Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Developing a hitting rhythm

January 17, 2014 by  
Filed under Hitting

If you watch a Major League hitter bat and then wait another month before you see him hit again, you might notice something.  Both at-bats will look exactly the same.  I don’t mean the outcomes will be the same.  I mean the load up

Same hitter.  Same rhythm.  Every time.

Same hitter. Same rhythm. Every time.

– stride – swing – follow through will look exactly the same.  That’s because each hitter at that level develops a rhythm to their swing that is comfortable to them.  They then repeat that rhythm on each and every pitch.

At the younger levels, a hitter’s rhythm often will look dramatically different from one at-bat to another.  And sometimes even pitch to pitch.  That usually doesn’t result in much success.  Hitting is hard.  It becomes immensely harder if you have a different rhythm every time you step into the box.

All hitters should put a lot of effort into creating a smooth rhythm that is mechanically sound and feels good.   Robotic hitters who load up – pause – stride – pause – swing and follow through are not rhythmic.  Although a lot of things are going on, the process should be one smooth consistent movement from start to finish.

When players face different styles of pitchers, whether it be a hard thrower or a soft throwing lefty, their rhythm should remain the same.  What changes is when they start the process.  That’s the purpose of watching the pitcher in the on-deck circle.  You use that time to work on your timing of when to start the process so bat meets ball at the correct time.  On a hard thrower, the process starts a little sooner.  On a soft thrower, you start the process a little later.  In both, the rhythm stays the same.

Mechanical drills are good to insure that hitters know each step of the process when hitting.  However, rhythm drills are just as important (some might say more important) because that’s what players will need to do come game time.

Stay tuned for future posts and videos that promote better rhythm!

Next post:  Do your players all make the same mistake?

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