Category Archives: Hitting

Hitting Instruction

Keep it Simple Stupid: How to Hit and Pitch without Overthinking

texas longhorns“The Baseball Brain-Mental Side of the Game”

“Baseball is 50% from the neck up”   - Ted Williams

How to Hit and Pitch without Overthinking

  • Remember Baseball is a Game and not a Life or Death Situation: Have Fun
  • Relax, Focus, and Keep the game Simple: Don’t do too much
Essentially pitching and hitting can be explained as a process that can be executed in a series of steps. 
 
Hitting can be explained as simple as Load, Stride, Swing or Load, Dance step, Squash the bug, or even Ready, Set, Swing…
and 
 
Pitching can be explained as Come Set, Lift leg, stride towards home and throw… just as long as it crosses home plate it can be called a pitch and or a strike. 
 
There are many other explanations for how to over analyze both pitching and hitting but most simply put..if you achieve the goal of either hitting the ball or pitching a pitch then your already half way to your goal. Relax step back from over thinking and remember that baseball is a kid’s game and meant to be played for enjoyment. At most the only detrimental thing that can happen upon failure is a little time passes and you get another chance at SWEET! GREAT! Redemption! The coolest thing about pitching and hitting is you get up to 3, 4 or 5 opportunities a game to succeed and even if not successful then you still can come out at a .500 average with success in the next game. Competition and challenging yourself shouldn’t be anything more than setting goals to better yourself and improve from where you were the day before. If you over analyze too much your thoughts can often become dense and get you down. Try to do one thing at a time and keep it simple when your opportunities to come up at bat or pitch and remember that as long as your trying your best, your doing what you can. And even if for some reason your not at your best you have teammates there to pick you up, play defense for you, or drive you in if you happen to get a walk. 

Justin Higgs: Houston Baseball Hitting Instructor Info

power swing

The best coach available in your area is the one that can provide the highest peak performance instruction to your athlete in the least amount of steps. Just like as if you were taking a road strip you would want to take the shortest path possible, so should choosing your hitting instructor. I teach a hitting philosophy that has been proven for over 30 years and was taught to my mentor by the great Reggie Sanders of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The A, B, C approach to hitting allows for the hitter to have the highest chance at contact through the strike zone in the quickest amount of steps. Since bat speed is what determines how far the ball travels it is essential that the hitter is mentally and physically prepared before he even steps into the batter’s box. That’s where an informed instructor like Justin Higgs comes in… he provides instruction through drills such as front toss, tee work, live batting practice, one arm swing drills, and even dry swings to demonstrate the correct swing. Muscle memory and hand eye coordination are key to hitting a round baseball with a round bat, therefore its is important to perform the right repetitions to be prepared each at bat. In addition to the practice drills, every rep that takes place builds muscle and overall self confidence which is key when stepping into the batter’s box. Contact and getting base hits is just as essential to a players repertoire as having solid defense in the field, but one thing that sticks out is a baseball player that can hit for power and drive in runs when it really counts. I am available to schedule your youth, teen, or adult hitting lesson and take you to the next level of your game. Whether you are a linear or rotational hitter I ensure you that I will help you improve your game in no time at all.

Houston Baseball Pro

 

 

How to “Do” Baseball in Simple Steps

astros tryout

  • Sign up for a Little League, Sports Association, or School Sports Team
  • Find out when Tryouts for Leagues that are in your area are to be scheduled
  • Post on social networks and send text messages to friends that you are interested in baseball
  • Get with a friend who is already playing and ask them to show you how to play baseball
  • Watch Baseball to Get an Idea of the Rules and Format of the Game
  • Hire a Baseball Coach /Personal Trainer to teach you the Proper Mechanics of Throwing/Hitting
  • Pick a position You would like to Play Defensively
  • Practice, Practice, Practice so when you eventually play in a game you can be prepared
  • Baseball is a Sport, so when “Doing” Baseball Have Fun and Keep it Simple

Baseball isn’t a complex game. Essentially baseball can be seen as a form of tag with the bases as safe zones. Ironically when your on a base when you are tagged by a player with a ball, the umpire is most likely to call you “SAFE”. So essentially baseball is a fun safe game than can be played at all ages and over time and progression improve drastically at different levels. The first step is to get involved in a league and find information on sign ups or tryouts. After that usually the league sends out information and practices and games are usually laid out. From here you can decide to seek professional help in the former of a personal trainer, otherwise known as a personal baseball instructor that offers private lessons. This coach will provide more emphasis on your individual game getting started as opposed to becoming lost in the team game. The point of team practices is execution on the field during game day, however when you take the position of pitcher or are hitting, essentially your in control of the game and working individually to help out the team. Overall remember baseball is fun and should be enjoyed. The more you practice, the more you will become perfect.

 

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josh willingham

Maximizing Each At Bat

To make the most of each in game at bat you must be prepared first. As you prepare to step into the batters box watch the pitcher and imagine that he is delivery and pitching to you. Your repetitions and all your preparation have prepared you for your swing in the box. Think positive that the pitcher is going to give you the perfect pitch designed to give you the most optimal contact point. Essentially by thinking that the pitcher is throwing you home run derby pitches rather than trying to strike you out will enable you to control what you do with each pitch in the at bat. Think as if you are in control of what you do with each pitch and it is up to you whether or not to swing. The worst that can happen is failure and you get another opportunity the very next pitch.

Slow the game down, take a deep breath and step into the batters box.

Focus on the pitcher’s throwing should and imagine it being a pitching machine ready to deliver you the perfect most hittable pitch.

As the pitcher goes into his motion. RELAX. Relax and keep your body loose and ready to rotate as a more relaxed body will all for faster speed of swing.

Minimize movement and rotate your hips and back knee toward the pitcher and focus on extending your hands to not only meet the ball but explode through the ball trying to saw the baseball in half with your bat at contact.

As you explode through the bat on contact finish your swing as balanced as possible and keeping your front hip in as you rotate through the pitch extending your hands.

Wherever the ball is hit at contact is irrelevant. You did what you can do and now its time to sprint as hard as you can to first base at maximal effort to avoid getting out.

Success….you slowed the game down. Controlled the situation and maximized the at bat. Learn from the Experience and dominate the next at bat.

 

pujols swinging

In the Spotlight: Atlanta Braves Future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones @realCJ10

chipper jones1

Chipper Jones. Personally the first thought that comes to mind is how much I despised Chipper throughout his long career. As a native Houstonian, Chipper Jones and Andrew Jones gave the Astros fits over the 90′s and in the playoffs year in and year out. I hated watching Astros games late in the season or in the playoffs when we knew we would be playing the best. Larry Wayne “Chipper” Jones is one of the greatest power switch hitters that has ever played the game of baseball. As a natural right-handed hitter Chipper spent 4 years training himself with drills and extra swings to train himself to hit just as good left handed as he did right. As a result he would hit .300 from both sides of the plate throughout his career. Chipper not only hit for average but hit with power from both sides of the plate and in a stacked lineup that included Fred McGriff, and Andrew Jones. With the offense the Braves were bringing to their lineup every day its no wonder they reached the playoffs so often. On top of having one of the most dominant and consisting starting pitchers as well in Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and John Smoltz all potential future Hall of Famers. My opinion is that Chipper will end up in the Hall of Fame one day when his time is due. Chipper had a great glove as well playing third base and even throwing out Houston Astros great in Biggio’s final career at bat which happened to be a ground ball to third base. The 2012 season Chipper Jones  spent each road trip as a farewell tour saying goodbye to all the stadiums that had he had been despised at by opposing teams for so many years. Do to the immense respect Chipper acccumlated over his career and despite him playing for the opposite team just about every city he visited he was presented with a unique gift by that team and given a standing ovations after standing ovation each at bat he had in that series.. His greatness and the standing ovations given by fans of opposing cities symbolize where he ranked in popularity and talent not only in the era he played in but how he ranks all time as a great player. I’m glad Chipper is finally hanging up his glove and cleats and it was a pleasure watching him for so many years.  Chipper Jones…one of the greats…What is your favorite Chipper Jones memory?

Chipper Jones…thank you!

chipperjones

Bullpen Domination=Power Hitting Success

 

swinging a bat

Power hitting isn’t just about the strength of the hitter but more so the successful hand eye coordination combining at the precise moment with the bat and ball at a point of contact equal to catapult the baseball a particular distance. There are several factors that come into play which would contribute to the success of hitting a home run such as wind, fence distance, and whomever the particular outfielder is who is willing to miss the ball and let it bounce off his head and land over the fence (Canseco ;) .

Jose Canseco #33

Success in hitting for power though is more determined by bat speed which can only be improved through high numbers of repetitions of swinging a bat the right way. The particular path of the bat has the highest likelihood of contact the quicker the bat is drawn into the hitting zone and once there, the length of time the swing remains on a level path through contact of the ball and beyond. An analysis of the duties of each arm would be of the front arm of the hitter pulling the bat straight down into the strike zone, and secondly with the duties of the back arm to be punching the bat through the strike zone all while leading with the hips the knob of the ball straight toward the path of the ball. The only way to ensure proper hand eye coordination is to make sure that as the hips rotate that front foot strike has happened and been maintained and that the head and eye position has not changed. Please subscribe to this blog for more information and instruction on power hitting success and tips for success.

swingingabat2

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