Too many hitting coaches break down hitting to such a technical level that it causes players to think too much at the plate as opposed to playing the game. Are there proper hitting mechanics that need to be taught? ABSOLUTELY! Does it need to be at such a technical level where players are thinking about 100 things when they get up to bat? NO!
Essentially every mechanical adjustment made works on one of four things: stance, load, stride, or swing. Players need to understand at a very basic level that they need to get their foot down early, keep their weight back, swing flat through the zone and that’s it! Everything else talked about is good to work on in the off-season but when it is game-time, that’s all that should be going through a hitter’s head. Too often do players struggle because time and time again, as coaches, we are told, “I was thinking too much while I was up there.” That is a damaging answer when they need to just keep hitting simple. Baseball is such a difficult game to begin with, why make it harder?
As players get older, it is the coach’s responsibility to teach the proper mechanics and they should be advancing their knowledge or else the instructor is doing the player a disservice, BUT make sure what you’re teaching is AGE APPROPRIATE. People learn addition before they learn calculus.
Director of Baseball Operations
Illinois Baseball Academy