Being Ready to Hit and Attacking Fastballs Early in the Count
In the Recruits program we have a uniform hitting approach that our coaches/instructors continuously work on manifesting in our hitters. The approach is simple; swing early, swing often, and swing to make hard contact. In order to effectively implement this approach, the hitter must have a “swing first, take second” mindset, meaning the hitter must be ready to swing the bat before every pitched ball in order to get his swing off on time, especially on fastballs. Too many times you see hitters take good fastballs over the middle, inner third or outer third of the plate and you sit there scratching your head wondering why he just did that. We believe the main reason kids take good pitches, especially early in counts, is because they have been conditioned to see the ball, decide if it is a pitch good enough to swing at, and then fire off their swing. A lot of times, that process has taken place long after the ball has reached the hitting zone and the hitter is either late or so late that he can’t trigger his swing. In our program, hitters are thinking SWING long before the ball has been released, before the pitch has been read, and before the location has been seen. This doesn’t mean they’re swinging early, it means they are preparing to swing before deciding if the pitch is NOT good enough to swing at. It’s so much easier to start your swing and hold up on a bad pitch than wait to start your swing until you get a good pitch and fire it off in time to make good contact.
The video below will show Josh Donaldson taking a pitch. Look at how dynamic his take is. Look at how much barrel movement he is creating before committing to the pitch. He has started the process of his swing long before recognizing the pitch and all he has to do to get his swing off is release his barrel once he decides he wants to keep his swing going into the baseball.
A good majority of the greatest hitters in the world use this same approach and see tons of success. Yes, kids aren’t as big and strong and athletic as big leaguers, but they do have the ability to approach hitting the same way these guys do. All of our professional hitting instructors have bought into this approach and teach it relentlessly. If you would like to learn more, please contact us at…