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Coach Andy's Hitting E-zine, #47 - Hitting Resolution
January 01, 2008
Hi

Have you made a Hitting Resolution this year?

Many of us make New Year's resolutions, to do this or that, so why not make a hitting resolution?

Here's my suggestion - Take more practice swings daily.

Do you want to be a better hitter? Take 300 swings a day. Take 100 swings a day. Take 50 swings a day.

Do some sort of hitting practice each and every day in 2008 and see if you don't become a better hitter.

I was talking to a fellow hitting coach from another area and he mentioned that when it comes down to it, that there's only so much information a coach can give and then the rest is up to the student. So the way he structured his lessons was a lot of learning when they first came to him, then sell them a device that he believed was a good one to get lots of swings in and then see them only every so often.

I do it a little differently, but I always encourage my students that they're going to have to put in lots of practice to see the results of what I'm teaching.

I generally encourage 100 swings a day if they can do it, because I don't want to frighten the kids off with what the major leaguers and high level players do normally, 300 swings a day.

But for many that is still too much, so I try to get them to commit to at least take some swings every day (or 5 or 6 times a week).

How to take 100 swings a day

Some of it comes down to the famous Nike phrase - Just Do It!

But you still might need encouragement as to what's the best way to do it.

Practicing swings in front of a mirror to make sure your swing is perfect works.

Tossing the ball up and hitting it is moderately effective, but very time consuming and depending where you're hitting them could be rather tedious shagging the balls. Plus, it's rare to have perfect form this way.

As kids, my brother and I would swing a bat, hitting the flowers, this way we'd be swinging at various spots in the strike zone. (NOTE: Please check in with mom before doing this one :)

The Gwynn brothers used to roll up a sock and pitch it to each other.

The more traditional approaches involve money, sorry to say.

I would suggest a tee for those of you that are still mastering a perfect swing. Or a device that has a stationary ball (the device the other coach I was talking to recommended was like this. It's called the SoloHitter). If you're using a tee, you'll either need balls (or a ball that you can set on the tee that will retract to you) and if you don't want to spend a lot of time shagging, you'll want a net. One of these arrangements will run around $200.

There are also toss machines, from Jugs, Atec, and Athlonic in the $300 to $500 range. Again, to avoid shagging, you'll want a net as well, adding another $100 to the mix.

There are toss alternatives like the Hitaway that you can get in most sporting goods stores that swing around a pole and that's only $30 or $40. It has it's limitations as it doesn't allow for anything other than a swing that hits it back from where it came from, but it can get you the 100 a day you require for very little investment and you don't have to shag balls or need a net (but you do need to have access to a pole or a fairly thin tree. If you don't have one, you can buy one from them for $100 or so).

I think the best device I've seen is the one invented by one of my student's dads. It can double as a ball you can place on a tee and it doesn't need a net or extra balls since the ball will retract to you. But it can also be used as the standard toss drill that the coach, parent, or friend can toss out in front of your hitter, without bending down and no shagging. It comes with either a baseball or a softball. The total investment toward your hitting revolution on this one is under $80. I'd really like you all to at least check this out on my website - http://www.theinternethittingcoach.com/retractoball.html

There's also the gravity fed toss machines like the QuicHands or Joe Mauer's Quickwing - http://www.theinternethittingcoach.com/quickswing.html

If you're past those methods (tee and toss), you can use your quarters at the local batting cages to get in your swings. (Do realize that major leaguers still do tee and toss drills.)

Another thing to watch out for in batting cages, some batters become great cage hitters and not great game hitters, but to see faster pitching on a consistent basis, the cages are a great way to go. This will get into the hundreds of dollars eventually.

The next way is really going to set you back, and that's to buy a pitching machine and a batting cage. They have some pitching machines in the $300 - $400 range that throw plastic balls or limited flight balls (none in that price range throw real baseball or softballs).

One I really like that can probably get away without the need for a net is the one that I've mentioned before that throws golf ball sized whiffles. They even have a carrier that holds 100 balls, so you'll know that you've hit your hitting resolution when the bucket is empty.

This is the Personal Pitcher - http://www.theInternetHittingCoach.com/personal-pitcher.html

The bigger full pitching machines range from $600 - $2000 and the cages run in about the same bracket doubling your investment, but you don't have to run to the batting cages and you can have the team over any time you want and you'll get to vary the speeds and at the higher levels you'll get to see breaking pitches.

My website and former newsletters have enough information about the proper swing or check the bottom of the newsletter for links to my hitting video and free hitting lessons via e-mail.

So now it's up to you to make your own hitting resolution to practice a perfect swing many, many times a day.


Again, if you have any questions or comments you can write to me via e-mail.

To see other hitting tips in past newsletters, go to the past issues of my hitting newsletter page.


Welcome to you who are new to my hitting e-zine.

Thanks for reading and talk to you next time.

Coach Andy

6801 Dove St. Ventura, CA 93003

805-642-5827

Coach Andy Collins has been helping players achieve their goals in softball and baseball for over 30 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 a new 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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