This week, we had a ton of great tips to whittle down into our top ten, mostly due to the fact that I took a week off for Spring Break, giving me two weeks of tips to pull from this week. We've got a bunch of great hitting tips, some tips for coaches and part 2 of Bernie Pleskoff's series on what scouts are looking for ...
Bring Your Golf Game to the Plate - Although the swings are not exactly the same, there are a lot of things golfers do that translate into things that will make you a better baseball hitter. Coach Justin from Ultimate Baseball Training goes over some of those things in this video:
How to Keep Your Head Still During a Swing - As Coach Justin mentioned in the previous video, keeping your head still through the swing is vital to hitting the ball. Matt Antonelli shows you how to do that in this video:
Let the Count Dictate What You Swing At - Too many hitters feel as though they need to swing at all strikes and take all balls. Although the latter is almost always true (except in a hit and run situation), swinging at every strike is only going to lead to more strikeouts or weakly hit balls. Learn how to hit your pitch and what "your pitch" should be for any given count in this video from Coach Lucas Cook:
What Baseball Scouts Look For Part II - A couple of weeks ago, we shared former Astros scout, Bernie Pleskoff's, insights for what baseball scouts look for in pitchers, hitters and fielders. In Part 2 of that series, Bernie discusses the hitting flaws they look for, the swing mechanics they desire, more traits and flaws that they look for in pitchers and what the 40-80 scale that scouts use for grading position players and pitchers means. Check the article out here.
Don't Get Frozen! - It's happened to all hitters, great and not so great. The perfect pitch comes right where you want it and for some reason, you lock up and don't swing at it. Learn why that happens and what you can do to avoid freezing at the plate in this video by Coach Justin:
Baseball's Supposed to be Fun! - Regrettably, studies show that more and more kids that play sports suffer from depression as a result of their participation, rather than enjoying it for the fun recreational activity that it is supposed to be. Ken Krause's article, "Depression, A Growing Side Effect of Youth Sports" points out why that is and what you can do as coaches and parents to make sports a positive experience, not one that your kids dread.
Handling Criticism the Right Way - On a related note, while it is true that every coach is not the greatest communicator and can sometimes take things too far by berating players and making them feel bad about themselves, that is rarely their intention. In the following video, Coach Laird explains that coaches really are trying to do one thing when they yell at players - make them better and the team better. His "Toughness Tip of the Day" tells you how to handle criticism, turning it into a positive experience rather than a negative one:
How and When to Place Your Hits - While it is true that a pitcher pretty much controls what you swing at, what you don't and where you are able to best hit a ball, there are situations where you sometimes need to hit a ball to certain areas of the field in order to advance runners, even if it means getting an out. Coach Justin explains the when and how of placing your hits in the following video:
How to Improve Your Fielding Range - Being able to get to a ball quickly is NOT just about speed. It's much more related to being in the right position to field a ball when it is hit toward you. Matt Antonelli discusses the ways to be ready when the ball comes your way in this video:
How to Time Up Pitchers - Lucas Cook keeps things simple, stating that there are really only three types of pitchers. Knowing which type of pitcher you are facing will help dictate your bat's contact point in relation to the plate. He discusses the three pitcher types in the following video and what your hitting approach should be for each of them: