Hitting Philosophy

After many years of working with hitters of all levels and skills I have developed the following hitting philosophy:

  • My effort is to treat each hitter individually but most hitters can fit into one of the following four categories:

    • Slap Hitter​:  This is a hitter that should run extremely well and not just good.  This hitter relies on her/his speed and the effort is designed to get the ball on the ground as often as possible through slapping the top of the ball and/or bunting.  

    • Power Hitter:  This hitter is very rare to be a pure power hitter but they do exist.  Obviously the effort here is to get lift on the ball but the Power Hitter must be more selective in that she or he is looking for the pitch to be in the individuals power area of the zone.  

    • Average Hitter:  This isn't "your average hitter" but a hitter that has the goal to hit for average.  This is where most of us would fall.  Although I personally hit with some power and actually hit clean up in college I never considered myself a Power Hitter as my goal was a high batting average.  This hitter will hit some HR's but a lot of doubles and uses the "whole field".  This will typically be your best hitter in the lineup.  

    • Defensive Player:  There are just some hitters that don't develop as quality hitters and if they are able to hit for power or for average then they better be really good in the field and especially the premier fielding positions like SS and Catcher.

Most of my clients will fit someplace between a speed player and a power player so the effort will be to develop the player into a very good hitter that hits for a high BA with some HR Power and a lot of doubles.  With this said, it is always my goal as an instructor to work on the hitter in such a way that she will become the best hitter in the city.  THAT must be the goal.

Some key aspects of my hitting philosophy

  • Middle of the field.  I work with all of my hitters to focus on hitting the ball to the middle of the field.  This would include left-center field gap and right-center field gap.  Now, is pulling the ball okay?  Certainly!  However, unless the hitter has top level power she shouldn't be trying to pull the ball and should be working toward gap to gap.

  • Back Spin:  The second most important thing I focus on with my hitters is developing back spin.  Back spin is the opposite of rolling over and rolling over is, to me, the "arch enemy" of hitting.  Every hitter rolls over from time to time but those that roll over less often have a better chance to succeed as an outstanding hitter.

  • Casting Out.  Casting out is another word for "getting long".  This is basically where the barrel of the bat come out and around in a long swing.  Casting out causes slow bat speed, eliminates the power that can be generated from the body and is one of the chief causes of rolling over.  

  • Staying Inside the Ball:  This is the opposite of casting out.  It is not exactly literal but it means that the path of the hands and bad stays inside of the path of the oncoming ball early in the swing.  The better the hitter does this the quicker her swing will be and will eliminate a lot of rolling over.

  • Dropping the Bat Head/Landing the Airplane:  When an airplane is landing and is too steep, it crashes.  It has to gradually go down to the landing strip.  The bat head starts higher than the hitters head and ends up much lower around waist high to even lower. The path of the bat head MUST go down toward the ball.  Going down too early will cause the barrel to drop below the ball and then must come back up.  This is the other aspect of a long swing and will cause the hitter to be very slow to the ball and cause rolling over as well.  There are some hitters that can perform this swing but very few can do it successfully.

  • Strike Zone:  Let's break this down with a truth about hitting.  No hitter can hit all pitches and all locations equally well.   So, the hitter must first learn her "hot" zone and also her "cold" zone and learn to attack pitches that are in her hot zone and lay off pitches that are in her cold zone.  Well, until there are two strikes.  Bat speed is essential to have this ability.  If the bat is slow then the hitter must make a decision yes or no so much earlier than if the bat is fast.  Also, it is important to learn to practice working on your hot zone hitting.  Learn to lay off pitches in your cold zone.  To some this is not working on the weaknesses but, again, every hitter has weaknesses and the best way to not allow this weakness to hurt the hitter is to avoid it as often as possible.