HOW CAN I STOP STRIKING OUT?
Baseball and softball hitting tips to cut down strikeouts.
THE PRIMARY REASON FOR STRIKING OUT
A major issue for strikeouts is flying open or pulling off the ball. Two common triggers are the failure to see the ball and trying to pull the ball.
TRACKING THE BALL
You'll strikeout if you lose sight of the ball. Follow the ball out of the pitcher's hand all the way to your bat.
STAY QUIET IN THE BOX
"Stay calm and quiet" in the batter's box as jumping and lunging at the ball affects your vision. Focus on spotting the ball out of the pitcher's hand and tracking the path. Instead of thinking to "pull and crush the ball" instead aim to hit the ball up the middle or to the opposite field.
If you want to reduce your game day strikeouts, it is vital to have a plan that is put into action once you get to two strikes. If you don’t have a plan, you will panic and become nervous in the box, resulting in an increased chance of a strikeout. A “2-strike plan” can include: (1) Focus on breathing and relaxation techniques to remain calm under fire. (2) Close your mind and open your eyes and do not guess hit or anticipate the pitch. Concentrate on hitting the baseball to the opposite field to allow the baseball to get deeper in the hitting zone. It helps you to with tracking the ball, pitch recognition, and strike-zone discipline. (3) Expand your strike-zone to reduce the risk of the umpire calling the 3rd strike. (4) Finding a way to shorten your swing path; especially if you're facing high-velocity pitchers. Spread out in your batting stance and cut down on your stride. Shorten up on the handle of the bat. Do whatever it takes to get to the ball on time.
OPPOSITE FIELD HITTING
Hitting to all field is necessary for successful two-strike hitting. Avoid a, "pull the ball for a home run," hitting approach. The best two-strike approach is focusing on hitting to the opposite field.
FILLING THE GAPS IN YOUR SWING
Opposition teams will try to exploit any weakness in your swing. If you have trouble hitting the outside pitch, the opposing team will target this area, especially if you are batting with a two-strike count. The same applies if you can’t hit the inside pitch, high pitch or low pitch. Teams will continue to target your weakness until you make an adjustment.
Over-swinging is another catalyst for pulling off the ball, lunging and a casting swing. Try to remain calm; too much excitement triggers over-swinging. Don’t try to pull the ball for a home run! If you do, you've got no chance to hit late-breaking pitches on the outer edge of the plate.
Obviously, swinging at bad pitches increases strikeouts. Many contributing factors related to bad pitch selection. The main culprit is losing sight of the baseball. Improve your plate discipline with tracking and release point drills.
Lacking confidence at the plate is a major contributing factor for striking out in baseball. If you are in a negative thought pattern, you will be more likely to fail. Examples of negative thoughts can include; “I hope I don’t strike out.” or “I think I’m going to strike out.” Achieving an active, confident and aggressive frame of mind is vital. Therefore you need a confidence strategy. Talk yourself into feeling good. Replace your negative with positive; “I’m going to wallop this pitch.” or “I can handle anything this pitcher throws my way.”
CONNECTING TO YOUR CORE
Failure to achieve proper core mechanics, causes your upper body to dip, jump-out, and pull off the ball. To be a strong two-strike hitter, you will need to understand deeper contact zone mechanics.
Ensure to prepare your swing for the harsh realities of the game. If you practice a long swing, you will have a long swing. Poor swing habits derive from hitting a slow-moving belt high pitch.
Develop your hitting approach, build confidence and train both deeper and extended swing mechanics.