The following article provides simple tips, and hitting drills to stop pulling off the baseball; including physical, and mental batting tips; quickly fixing flying open too early with your head, front shoulder, and hips.
Jump to a section
- Introduction, Quick tips and drills
- Part 1. Mind and vision
- Close your mind, open your eyes
- Hitting approach
- Part 2. Hitting mechanics and drills
- Core muscles, and rotation
- Keeping your head still
- Ball tracking, and fastball mechanics
- Advanced hitting tip
- Hitting aids to fix pulling off the ball
Front-side Hitting Mechanics
Struggling with staying-closed/pulling-out/jumping out/lunging?
Avoid instructions such as, “keep your front side closed,” and “stop lunging at the ball;” this is the end result. Players require instructions on how to arrive at the end result, for example, below is a tip I use;
“Relax, watch the ball out of the pitcher’s hand, track the ball, aiming to hit the ball in opposite field alley/gap (selecting a landmark on the home run fence as the focal point).”
Generally, it gets the job done.
Avoid conscious thoughts triggering you to fly open, for example, “I’m going to pull the baseball, and hit it for a 500 ft home run.” The subconscious mind is a powerful beast, controlling your reflexes; critical for hitting dominant pitchers. In this case, it relays a message of over-excitement to your body, as you rush your swing, hoping to pull a “monster shot,” however, you fly open; and strike out. Another example, doubting your bat speed when a pitcher is “hammering” you with inside fastballs; again you rush your swing, compensating for your doubt.
Mental Tip. Close Your Mind, Open Your Eyes
If you can’t see the ball, you will fly open. Focus on the pitcher’s release point, clearing your mind of all thoughts and see the ball. This method naturally helps you to track the ball, allowing the ball to travel, giving you time to read the pitch, and preventing you from starting your swing too early. Additionally, triggering your “natural reflex swing.” Ultimately, improves your; timing, bat speed, helping to “stay closed” with your front shoulder.
Lacking discipline in your hitting approach creates the habit of “flying open.” The most straightforward method to prevent “flying open” is to practice hitting the ball “up the middle” to the “opposite field.” Focus on a target area during batting practice, aiming for your location; developing the proper approach helps to fix hitting mistakes.
Hitting Mechanics And Drills
Drills, and tips to stay closed with your front shoulder
Core and Rotational Hitting Mechanics
Attempting to fix, “pulling off the ball,” many coaches focus on the upper half of the swing, however, staying closed, and staying through the ball; can be a result of incorrect rotational hitting mechanics.
GIF, a simple drill to train complex rotational hitting mechanics. Connect your top/trail hand elbow to your hip, pick up the leg you turn when hitting, and rotate for ten repetitions; repeat for three sets.
Keeping the head still when you swing
Keeping your head still is critical for staying closed with your front shoulder, and hips. The video below gives a simple drill for keeping the head still during your baseball swing, by placing your hat in front of home plate as a focal point; make sure you can see the hat after you finish your swing.
Ball tracking, and fastball mechanics
Laser Blast hitting drills fix common hitting mistakes, for example, pulling off the baseball. Increase the resistance of our baseball swing trainer by reducing the size (adjustable to fix youth, and professional players), to fix casting, reaching, and lunging; making contact closer to your body; critical for keeping your front shoulder closed, hitting against a dominant fastball pitcher.
- Set Up: Laser Blast, both arms inside
- Pitch Height: Thigh to belly-button
- Pitch Location: Middle to inside
- Approach: Hitting the ball up the middle, and opposite field (key point)
Advanced hitting tip
Release your top hand for extreme extended location
Releasing your top hand prevents flying open for extreme, low and outside pitch locations. Why? Simple, your bottom hand (front-side) has more reach for swing extension, learn more »