Have you spent countless training sessions trying to improve your baseball swing? If you have, then we have some good news and bad news for you.
The good news is that you are dedicating countless hours towards improving a crucial baseball skill. The bat swing is almost like sprinting towards a base — it is a skill every baseball player should both learn and master. And, having taken the time to hone this skill, you are showing how passionate you are about improvement.
Here is the bad news: you are dedicating countless hours of your life to it. You might even be spending too much time. If you want to improve baseball swing efficiency, being smart about your training can pay dividends, and the first step towards optimizing your training is with these five techniques.
In this guide, you will learn about:
- Finding your swing position in the box
- Properly loading up before your swing
- Transferring momentum onto the tip of the bat for power
- Shifting your weight
- Execution of the swing
So, grab some taffy or soda, and read on to learn these five tips to a better batting average hitting baseball or softball swing!
Tips for Balance and Rhythm in the Box
In the box is where you wait to make contact with the ball using the bat. It is also where you need to find your preferred batting stance. The batting stance differs from one person to another; however, despite the differences, you need to make sure you follow the basics.
The ideal batting stance is the one that gives you the most balance and comfort in the box. In your batting position, do not make the same mistake everyone makes: excessive muscle tension.
Batting can be a nerve-wracking experience. Despite this, it is during batting where you need to be relaxed. To practice relaxation and rhythm, practice by slightly moving back and forth in your batting stance. You may also shift the position of your feet a little if you want.
A relaxed musculature supported by your batting stance is the first step towards an explosive swing.
Load Your Baseball Swing
Loading is another way of saying “building tension for an explosive swing.” The pitching equivalent of loading is winding up. Essentially, you begin to “load up” your swing as you build tension in your lats, glutes, and hamstrings. The tension in these muscles will provide you with the explosive momentum needed to deliver maximum power as you swing.
Feet positioning also comes into play for maximizing the power of your swing. We recommend pointing the foot on your back leg slightly towards the direction you are facing. This foot position allows you to wind up and twist once you execute your swing.
To load properly:
- Distribute weight evenly between both legs.
- Raise the stride leg to shift more weight to the back leg.
- Ensure that the knee of the back leg never goes past the foot of the back leg.
- Prepare to swing by turning the entire upper body. The arms and bat will follow.
Separation is when you take a step forward with your stride leg. The stride leg is the leg in front or the leg on the side you are facing. By taking a stride, the batter can create the torque that causes the bat to swing.
There is a timing element to this that can only be simulated by hitting a moving ball. The Swing Path Trainer can help with practicing and replicating proper and correct separation and loading before hitting a moving ball.
The Swing Path Trainer is especially helpful with mastering the timing and hand-eye coordination for the separation technique.
If striding is not your cup of tea, you can create torque similarly by shifting weight from your back leg to your striding leg. The shifting of weight is similar to the one used by pitchers when throwing curveballs.
Shifting weight can be an alternative technique to separation if a player is flat-footed. On the other hand, you may choose a weight shift as a complementary technique after separation.
Either way, here are some footwork drills and coaching cues:
- Shift most of your weight to the stride leg.
- Make sure the knee of the back leg twists towards the ground.
- The front side of the body should feel like the batter is holding the motion back until making contact with the ball. This will put the batter in the best position for maximum bat speed.
Better Hitting Speed
The final piece to the puzzle to improve softball swing or baseball bat swing efficiency is how your arms will move. The movement of the arms is best understood as a “follow-through” type of motion.
As you twist your torso and your shoulders to swing, pay attention to the elbows. The one on the same side as the back leg needs to be pulled closer to your body. The pulling of your elbow and the sudden twist of your upper body need to occur at the same time.
As the bat makes contact with the ball, hit through the ball.
A Few Tips for Youths
Young players who are trying to improve their hitting average can be aided by focusing on power. Youth batters can develop power through a number of drills which are briefly outlined below.
Staying Inside the Ball
A batter who is able to stay inside the ball will improve their bat speed which translates to hitting the ball harder. What does staying inside the ball mean? It means simply keeping the bat as close to the body as possible, for as long as possible. Hitting a baseball from this position and this mindset will translate to greater power when the bat connects with the ball.
Make Better Use of Your Legs
This is another way to hit the ball with more power. A hitter that rolls up onto their back toe when making contact with the ball will maximize the use of their legs during the swing. This translates to better consistent contact with the ball.
Check Your Stance
A hitter has to have a good stance whenever they step into the batter's box. Sure. Every hitter's stance will vary a little, but in general, make sure the feet are shoulder width apart with your hands held near your shoulder.
To improve any of these concepts, ensure you incorporate them into your drills. They will pay big dividends later on.
Improving Your Bat Swing Efficiency Does Not Need To Take Too Long!
By following some or all of the techniques in this post, you can shave your practice time by a few hours. With the time you save, you can work on other aspects of your game like pitching, sprinting, and strength and conditioning.
For a tool that improves your baseball swing, choose our Perfect Swings USA Swing Path Trainer that holds softballs and baseballs.
The Swing Path Trainer is your all-in-one tool for improving your swing, timing, and hand-eye coordination.
Unlock the homerun specialist in you with the Perfect Swing USA Swing Path Trainer!