What advanced baseball hitting drills can really fine-tune a decent swing?
by PHCC CF #6
Hey Coach Myers,
I'm a Sophomore at a JUCO in Virginia this year. My high school team were back-to-back State Champions my junior and senior years and were ranked in the top 10 Nationally both of those years.
After a season-ending injury at the very beginning of my junior year I started as a senior and hit .435 with a home run against future D1 pitchers who were all topping out in the mid-90's.
The reason why I am telling you this is so you'll know I don't have a problem hitting the top tier pitchers. However, I was recruited to play at D1 Longwood University and after an embarrassing season hitting .135 with a home run I've begun to question my swing.
The summer before I went to Longwood, I hit 8 home runs and averaged a .345 in the American Legion League. I must have become power hungry because I find myself fouling balls up and back all the time and I always miss under the cheese ball that everyone knows should have left the ball park.
I know I have the ability to be a great hitter but something is ever so slightly off and I cannot figure it out for the life of me. When I do hit the ball good things always happen, it's the strike outs that kill me (I had 20 k's my senior year but still managed a .435 average?).
If there are any drills that you know of that can cut down the strike outs I would be very grateful.
Thanks again for the help!
Swing Smarter Response:
Hello PHCC CF #6, I want to start off and say how grateful I am for the awesome kudos about the site, and is would be an honor to be your uber-online hitting instructor :)
Btw, we've all been there where you question your swing, it won't be the first or last time you do that, your goal should be to minimize the amount of time in that negative mental thinking pattern. Because when pitchers smell blood, they go in for the kill.
When I was in your shoes, I had to purchase books, and the same hitting sites online where the same ones now trying to sell something that would only disappoint, so I created SwingSmarter.com.
Quick note: you might notice your P.S. is missing from your original post, we submitted it via our testimonials section of the site because we figure it would be a big boost for other readers, if that's okay :) Please let us know if that's NOT okay.
Swing Smarter dot com is built for the hitting student, and is very discriminatory about what hitting aids/drills/skills we approve of, to eliminate the white noise out there on the internet about hitting, as you've noticed yourself.
Anyway, enough about the site, and into the hitting issue at hand...
You've had quite a bit of success as a hitter and I can see how frustrating it is to start to "feel" the strikeouts. What's interesting is the strikeouts were there before, but you didn't notice them because you were ripping the cover off the ball...this is not to say you aren't doing that now, but the difference in batting average indicates a hitting/mental flaw that's being exploited by pitchers.
What you have to realize is not every hitter can be great at hitting with two strikes, we can be good, but sometimes it's not in the hitter's DNA code. A lot of it is mental. That aside, we can improve with a better 2 strike approach, but most likely I can't take you from (for ex.) 140 strikeouts a year, down to 30.
You have to also take into account the improved competition; at the college/JUCO level pitchers are getting better and have more control, and will learn how to exploit your weaknesses. The good news is you're only a sophomore, you still have 1-2 years of growth to do as a hitter :)
Please check out this SwingSmarter.com article on better 2 strike hitting. I'm sure you know what your weaknesses are whether hitting to the opposite field, pulling the ball, high/low ball hitting, etc.
Playing at the college level you have to work twice as hard now on your swing faults, and adjustments at the plate have to be made from pitch to pitch, NOT like in high school where you can get away with murder ;)
Hope this helps my friend, and if you have any other questions, you know where to find me :)