TIP of the MONTH
Coach Jerry “Kal” Kalista
Let’s say you will play about 35 games this season. Let’s say you will have three at-bats each game. This equates to 105 at bats for the season. On average, a MLB hitter will see 3.75 pitches per at-bat. Also, the average MLB time between pitches is nearly 22 seconds. This equates to just under, 1.5 minutes per at-bat. So, for the baseball season (35 games) and 105 at-bats, you will spend about 2.6 hours in the batter’s box. You will see around 400 total pitches. Now, how much time is spent on batting practice (winter workouts, pre-season practices and in-season practices)? What does all this mean? What it means is…..when it is your turn in the batter’s box you need to make the best of it! You need to focus on every pitch! Every at-bat is extremely important! Don’t be one of those players that give away at-bats. Start now, focus now, be prepared and don’t waste any at-bats!
Know your limitations, know your strengths and know your weaknesses! If you are not a power hitter, don’t try to hit home runs. If you are a power hitter, swing like a power hitter and don’t get cheated. If you struggle hitting the breaking ball, don’t swing at it with less than two strikes. If you are a good fast ball hitter, don’t take the first pitch fast ball down the middle. Look for a fast ball early in the count, and put a good swing on it. Use your strengths as a hitter.
Preparation for your at-bat starts on the bench. Be a student of the game! Watch the pitcher. What are his tendencies? Does he throw the same first pitch? What is his out pitch? What pitch does he go to with two strikes? This thought process continues to the on-deck circle.
Hitting a round baseball, traveling at various speeds, with a round bat is no easy task. It has been said, hitting a baseball is one of the most difficult tasks in sports. Concentration on the baseball, tracking the ball out of the pitcher’s hand increases the chance of recognizing the speed, location and what pitch is coming. The better a hitter is in determining the speed, location and pitch, the better chance they have of making good contact.
When faced with an at-bat with two strikes, your mind must be prepared to never give up. You can make a few adjustments in your approach by choking up, shortening your swing, looking away and reacting in, or letting the ball travel more and thinking defensive rather than offensive. Your offense is eliminating the strike out by making contact. Balls that are put in play can lead to good or lucky hits, as well as errors. You need to work on your two strike approach in practice. Don’t wait for a game situation with two strikes and not be prepared.
There is more to hitting, than just swinging the bat!
PROPER PREPARATION PREVENTS POOR PERFORMANCE!
ALWAYS BE POSITIVE! ALWAYS GIVE 100% ENERGY TAKES NO TALENT!
Coach Jerry “Kal” Kalista
NOTE: Direct any questions or comments to Coach Kalista at firstname.lastname@example.org