How to hit the Ball | Youth Baseball Hitting

When I ask youth baseball hitters, what is the first step to get prepared to hit the ball hard? I get several different responses and for the for the most part they realize that it is something we do to get our bodies prepared to hit.  The key is when do we as youth baseball hitters do it?  I like to use a term “Early Load”and the key word is, early.  When is early?  I have a little saying, once pitchers get some where in the leg raise portion of the windup, a hitter needs to be doing something to get their body ready to hit.  Because the hitter who is standing in the box and is not prepared will have a tough time being a successful

I personally think the “Early Load” is one of the most important segments of hitting, that is why I place such an emphasis on it. Before we can ever hit, we must have our body ready to improve youth baseball hitting.   Youth Baseball Hitting Drills

   Every hitter has their weaknesses.  Perhaps it is a low, outside strike.  Maybe they have difficulty with anything off speed, or pitches on the inner half of the plate.  When you stop and think about it, the strike zone, from the knees to the letters, ranging from the inner half to the outer half of the plate, is a fairly large area to cover with a 32-34 inch bat.  Great hitters understand this, and they discipline themselves to lay off pitches they know they struggle with early in the count.

Successful hitters understand their strengths as well.  They understand the pitch they hit the hardest and most consistently.  For me, it was the fastball up and in.  When I saw this pitch, my eyes lit up, and I was swinging from my heels.  What is your best pitch to handle?  What pitches give you trouble?  These are very important questions you must ask yourself.  Once you know the pitches you like and dislike, you are well on your way towards developing a successful hitting plan.

Every hitter must have some type of plan before they enter the batters box.  If they don’t, its similar to driving on the freeway without a road map.  Sure, you can adjust to the curves in the road, but you have no idea where you are going.  You might be going in the wrong direction, or you might be leading yourself towards a dead-end. Hitting works the same way.  You might be successful a few times if you go up there without a thought out plan, but in the end, you will fail much too often to be considered a dangerous hitter.

As indicated before, a hitting plan starts with an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.  If the fastball at the knees is your best pitch, look for it early in the count.  More importantly, sit on that pitch when the count is 2 and 0 or 3 and 1 (called hitters counts, because in these situations the pitcher can ill afford to throw a ball).  I have seen countless high school hitters who have become stars by banging out hits on 2 and 0 or 3 and 1 counts.  The reason for this is they know the pitcher has to throw a strike in this situation, and usually for a high school pitcher the fastball gives them the best chance to hit the zone.  Successful hitters understand that.  They step out of the box, and program their heads into thinking fastball—if it’s there, especially if the place is where they like it, you can bet they’re hacking.

Along the same lines, if the count is 2 and 0 or 3 and 1, never swing at a pitch that is in a place you cannot hit hard.  This is when it is important to know your weaknesses.  My weakness was a low, outside pitch.  I would refuse to swing at this pitch, except with two strikes of course.  When I had a hitters count, I would step out and say to myself, “look fastball up and in—anything else take.”  I had a plan.  I was looking for a specific pitch.  If it was not there, no big deal—I still had plenty more pitches to see during that at bat.

Remember, because of the strike zone’s size, there are strikes that might not be good pitches to hit.  Lay off these pitches early in the count.  When you see your pitch, take your best swing at it.  Work the count in your favor so the pitcher has to come to you.  Always try to be on the offensive, rather than the defensive.

Andy Pohl, DNA Sports

DNA Sports specializes in personalized baseball and softball skill programs, college recruiting education and preparation, and coaching clinics. Learn more:






Comments | Questions