Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Accelerate the barrel through the zone

May 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Hitting

Accelerate the barrel and attack the baseball!

One of the hundreds of baseball sayings my dad passed on to me growing up was, “The ball will not jump off the bat by itself.  You have to make it jump off your bat.”  I find myself saying that to many of the hitters I work with these days.

Younger kids who are learning the game often fall victim to the “just make contact” mentality.  Because they are not yet confident in their ability to hit the ball well, they are satisfied with just putting the ball in fair territory.  That is somewhat ok when you have two strikes but too many hitters have that mentality even when they are ahead in the count.  When they do, it often results in their bat decelerating through the hitting zone.

Feared hitters accelerate the barrel through the hitting zone in order to attack the ball.  These hitters are feared because pitchers and catchers know that if they make a mistake with a pitch over the plate they are going to pay for it.  Pitchers who pitch with fear tend to nibble at the plate and typically fall behind in counts.  Hitters that decelerate the barrel through the zone are not feared.  Even if the pitch is left out over the plate the best the hitter is going to do is hit a single, maybe a double at best.  When pitchers know this, they pound the strike zone without fear since the costs of doing so are minimal.  Pitchers get ahead and the balance of power shifts to the pitcher.

Being a good hitter is a lot more than just having sound swing mechanics.  Much of it has to do with entering the batter’s box with the attitude of “If I get a pitch I can handle I’m going to murder it.”  That mentality by itself will usually cause you to accelerate the barrel through the contact zone without even thinking about it.


One Response to “Accelerate the barrel through the zone”
  1. Drew Stegon says:

    That is why we use a Zepp unit to track bat lag, bat speed and hand speed through the zone to contact and then after contact. Science tells us what is hard to see with just the naked eye.

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