Your swing may look AMAZING or it may look AKWARD but by no means will it be the primary driver of your success at the plate! Each hitter is different but there are 4 things I believe are CRITICAL to success in the batters box;
TIMING, DECISION MAKING, ADJUSTMENTS & CONFIDENCE.
Today is about TIMING (pt.1 of 4)
TIMING - Possibly the single most important factor to consistent great hitting. Your swing may look as good as Bautista or Chamberlain off a Tee but if you cant time pitches than it wont matter in a game. So many times I hear parents/coaches telling their kids "stop dropping your hands" or the classic "your pulling off the ball" but the reality is its usually their timing is off.
Bad timing wreaks havoc on a beautiful swing. Ever see one of those beautiful pictures taken at a tournament of a kid hitting where everything so so amazing in their swing? (I attached one of my 10 year old students Raeghan)
Well most likely the ripped that particular pitch with great timing because if you saw the pic of them getting fooled by a low and away curve ball all the sudden their swing looks like its definitely time to fire the hitting coach.
So ---before you blame bad performances on a players swing, understand the effects of bad timing and or any of the other 4 factors involved in being a GREAT hitter.
SO NOW --HOW TO DEVELOP TIMING?
Work on hitting the ball up the middle or gap to gap in different scenarios. For example; off a T, front toss, super slow setting on a machine, super fast setting on a machine. You get the idea, figure out how to hit up the middle in all kinds of scenarios and that can help a player have awareness of their timing.
There are plenty of other ideas and drills for timing but this one is simple for everyone to work on -- hit the ball gap to gap!
NEXT TIME I will discuss DECISION MAKING