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Get Better at Softball and Baseball - Issue #66
May 10, 2010
Get Better at Softball or Baseball
Maybe you're asking the question "how can I get better at softball or how can I get better at baseball?"
Well let me answer that the way I answered some specific questions that were turned in by some of you.
Here are my answers and let's see if they help you in any way.
Strength TrainingI was asked if I thought getting stronger was the way to get better at softball while her problem was moving her feet while hitting.
To which I answered:
The good news is the first way to get better at softball is to want to get better and you already have that!
I will let you in on a little secret, strength, though helpful, is not as good as proper technique. That's what will keep your feet still and do things well.
Follow the hitting steps I outline at my webpage and do 100 - 200 practice swings a day and maybe throw a ball against a wall to practice grounders. This should help you more than push ups and crunches which will help your strength (but you can do those as well :)
Write again to let me know how your season and practice are coming along.
Hitting high pitches with the rotational swingTom Greenfield writes "I know all baseball players should probably do rotational. Should 5 ft 2 inch girl softball players do it? We went to a clinic and Sue Enquist [former UCLA head coach] was teaching rotational, so our league followed her. Yes we had more power, but on all high pitches, we would pop up or strike out. Any cure? Or is linear the best for softball?"
My answer to that is that in any swing there are almost always holes, there's almost never a perfect hitter in all pitch locations. Even Ted Williams in his terrific book, "The Science of Hitting" showed where even he would hit barely 200 and locations where he could hit over 400 if he were delivered the ball there every time.
The high pitches are traditionally such a hole for the beginning rotational hitter, especially in softball where you have the rise ball.
I talked to Sue herself about this and she initially trained her batters to either go to the front of the box to beat the break on the pitch or go to the back of the box, pick up the spin and lay off the rise ball hoping that the pitch would start high and continue out of the strike zone. (You probably didn't hear that part of the lesson :)
Your answer is partially correct that linear is better for hitting the high pitches, but it has a different hole, in trying to hit low pitches and as you also mentioned you do get more power from a rotational swing, so you need to choose what you want to have more of, power or contact.
Trying out for the High School teamSarah wanted to know: "Im just now starting softball and i want to try out. I've never played for the school and i dont know how to get ready. Try outs are august 2. Any information would help. Thank you:)"
Here's what I told her: Hi Sarah,
Thanks for writing.
There are so many factors that go into making the high school team that I can't possibly answer all of them here, but here are a few tips.
Depending on the high school, there can be a huge difference on the talent level that they will accept. Some schools will take kids with no experience (not many) and other will cut kids that have made all-stars and traveling teams. Not knowing which yours is I can only help you with what would help you in all circumstances and you may (or may not) have your fate already determined based on number of experienced kids trying out on August 2 no matter what you do.
But if I were you, I'd commit to practicing every day. The better you are as a hitter, the more the coach will want to keep you. Follow the advice on how to be a better hitter on my website. The other thing you can do is try to practice with another player, hopefully one who's already on the team or one that you know that's really good, so you can judge how far along you are and generally kids who hang out together have similar skills, so you might get a benefit from having a good player as a friend and a catching and throwing partner.
How to make All StarsWhile I don't have a book on how to make the high school team, many of the principals are the same as making an all-star team, which I just happen to have written a book on :)
This will explain a lot of the mysteries surrounding how teams like all-stars or high school teams are chosen and how it can look to some parents totally different than how or who they'd select the team.
The book also explains what you need to do to enhance your chances in the selector's eyes and if you even stand a reasonable chance of being selected in the first place and what you can do to make the team or how to get better at softball or baseball so that you could make the next year's team if you can't this year. Here's the page describing my book on how to make all stars http://www.theinternethittingcoach.com/make-all-stars.html
What I'm doing nowLately I've been spending a lot of time helping other people putting up websites for their local businesses, like a remodeler, or plumber or podiatrist, etc (like the one I've built for my hitting site (ranked #1 on google for almost 15 terms including "best batting coach" along with over 30 other first page rankings) for their businesses).
So if you're a business man and you'd like to see if I can help you with your local business website, feel free to e-mail me or call me 805-642-5827.
If you're interested in doing your own website work, I can tell you what I recommend in building websites on your own it's called Site Built It.
Thanks for reading this hitting newsletter.
Again, if you have any questions or comments you can call me at 805-642-5827 or write
to me via e-mail.
Welcome to you who are new to my hitting e-zine.
Thanks for reading and talk to you next time.
6801 Dove St. Ventura, CA 93003
Coach Andy Collins has been helping players achieve their goals in softball and baseball for over 35 years. He's an advisor to national teams and can help you be a better hitter. He offers free information on his website www.theInternetHittingCoach.com and through free e-mail hitting lessons and has just introduced 4 new videos on teaching fielding, throwing, and running hitting practices along with another hitting video discussing and demonstrating how to hit great with either the rotational or linear hitting methods. http://www.theinternethittingcoach.com/hitting-video.html
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