YRA- Year Round Athlete Who are you as a hitter? Know your tools and hitting style.
1. Understand the tools you have as a hitter.
A. Do you hit with Power?
B. Do you have foot speed?
C. Do you have quick hands?
D. Can you bunt?
E. Can you bunt for hits?
F. Do you have a Good eye?
G. Can you recognize balls and strikes?
H. Can you recognize different types of pitches?
Knowing your tools helps you understand who you are as a hitter.
- Identify your hitting style
A. Power Hitter- hits a lot of homeruns and sometimes strike out more than others
B. Gap to Gap Hitter- hit the ball to all fields, has some power, with occasion home runs
C. Pull hitter- hits the ball to the same side of the field as the side of the plate they are standing on
D. Opposite Field Hitter- hits the ball to the opposite side of the field from the side of the plate they are standing on.
E. Contact hitter: hits the ball to all fields and puts the ball in play on a regular basis, does not strike out often. Does not try to hit homeruns. More likely to bunt for hits
F. Switch hitter- capable of batting left-handed and right-handed
Year Round Athlete (YRA) basic fielding fundamentals of fielding a routine ground ball at second base.
Fielding a Baseball
- field with eyes and feet
- catch ball with glove
- ready position - feet slightly wider than shoulders, knees bent in athletic position, hands relaxed with thumbs up expecting ball to come
- approach ball on right side- plant right foot, then left (don't hop) glove down with fingers tips of glove on ground
- throw hand over glove with finger tips pointing towards sky
- right- left down or right down with glove and left foot hitting approximately same time
- field ball center left of body
- bottom below head not head lower than bottom
- bring straight up to chest with rotating glove fingers to right for easy take away of ball from glove
- come up shuffle and throw
YRA- Year Round Athlete Teaching how to grip a baseball bat
Hitting- How to grip the bat
- .Batting gloves optional. Personal preference. Some players like to wear batting gloves and some like to feel the bat in their bare hands.
- Grip the bat at the base of your fingers.
- If you are batting right handed. Grab the handle (grip) of the bat close to the knob of the bat with your left hand. Place the end of the bat (barrel end) on the ground directly in front of your left hand. Open your left hand and place the bat at the base of your fingers. Bring your right hand to the bat in front of your left hand so your left pointer finger and right pinky touch. Close your hands at the same time so your thumbs are touching your pointer fingers. The bat is secured by your fingers for bat control.
- If you are batting left handed. Grab the handle (grip) of the bat close to the knob of the bat with your right hand. Place the end of the bat (barrel end) on the ground directly in front of your right hand. Open your right hand and place the bat at the base of your fingers. Bring your left hand to the bat in front of your right hand so your right pointer finger and left pinky touch. Close your hands at the same time so your thumbs are touching your pointer fingers. The bat is secured by your fingers for bat control.
- If you are right handed. Bring to bat up and rest the middle of the bat on your right shoulder. Look down at your hands and make sure your door knocking knuckles are slightly off set.
- If you are left handed. Bring to bat up and rest the middle of the bat on your left shoulder. Look down at your hands and make sure your door knocking knuckles are slightly off set.
YRA- Year Round Athlete teaches how to stand in the batter's box.
How to stand in the batter’s box- Bend, Lean, Lift
1. Be ready to swing the bat at every pitch, get into an athletic hitting posture and find a comfortable batting stance for you. Your feet should be slightly wider than shoulders with your knee bent, chest over knees and knees between the inside of your feet with the weight on the balls of your feet applying equal weight to your front and back leg.
2. There are three types of batting stances, squared, open, and closed. In a squared stance, your feet are perpendicular to home plate and your toes are pointed at home plate. Your toe line is a straight line towards the pitcher. In an open stance, your feet are perpendicular to home plate with your toes pointed at home plate. Your toe line is a straight line towards third base. In a closed stance, your feet are perpendicular to home plate. Your toes are pointed at home plate. Your toe line is a straight line towards first base.
3. Bend, Lean, and Lift- Place front foot at front edge of home plate for a starting point about a typical foots distance away not to close or far away for maximum plate coverage. Place the bat on the shoulder where knob is pointing slightly beyond back foot which will set bat angle-lead elbow point down and lead arm, between the forearm and bicep is at or approximately 90-degree angle, back elbow relaxed- bend your knees, lean forward, and lift your bat off the shoulder. The lead elbow is down and the back elbow is at or slightly below shoulder height bat will or should be 45 degrees. The back elbow is up and relaxed at shoulder height to create whip once swing is initiated. The hands are in front and close to body to make a direct path to the ball.
4. Relax the eyes. The head is up and turned toward the pitcher. The chin is over lead shoulder, eyes parallel to ground or slightly tilted, eyes focused on the emblem of the pitcher’s hat.
5. Get in a routine of standing in the same place with the same stance to keep the contacts points the same, moving around in the batter’s box, forward, backwards, closer to home plate, and away will affect timing and ball contact on the bat. You want to be consistent by hitting the baseball on the barrel of the bat.
6. Stay relaxed and loose while in your stance helps to stay in rhythm, keeps you balanced, and allows freedom for the body to move efficiently
YRA-Year Round Athlete Teaching how to prepare for an at-bat while on deck.
What to do “on deck” during the game:
On deck means you are the next hitter in line to bat. The on deck “circle” is usually located in-between home plate and dugout close to the fence near the dugout.
1. Be mentally and physically prepared
A. Focus on your mechanics. Have good posture and work on:
§ your timing
§ weight transfer
§ hip & shoulder turn
§ hand path to the ball
B. Tune out parents and fans in the stands and focus on the game. Parents, do not try to coach the ball players during the game. That is the coaches job.
C. Anticipate your role at the plate. Think about possible situations you may be asked to accomplish by your coach.
§ hit and run
§ relax and trust yourself
2. Have your equipment on and be ready to hit.
A. Bat, Helmet, batting gloves, Elbow and shin guards.
3. Stretch and take a few swings to get loose.
A. Stretch your legs, swing your arms, body twist
B. Make sure your body is warmed up to allow for peak performance.
4. Study the pitcher. Watch his release point and the types of pitches the pitcher throws, fastball, curveball, change up.
5. Take game swings