While some may think that baseball hitting simply involves swinging a bat in such a way that it strikes the ball, there is more to it than that. In fact, this is the most difficult baseball skill to master and without proper baseball training, one can never truly master the art. After all, you have a highly skilled pitcher sending a ball towards you with frightening speed and what you're expected to do, is to strike that ball, which of course is round, with a bat that is also round. To make matters even more demanding, one has to strike the ball squarely in order for it to travel in the direction of your choice.
While many who are unfamiliar with the art of baseball hitting tend to think the primary goal of the hitter is to strike the ball with maximum impact, this is in fact only the secondary goal. First and foremost, to be successful, your primary goal is to be consistent in two fundamental qualities and those are, your swing style must remain the same and you need to swing at every pitch. One thing that all aspiring baseball players need to realize is that no book, no video, and no coach can provide you with a secret shortcut to becoming a great hitter. The only way to achieve success is through unwavering dedication, commitment and of course the willingness to learn from those who have been along the same road themselves.
One of the main challenges faced by baseball coaches is the task of teaching players how to deal with failure, or at least what the player believes to be failure. Because mindset is so important, a coach needs to teach a player that failure is not failure but instead, it's all part of the learning process. As long as a player can accept the fact that their goal should not be to hit the ball hard or to score home runs but rather to see the pitch every time, then they can become successful. The only thing a hitter has 100% control of, is the pitches he swings at and if he can accept this and believe in it, then he can become a great baseball hitter.
Having said all this, players who possess these qualities can then be engaged into becoming great hitters, always making solid contact with the ball and this is done by placing emphasis on mechanics. In baseball, good mechanics is an essential part of the coaching for four reasons:
1. It optimizes eye contact with the ball.
2. It enables a shorter swing, allowing more time for decision-making.
3. It teaches maximum swing speed.
4. It creates good balance, which means greater accuracy.
These four aspects that form good mechanics are fundamental and players would be well advised to know that if you're not taught them, then you need to find a better coach. Furthermore, all four have been listed in order of their importance so it's severely surprising to see eye contact at the top of the list. After all, when it comes to hitting the ball, it's your eyes that guide your brain and today it is widely accepted that this visual connection, accounts for at least 80% of a players success. By mastering the first step, a hitter is able to follow the ball from the moment it leaves to pitcher's hand until the moment it makes contact with his bat. During this time, the hitter will estimate speed, rotation, etc, in order to best prepare itself to deliver a good hit.
Of course, a short swing, which is listed in second place of the good mechanics, is really common sense. Why? Because a short swing requires less time than a long swing and the more time a hitter has, the more time he has to decide if he is going to swing. Additionally, the hitter also has extra time to focus on the pitch and to best prepare himself, both physically and mentally.
Swing speed, which is the third factor, also makes perfect sense because the faster your bat is traveling; the harder it's going to strike the ball. Contrary to what some may think, a light bat delivers better results than a heavy bat because they afford the batter faster speed and better control. Of course, bat speed does not only depend on the weight of the bat, but rather on a whole combination of factors such as body strength and the ability to use the entire body for baseball hitting.
Lastly but not least, the fourth factor of mechanics taught in all baseball training is balance. If a hitter does not maintain proper balance, he will not be able to control his center and when this happens, optimum control has been lost no matter how hard or how fast a hitter is.
When one considers all the various points which have been discussed in this short article, it's hard surprising that many believe baseball hitting to be one of the most difficult skills to learn of all sports and a skill that can only ever be mastered with good quality baseball training.