The 3 Most Common Mistakes That Destroy Your Baseball Swing

This is a guest post submitted by Stacy Duh.  Stacy has always enjoyed playing sports keeping up with the latest sports news, notably when the Buckeyes are involved. She works with Phoenix Bats, a company that creates world-class wooden bats for amateur and professional ball players around the world. 

Hitting a round ball with a round bat can be an exercise in frustration.  Hitters fall into slumps, pick up poor habits, give up on the fundamentals, and revert to just swinging wildly at pitches.  Often, making substantial improvements in your batting performance is the result of making a few minor adjustments

Here are the three most common mistakes that hitters make in the batter box, and how you can avoid those same mistakes…

Mistake:  Too Long of a Stride

Many coaches teach hitters to adopt a stance at the plate that features their feet being shoulder-length apart. As they approach the ball in their swing, a short stride helps in keeping the swing compact and fluid.  A shortened stride allows a player to have a quicker reaction time and adapt more fluidly to different styles of pitches.

This is actually a flaw that’s easily fixable. Hitters tend to naturally shorten the distance between their feet in the batters box.  This serves to lengthen their stride as they go through the mechanics of their swing, giving hitters a slow reaction time and choppy swing.

To correct:  Get used to paying attention to where you place your feet when you’re in the batters box.  Compact your stance, and a shortened stride will naturally follow.


Mistake:  Hitting off Heels

A frustrating habit that batters tend to fall into is hitting from their heels.  With the weight of their body resting on the back of their feet, hitters place themselves at an immediate disadvantage.  Swinging from the heels will result in powerless hitting and pulling swings.  This positioning will also provide severe complications when swinging at a breaking ball.

The simple solution is to get the hitter to focus putting the majority of weight in their stance on the balls of their feet. By slightly shifting the weight forward, a hitter can have more of his weight centered on the balls of his feet and be ready for a more natural swinging motion.

To correct:  When getting into your stance, imagine balancing yourself on a balance beam.  The exercise will help you to shift the weight of your stance from your heels to the balls of your feet.


Mistake:  Hitch in the Swing

Developing a hitch is one of the most common mistakes made by hitters, as they fall into a pattern of dropping their hands.  This often leads to slower bat speed, significantly disadvantaging a hitter when facing a fastball or slider.

One remedy that often helps is by getting a hitter to alter his hitting stance a bit by having his hands located in a higher position and keeping them level before starting his swing. With his hands in a more prepared position as he starts his swing, the batter is able to be quick to the baseball.

To correct:  Imagine that the end of your bat has laser attached to it.  When you swing, you want the laser to reach the outfield wall or bleachers, which means your swing will need to be level rather than dropped.

Hitting well is the process of doing a lot of little things well.  Embracing fundamentals, thinking through your stance and hand placement should be a critical component of every at bat.  If you’re struggling to hit, revert to the fundamentals and ensure you have the proper mechanics.  You might just find it’s the difference to your batting percentage.