Hitting Behind the Ball & YOUR Zen Hitting Garden
Hitting behind the ball is one of the best hitting cues I've ever heard, and let me tell you why...
We all know the eyes are the windows to our soul, so are they to a hitter's swing. Without a proper mental approach to seeing the ball, the carriage will continue trying to pull the horse without avail.
This one Zen Hitting concept can help fix two of the major four hitting issues I've talked about before:
- Broken bottom half, and
- Proper Down & Through hand path.
"Hitting behind the ball," and with comparable language, "Hit with eyes behind the barrel," AND "Let the ball get to you," are all helpful in wrapping a player's mind around mastering patience at the plate. If we're looking for a good Zen Hitting mental approach to batting mechanics, then this article covers most bases (pun intended).
The power of hitting behind the ball can help stop the bleeding for the following stubborn mechanical malfunctions:
- Lunging, AKA "Leaking" and Jumping at the Ball,
- Eyes drifting and/or dropping,
- Over swinging, in addition to
- NOT being patient at the plate.
Another good hitting cue complimentary to hitting behind the ball you can use to tag-team the above maladies is "stay soft with the stride foot." The stride should be like stepping on egg shells without breaking them, similar to how a cat is very cautious with each step it takes, like the ground could give way at any moment...we too as hitters, should be very cautious with our stride foot pressure.
The benefits to this level of proper thinking are:
- Better plate discipline,
- Reveals a more natural swing tempo, timing, and rhythm,
- Consistency with power, and
- Promotes a more calm & quiet Zen-like swing.
Wouldn't we all like to have that!? It's easier said than done, believe me.
However, by starting on the batting tee, we can practice hitting behind the ball, then move to soft toss, and finally to live pitching. I like to position the ball off the tee a certain way...could be because of a mild form of OCD I have :P I make sure I can see the horseshoe seams on the baseball sitting sideways on the tee before I hit. This ensures I have a target (bringing the barrel to the top seam of the sideways horseshoe) to razor sharpen my technique.
The Bottom line?
We should have a focus with every swing...we're NOT trying to hit the mother-loving-carp out of every ball, nope, we should be sharpening our sword with each movement, like a samurai warrior does for survival...we too should be honing our skill for survival in the batter's box. Because we're at war people, and God knows the pitcher has a plan of attack to get us out before you face him.
Zen Hitting is made up of: Control, Plan, and Trust. Having a hitting focus is an integral part of the "Plan" piece of the puzzle. Every great hitter has a simple cue they go to with each at-bat. Hitting behind the ball is one of these great simple keys to hitting. Put it to work for you.
Other great Zen Hitting focuses Hall of Famers have used:
- Stay up the box,
- See it and hit it, and
- Pick out a good one.
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