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Baseball Bat Hitting Ball 
Not That Easy

youth baseball coaching tips eyes on the ball

Baseball bat hitting ball. We have all heard our baseball coach while teaching batting say over and over, “Keep your eye on the ball.” or “Keep your head in there.” It is a baseball basic said so much that we almost let it go in one ear and out the other.

It is like we know the proper baseball swing must include watching the ball. The truth is that the ball is going so fast from major league hitting on down to youth baseball we really do not watch the bat hit a baseball.

The last several feet the ball is kind of blurry. So baseball hitters swing where they think the ball will be after watching the ball and tracking the ball on the way to home plate.

Batting Myths
Keep the Shoulders Are Level

baseball coaching clinics hitting

When I coach baseball and softball hitters we work on keeping the eyes close to the action. First, the body has to tilt toward home plate. The upper body torso leans toward the plate.

This hitting technique allows the eyes to be physically closer to where the action is…baseball bat hitting baseball. In addition, when teaching hitting the best batting coaches know that the batters’ back shoulder is always lower than the front shoulder.

To be a better hitter the torso leans forward, which automatically puts the back shoulder lower than the front. This also allows the back shoulder to complete the baseball swing without running into the batters’ chin. If the chin is bumped into than the hitters eyes and head will be jiggled around too much.

I often hear far too often from ill-informed volunteer baseball coaches telling hitters, "Keep your shoulders level! You are dipping your back shoulder!"

It is virtally impossible to keep your shoulders level and keep your eyes close to the ball..

Your back shoulder has to be lower than the front shoulder--otherwise your eyes will be too far from the ball and your body will be too erect.

Professional Baseball Instruction
Baseball Bat Hitting Ball

coaching baseball tips for hitters

The best baseball schools of hitting know that the batters eyes tell the hands where to go. The eyes act as the guide dog for the hands.

You have heard of eye-hand coordination of course. Well, think about it. If the eyes move off the ball or the head moves suddenly and keeps the eyes from a position of directly watching the baseball bat hitting ball, then the hands will not know where to go.

It is like the hands are blindfolded. The hands gripping the bat will literally be guessing where the ball is. When looking how to improve batting it is quite important to emphasize keeping the eyes close to the action.

That means for the batter to lean the body in so the head can allow the batters eye to get up for a close up view.

How to Be a Better Hitter
Stay Close to the Ball

Hitters always are asking how to improve batting. One of the best bat tips is to keep your face really close to the action. Good hitters poke their noses into the swing.

Batting exercises practice keeping the head still and the eyes both squarely focused directly on the pitch. Never does a hitter play baseball looking at the ball out of the corner of their eye.

Even though that last several feet the ball can get a little blurry. Baseball bat hitting ball is harder than it sounds but it sureis a good feeling when you square up on one.

Drills to Keep Your Head Still
& Eyes In

coaching kids baseball

Soft Toss or Batting T Drill: Immediately after hitting soft toss or batting tee the batter looks across to see how many fingers the tosser or feeder is holding up.

This keeps the hitter from immediately watching the flight of the ball and pulling their eyes off the ball too soon. Eyes can watch the baseball bat hitting ball.

Bean Bag Hitting Drill: Put a bean bag on the top of the hitter's baseball cap. Ideally, the bean bag will still be on the hitter's head after a complete batting swing.

If the bean bag falls off the batter will know that they have to keep their head still and quiet on the next swing.

**Side Note: I fill up an old sock full of dried beans and tape up the end and you have a simple bean bag. I also use it for pitchers is they jerk their head too much on a throw.

Chalk Line Hitting Drill: Draw a line in the dirt or chalk line in the cement even with your eyes. After the batter swings have them look down and check to see if the head is still pretty close to the line of did the batter's head drift too far forward.

Broom Stick Batting Drill: You also can check for the head dropping or raising too much on a swing. Take a broom stick and have someone hold the stick parallel to the batters eyes and move away hold the stick at that level.

After the batting swing have the batter freeze. Move the stick back into place to see if the head moved too much. Only a few inches of movement is acceptable. More than a few inches and the batter's eyes are moving too much.

**Side Note: Video taping hitters is a really good tool to measure batter's head and eye movement.

Baseball bat hitting ball sounds so routine but if we move the eyes too much or do not get the eyes close to the action we may really pay the price and increase the frustration level of hitting the baseball well.

Return to Hitting 101 from Baseball Bat Hitting Ball

You Go As Far as Your Bat Takes You

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