26 Jun Stop Hitting Ground Balls
Part 1. Hitting Approach
Seeing the ball early improves pitch selection, reducing your season’s ground ball tally.
- Focus on a small window, anticipating the pitcher’s release point.
- After the ball releases, track it with confidence letting the baseball travel and trusting your bat speed.
- Early in the batting count look for a pitch you can handle, higher in the zone. Opposingly, swinging at a pitch below your knees, and on the outside of home plate, generally, results in hitting a grounder; excluding bottom hand dominant hitters with excellent barrel control, in this case, a low ball is your preferred pitch.
- Standing in on a pitcher warming up the bullpen improves your game day vision skills.
- Study the movement of a pitch, for example, slider, sinker, curve, change, knuckle, split-finger, two and four-seam fastballs.
- Focus on tracking the ball out of the pitcher’s hand, and down the hitting funnel; past home plate, landing in the catcher’s glove.
Pulling Off An Outside Pitch
- Lacking discipline in your hitting approach increases strikeouts and grounders.
- To prevent pulling off an outside pitch allocate seventy percent of your batting practice swings “up the middle” to the “opposite field.”
- Focus on a target area during batting practice, aiming for your location; developing the correct hitting approach to fix a ground ball swing.
Part 2. Hitting Mechanics And Drills
HOW CAN I CUT DOWN ON HITTING GROUNDERS?
CONTROL YOUR BAT BARREL FOR POWERFUL CONTACT
- Training one-hand isolation drills, improve power mechanics, and forearm strength; working to control the level of your barrel at contact.
- Top hand drill improves mechanics, and strength critical for contact closer to your body.
- Bottom hand drill improves mechanics, and strength critical for contact farther away from your body.
- Lacking critical top hand skills, causes you to roll your forearms too soon; the action of rolling over raises your bat’s barrel; hitting the top of the ball, defining a ground ball swing.
Key Benefits of Isolation Drills
- Swinging your game-day bat with one hand improves performance when returning to both hands.
- Exposing a weakness in your swing, for example, hitting inside, outside, high, or low pitches.
- Helps players who are rolling over, pulling off, dipping the back shoulder and barrel, or failing to stay through the ball.
- Balances strength for a complete power swing, as opposed to one hand dominating the other; making you a one-dimensional hitter.
- Improves core mechanics, connecting the upper and lower body parts of your swing.
DRILLS AND TIPS FOR FIXING A GROUND BALL SWING
- Top hand, drills work on the ball higher in the strike zone, lower for bottom hand drills.
- Isolate your core by lowering your hands and elbows close to your torso.
- Stay relaxed with your grip, swing tension reduces bat speed.
- Turn your back leg using your core, more specifically your hip joint, while keeping your hands back.
- Whip the bat to the ball using your core.
- Control your barrel at contact.
- Roll the barrel on your follow through, before your back-side shoulder overextends.
- We recommend advanced players swing a heavy training bat (the same length as your game day bat) to improve mechanics, bat speed, strength, and power; critical for the next level.