Where should I try to hit the ball?
Always approach the inside & top part of the ball. This will help the ball go where it should go. If it's pitched inside you'll pull the ball. If it's away, you should go the other way with the ball. Approach the ball inside and on top and you'll have a lot more line drives and ground balls - instead of line drives and fly balls.
Important: Make sure when you make contact that you have your top palm facing the sky!
What should I focus on mentally to try to increase my batting average?
- Try to hit the ball through the fence, instead of over the fence.
- Where the ball comes from, it goes back to.
- Work line drive to down instead of line drive to up. 80% of the balls hit into the air are outs.
- Don't worry so much about your average, think about how many times you hit the ball hard out of 10. Keep track of your hard hit balls during practice and games for a true measure of hitting success.
What's the secret to hitting an off-speed pitch?
Off-speed pitches are designed to get you to commit your weight too soon; to get you off-balance and take your body out of the swing. In essence, an off-speed pitch makes you become an "arms only" hitter and your power and effectiveness can be severely hampered.
Aggressive hitters are generally very good at hitting the fastball, but struggle with the off-speed pitch. Hitting the off-speed pitch requires discipline. Become great at recognizing the off-speed pitch and learn to react appropriately.
When trying to judge off speed pitches... Be on the lookout for off-speed pitches that start up in the zone. They will always look like a ball and then fall back into the strike zone. Focus on the ball out of the pitcher's hand and determine if it's an off-speed pitch or straight fastball. If you recognize it's an off-speed pitch, and it looks like a strike from the start, then it's probably going to fall out of the zone for a ball.
Some of the greatest hitters have perfect mechanics and perfect swings all the time. Whether you go up to the plate 500 times a year or 50 times a year on your select teams…every swing has to be the same. Now that swing has to be the same in practice and in the game. That only happens when you do it mentally.
I want everyone to close your eyes right now…I want you to think of the best…most perfect hit you’ve ever had in your entire life. OK, open your eyes. Now what I want you to do is try to do that every single time that you hit.
Click for details
Ben Boulware is the president & owner of America's Baseball Camps and has worked with over 24,000 players within the past 7 years. A former 7th Round draft pick & professional player for the Chicago White Sox, Ben won a Minor League batting title while he was in professional baseball. He is known for his vast knowledge of the game and enthusiasm towards children, which is evident at every camp location. Ben travels the country training instructors and directors along with doing coaches clinics and player clinics on a national level. He has directed over 1000 camps and coaches clinics since he started the company.
Be sure to check out Ben's great DVD on Hitting: Hitting Zone: Beyond the Bat