014
Wildtimes
Men's 50
13 posts
I agree with the comments and add...take as much BP as you can. Limit each round between 20 and 30 cuts going 2 to 3 rounds per session twice or more a week.

The focus must be on quality at bats though. Once you start to constantly mis-hit or get fatigued stop and let the next person hit...rest wait your turn and do it again.

Remember, you're working to develop good mechanics, strength and bat speed not trying to gain further bad habits.
June 18, 2014
Mario
Men's 50
381 posts
Great topic by the way, I think hitting is 2 fold. You have to have discipline at the plate. Not just for strikes, but for your pitch. If you are a high ball hitter then you need to be standing in the front of the batters box. If your a low ball hitter then stand in the back of the box. This way you will get your pitch more often. Then you have to swing only at your pitch. On the BP topic, when I was younger I took 100 swings a day after my lifting session. Now that I'm getting older I do that twice a week and we switch every 10 swings. We are fortunate to have 220 balls between myself and my hitting partner. Takes us about 1:15 minutes to hit all our balls.
June 18, 2014
stattad
Men's 65
168 posts
Fred--
What is a "WD"?
June 18, 2014
Omar Khayyam
999 posts
WD? Wooden deck? Western Drive? Whistling driver? Workout diamond? Whittling device? Wife's derriere?

Wildtimes, loved your comment that batting practice is not to gain further bad habits. Know a lot of guys that become fair bad ball hitters because they swing at everything thrown them and other guys who reinforce bad habits because they are determined to hit the entire bucket in their turn, even if their shoulders or arms are drooping from fatigue.
June 18, 2014
0
56 posts
Sure everybody knows what WD is.....

It's short for WD-40


June 18, 2014
softball4b
Men's 60
756 posts
Who Dat....What Dear....
June 18, 2014
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2664 posts
Wheeler Dealer. It's a soft toss machine.
June 18, 2014
rightrj1
Men's 55
208 posts
So we all agree practice makes perfect..But does it really?? I'm sure we all know guys who takes as much BP as the masses and hit the SH!%% of the ball in BP, but can't hit they're way out of a wet paper bag during games....Bad mechanics and a lot of BP don't mix! I think Hitting in games is all situational,and most good hitters have different swings for those different situations or different pitch selection for the situations! i.e. outside pitch to hit behind the runners, Middle Pitch to hit middle, 5 6 hole pitch, and the all and noting Cookie for the Dinger!!
June 19, 2014
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2664 posts
rightrj1, I have seen it also. I would add perfect practice makes perfect.
I too, have seen guys that take a lot of bp but then hit 400-500 (or less) in games. Mostly they just swing for the exercise. At times some of us place cones in the infield and try to hit them. This adds to the enjoyment of bp and bat control.
June 19, 2014
The yooper
28 posts
Practice hitting is real important, like Bruce says put up cones and try to hit them, when I was young I used to try to hit bottles of beer that outfielders put down , this was in practice. lol Discipline as Mario says is very important, if I see a gap in right center I do not normally swing at an inside pitch to hit it there. The biggest thing I have learned about hitting is to know you are going to hit the ball where you want to hit it. One must be positive and be able to visualize the ball going where you want it to go. Positive thoughts are extremely important as you get what you think. Think about if you ever heard someone say, I hope I do not bat with two outs as I will make the last out and they do. Have fun Donny C The Yooper.
June 19, 2014
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2664 posts
I agree Donny, confidence plays a big part of it. If we are down by a run with runners on base, I want to get to the plate!
June 19, 2014
The yooper
28 posts
Bruce, You hit it right on the head, need a big hit you should want to be the one up to bat. I also love to get into that position actually gives me more confidence and energy. It works on defense also, one should want the ball hit to them when a big out is needed. Have fun, Donny C The Yooper.
June 20, 2014
BCA80
4 posts
The best hitters I watch take more pitches than the average Joe. Practice all you want but if you swing at bad pitches you are not going to be a great hitter.
June 20, 2014
Mr. Manassas
230 posts
I too agree with Bruce. (One of the best hitters I have played against)
We have a BP club here in northern Va. And we have developed a little ritual that we go through every session. We always hit with a screen and begin our session by hitting up the middle. We follow that by hitting the 3-4 and 5-6 holes. We even practice hitting sac flys to different parts of the field. I think that it is important to know what your strengths and weaknesses are as well.
June 20, 2014
StevenL.Imlay
Men's 60
74 posts
Listen to Bruce and Mr. Manassas two exceptional hitters- take lots of batting practice with purpose. Don't just swing away but have a goal or weakness that your working on. Paco I agree you have improved tremendously and you make a great point about pitch selection.
June 20, 2014
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2664 posts
Thanks guys! hope to see you both in Dalton.
June 22, 2014
Tater50
336 posts
Great topic: Perl & Bruce are 2 players that I know & will state they are great hitters; I'd like to augment the replies above with what I have observed in softball (I started in 79) & this is the biggest problem that I have: watching the ball hit the bat.
I watch batters all the time & the ones that watch it all the way to the bat; whether low, medium or higher pitch; these batters catch the ball solid. they also know how to have a more linear swing when they are going for a base hit as opposed to a circular swing when swinging for the fences.
I think most will agree with me; 1/2" up or down contact with the ball can make a big difference in how far or how hard the ball goes.
My observance is that the consistent hitters watch the ball all the way in & make good contact.

You cannot fool the man in the mirror

Columbus LXL
June 22, 2014
rrengineer99
11 posts
with most of these tournaments now going to 1-1 count, at least the qualifiers it seems, does a good hitter take another strike and go to 1-2, or be ready to hit first pitch so as not to be forced to swing at a possible 3rd pitch strike that might not be what your looking for but to close to take, thus turning you from a good hitter to not being able to hit where you want, like behind runner,or to right field with no room for error.i prefer
to be 1st pitch ready..
June 23, 2014
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2664 posts
If the first pitch is what I'm looking for I'll jump on it. I've been a first pitch hitter except when I've batted leadoff. As a leadoff hitter you may want to be a little more choosey.
June 23, 2014
PJ3P
Men's 50
76 posts
some great points in this thread
1. Practice with purpose!
2. Limit your rounds to 20-30 swings.
I think it is difficult to stay focused for more than 25 or so swings a round.
3. Hit at targets in the infield. Five gallon buckets make great targets and help you keep the ball down. In the game the confidence soars when you have "practiced with purpose!"
June 23, 2014
neck10
498 posts
yooper thought u said you were goin to maumee !!!!!!!!!!!
June 23, 2014
B94
Men's 50
17 posts
To add to what others have said here I also find in addition to hitting "targets" my most productive BP sessions work there way around the field.

1. Work hitting to RF and hitting the 3-4 hole
2. Hit RC gap
3. Hit right field side between the pitcher and 2nd baseman
4. Hit left field side between the pitcher and SS
5. Hit LF gap
6. Hit the 5-6 hole and pull down the 3rd baseline
7. Take some free swings to finish and "go with the pitch"
(Previous to this I'm forcing pitches into the current spot)

Max 20 - 25 swings per spot

(PJ3P shoot me an email when you have a minute - I've got a question for you... brad.geil@rogers.com)
June 23, 2014
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2664 posts
"2. Limit your rounds to 20-30 swings."
This is a biggie! Unless you are in tip top shape more than this and you arms are fatigued. Three rounds of 30 are right for me. I believe that bp when you are fatigued is a waste of time, except for the cardio benefits.
June 23, 2014
B94
Men's 50
17 posts
I agree 100% Bruce! My regular BP partner is a young stud that's playing with Team Canada's Border Battle squad this year and he's in top shape and pushes me to be better.

By the time that BP regimen is completed the tank is empty for me...

That said when we are "on it" we may limit that to 12-15 swings in each of those holes...
June 23, 2014
rightrj1
Men's 55
208 posts
One thing me and my BP group does per session is the Last 12 Ball swings we call our hitting percentage ..i.e. 10 for 12 8 for 12, that makes us concentrate ! We will wait for good pitches then hit our spots...The guys that don't hit their quota, have to buy the after BP Beer......It really makes you have that game time concentration while taking BP.... When I put this topic on the board, i was wondering how many of you big time hitters would reply....Thanks Mike, Steven(myIdol) Imay and the rest of the group!
June 23, 2014
The yooper
28 posts
I agree BP is so very important and hitting towards all areas of the playing field is paramount. My league team has no hitting nor any practice for that matter at all which indicates why we are in last place each year and every year, 2 wins in last 6 years. I use this league as practice for going to tournament's. Some say they play for exercise, I say when you get no hits that is next to no exercise. At 64 I get tired swinging 40-50 times so will cut down on that. See some of you folks in Dalton. Donny C "The Yooper"
June 23, 2014
Webbie25
Men's 60
1981 posts
I guess I have a much different approach that works for me. I do try to get a lot of bp early in the year, but once I am hitting well, I don't take a lot-maybe 20-30 cuts a couple times a month if I am not playing much, and I try to make them good ones. Before games I sometimes will take 3-5 cuts and I am ready to go. Bruce is right about the fatigue. When my arms get tired the swings do no good.
June 24, 2014
HJ
Men's 70
442 posts
What bat do you use for BP. Do you use your bat? Do you go heavier or lighter? Do you use a non-game bat but one which approximates in weight and balance your game bat? In meaningful games do you do you use a different bat in different situations? Do you go lighter in long tournaments? I personally am coming to the belief that you should use the same bat for BP and games and have 2 going if 1 breaks. ??????
June 24, 2014
B94
Men's 50
17 posts
I use the same model and weight of bat for BP as I use in games, however, once a bat reaches "gamer" status I typically keep it just for games. That said, I typically tend to have 2 or 3 of the same bats on the go at any time. So I would have to agree with your final statement - same bat and multiple going.

As a disclaimer where I play a lot of leagues/tournaments are simply new thumbprint USSSA so I have a set of these as well as my senior bats on the go and BP the bats based on what the next upcoming tournament is.

Currently that regimen is 27oz Miken DC41 for USSSA and 27oz 2 piece Ultra II Maxload for senior tournaments. (I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of a couple of Big Cats)
June 24, 2014
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2664 posts
I try to use a USSSA bat for 90% of my bp swings, taking my last 10 or so cuts with my senior gamer. It's tough finding bats that have a swing weight near that of my sr bat, so I just try to find one close.
To find the swing weight, rest the knob on a fixed object and the barrel on the scale. Most of my bats have a swing weight of 16-18oz.
June 25, 2014
gibby59
2 posts
Think of a tennis player like Pete Sampras.
He has complete control of acuracy, top spin or back spin. Their good shoots are inches from a line and they do it for hours.
Softball
The Holes are 15 to 100 ft wide, if you have Ball control to put the ball any where you want within in a few feet it would be hard to get that guy out.
Playing softball for 35 + years, I notice that many Ball Players use only 1 or 2 places to hit.
If you showed up playing golf with only 1 or 2 clubs your limited.
My therory
Perfect one at a time
A Middle shot, 3 ft to the left or right
Gap 3rd short
First second
Power HR
Gaps center right left
If you had a gun, you could hit any hole any time, effortlessly.
If you had a Bow and Arrow you could hit any hole.
A Bat ?
If you control the pitch choice, swing at the first good pitch that lets you go where you want, you are choosing a good pitch to hit and control.
If you take a strike, you are now trying to Hit the junk Ball the pitcher is giving after hes ahead. Your ability to control a junk ball is alot lower.
Are you a smarter hitter or is he a smarter pitcher?
Next choose a Great Bat, like the Demarini!!!!
June 27, 2014
garyheifner
361 posts
In the qualifiers, I use them as practice and try all kinds of different grips, stances, bats, swings etc. I have come down to pitch selection as being the key for me. Didn't matter what I tried, if the pitch was in the small window I look for, the results were positive. Maybe not always a hit but a solid hard hit ball.
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