The BBWKI’s Hitting Fundamentals Program
Hitting the baseball can be one of the most difficult things to do in all of sports and it takes years of practice to develop consistency needed to be successful. As a player develops over the years any flaws they have in their swing will eventually come to light and limit the player’s advancement.
Coaches will tell you there are many styles of hitting that are taught today and that is true but for players to advance to higher levels with good hitting consistency they must have certain sound fundamentals at key points in the swing. These sound fundamentals must be the same for a youth league player all the way up to the professional player and we call them the “Insider Hitting Points” and they are a must have for any aspiring hitter.
Sure players can have all different styles of setups and stances but as the swing develops and moves to the baseball there are key positions and moves that must happen if the player wants to consistently hit the ball squarely.
We teach our players and ask them to understand two key positions in hitting the baseball and that is setup positioning and hitting position. Setup positioning is the points before the stride actually takes place and the hitting position is the when the players front heel plants after the stride and the swing starts forward. To be a great hitting the player must understand the differences of each position and all the parts that make each of them up. This understanding will help the player develop the necessary skills needed to perform them over and over again with good consistency.
Players can have all types of setups and still be a great hitter so for that reason if we are coaching established players we don’t mess with their setup too much. Sure we try to provide good guidelines for young players so it makes things easier but if a player already has a setup they like we usually leave it alone if they can get to hitting position correctly. You just have to remember that most young hitters cannot get from a poor setup to good hitting position unless they are very athletically gifted. You as the coach will have to be the judge with your players or child.
If you look at the major league level you will see a lot of great hitters that have very unusual setups but the point to remember is that when they get to hitting position they are all the same. It’s at this point where we ensure our players follow a very strict discipline so they can consistently hit the baseball.
Just remember that without being in a good fundamental hitting position the player will not consistently hit the baseball and advancement to higher levels will be impossible.
Your job as a coach or parent is to watch the players swing and determine where things are going good and where things are going wrong. This is much easier said than done and most coaches will have a difficult time doing this but I cannot stress enough how important it is to get it right.
You might find it helpful to video tape you players or child every other week or so from several angles to see what the breakdowns are, especially if they are in a slump of some kind. You can compare what you see on the video to what we are about to teach you through our Insider Hitting Program. The fundamental skills and drills will help with the muscle memory development needed to make changes with the players swing. High quality video analysis software is nice but you don’t necessarily need it as most video recorders allow you to slow the video down so you can see if they are in the correct positions called for in our Insider Hitting Program.
The last point I would like to make before we break the fundamentals down is that it takes time to make corrections to a players swing. If you are lucky enough to be working with young kids with limited bad habits then that’s fantastic but for those that are working with older kids it’s imperative that you give the player the necessary time to make a change. Changing muscle memory on a player is very difficult but if you follow the drills outlined in our program you will soon find those swing changes taking hold so just stay patient.