If you want to learn how to hit the baseball farther, the first step is learning how to become a great hitter first. Everyone wants to hit the long ball.
Guys like Josh Donaldson and Albert Pujols were not known for their power in little league and high school.
However, they were known for the hard-hit contact percentage. They were good hitters first. Then they learned to hit for more power once they were able to combine taking controlled, violent swings with the right approach and mindset.
Assuming that you have the right approach and mindset, understanding how a swing needs to adjust based on pitch type and location is an important concept to understand if you want to learn how to hit the ball farther.
A good place to start is understanding pitch recognition and how it relates to the three different swing types.
The idea that a good swing comes in three different forms isn't talked about a lot.
The swing plane of a pitch that's up in the zone and letter high is way different than a swing at the knees.
When it comes to pitch recognition & the three different swings, trust us, it's directly related.
Because seeing the ball out of the pitcher's hand efficiently will dictate how quickly you make the adjustment to pitch location and what type of swing you execute.
So what are the three different swings?
Let's first establish the three zones.
You have a:
- high strike
- belt-high strike
- strike at the knees
Depending on which zone the pitch ends up in, you'll have to adjust accordingly whether the pitch location is inside, middle or outside as well as whether the pitch type is a fastball, off-speed or breaking ball.
So let's take a look at the three various swings.
1. Strike At The Knees Swing
A swing on a pitch at the knees looks like an "early collapse".
In other words, your back shoulder tends to drop more compared to a swing on a higher pitch.
The main reason is this.
The lower the pitch, the lower the bat head has to meet the plane of the pitch to point of contact.
The point of contact on a low pitch "looks" like a golf swing.
A common swing flaw is a back-side collapsing too early. This usually happens when we're out in front of the pitch, or simply swinging with no approach.
The reality is, all swings have a "collapse" in the back-side. We just want to avoid the early collapse.
A "strike at the knees" swing is natural and more common for one main reason.
Pitchers are taught to keep the ball down because a pitch up in the zone is the easiest pitch to drive over the fence. That's why we call pitches left up in the zone a "mistake pitch".
2. Belt High Strike Swing
A belt-high strike is very similar to a "strike at the knees" swing. The bat head naturally meets the pitch belt-high since this is where the hitter's center of gravity is located.
There really isn't much to observe here as long as our approach and general mechanics are sharp and on point.
3. High Strike Swing
Now things get interesting. Learning how to attack pitches left up in the zone will be a gamechanger when you understand the basic mechanics, approach and mindset.
Getting great at driving pitches up in the zone will increase your production, extra-base hits and general balls hit hard, period.
This is partly why the farthest home runs are usually breaking balls or off-speed "mistake" pitches left up in the zone.
Here are a few things to understand about the "High Strike Swing".
On a high strike swing...
The bat head gets on the plane early and stays on the plane throughout the entire swing.
For example, the top hands are a bit more dominant as the hips fire and the hands are pulled through the hitting zone.
Oftentimes, when you see a hitter who doesn't get the bat head on the plane of the pitch early, you see an uppercut since the hitter is "playing catch up" as they recognize the pitch up in the zone.
If you don't recognize the pitch up in the zone, and then start the bat head on the plane of the pitch, it'll be too late. You'll pop-up or swing and miss.
Ironically, a good example of this is watching a slow-pitch softball power swing.
Because the plane of the pitch is coming from "high up" a low pitch softball swing requires that the top hand really drives through the baseball as the bat head comes through the zone.
Pitch Recognition & The Three Different Swings
Your swing won't always be perfect. Your timing will be off on occasion...
...the vital ingredient in putting together a solid swing, approach and mindset will always be seeing the ball well.
Having optimized pitch recognition when combined with understanding the concept of the three different swing types will make applying these principles just a little bit easier.
You'll play hurt, and you'll be competing against athletes who can outplay you but having good pitch recognition is your safety net to learning how to hit the ball farther, more consistently.
In other words, it gives you a chance to bounce back when your skills need a chance to adjust.
After training 1,000's of hitters, my suggestion to most young hitters is to train to be consistent with making HARD contact on pitches up in the zone.
For example, a mentality that I often shared was this.
"If the pitcher leaves the ball up in the zone. I don't miss. I make them pay."
In all, attacking ball up in the zone are gifts. Take advantage of them. Hit them hard, with authority.
How To Hit The Baseball Farther FAQs
Attacking the inner half of the ball to creat backspin, while swining with intent to do some serious damage. We're not swining just to make contact, we're swining to drive the ball with 100% complete authority.
Generate a solid foundation in your setup so that you're completly balanced at point of contact. Good hitting starts from the ground up. Leg strength is a non-negotiable.
Every muscle you use in your swing. Swining at bat is an atheltic movement. Your core has to be engaged. Hips have to fire. The bat has to feel loose in your grip. You have to stay grounded in your lower half to leverage the legs. In all, the netire body is used in a swing and it starts from the ground up.
A hitter who doesn't get cheated by the fastball and does damage on mistake pitches left up int he zone.
A hitter who is unable to drive the ball the other way. If you're a deadpull hitter, you're nothing but a dressed up out.