45 Hitting Fundamentals ALL Hitters Should Execute
Baseball and Fastpitch Softball
We begin this 45 Hitting Fundamentals ALL Hitters Should Execute article by distinguishing between universal hitting fundamentals and customizable hitting techniques.
Universal Hitting Fundamentals
Head Centered during Approach (Universal Fundamental)
Rear Knee Hinge to Un-weight Rear Foot (Universal Fundamental)
Building Rome Series defines universal hitting fundamentals as follows:
For at least ninety percent of professional and successful college hitters, there is one prevalent technique for executing the fundamental.
Nearly all expert performers execute the core group of 45 fundamentals the same way – there is one absolute, and all hitters should do it this way to reach their potential. In fact, to a large degree, this is what makes them so good. Building Rome Series has examined hundreds of slow-motion videos of great hitters to identify these 45 universal hitting absolutes.
Fit to Player Hitting Techniques
In addition to universal fundamentals, intricate hitting techniques must also be trained. Each technique should be a good match for the abilities (strength, athleticism, speed, desire, aggressiveness, etc.) of the specific hitter. Moreover, a hitting strategy that works for one hitter can be ineffective for another.
The choices hitters make, by experimenting and selecting which techniques work best for them, comprise the hitter’s own unique style.
In a separate companion article, Building Rome Series identifies 57 hitting techniques (click the link for another free article) that hitters execute differently. With each of these style-oriented options, the hitter has a choice of mechanics where one may be most productive for them.
The Art of Coaching Hitting Fundamentals and Techniques
The real “art” of coaching hitters is to know when to let things be (style). When to experiment with a change (techniques). And lastly, when to insist on a change (fundamentals).
THE 45 Universal Hitting Fundamentals
Here is the list of 45 universal hitting fundamentals. All great hitters can be seen executing each of these fundamentals.
Developing hitters should strive to train and build habits for universal fundamentals. The single biggest problem with developing hitters trying to learn to hit is their lack of productive concepts. If the inexperienced hitter has poor concepts, they will simply get better at doing the wrong things.
This list is presented in a recommended order for coaching the developing hitter. Combined with 57 hitting techniques, these companion lists encompass an effective and efficient, step-by-step, “ground-up”, swing build plan.
Beginning Hitting Fundamentals
- Improve Ability to See the Ball (click here for beginning vision basics and five drills).
- Maximize Hand-Eye Coordination (click here for four drills to improve hand-eye coordination).
- Check Swing on Poor Pitches (click here to improve the hitter’s rate of hard-hit balls by mastering the check-swing).
- Swing Hard at Good Pitches (click here for tips and one game to encourage the young hitter to swing aggressively).
Stance and Grip
- Head and Eyes Level in Stance
- Grip Bat in Fingers
- Relax in Stance
- Rear Leg Flexion during Gather
Stride, Separate Hands, and Approach
- Heel Up on Toe Touch
- Flexed Front Leg at Toe Touch
- Front Side In
- Consistent Stride (Length, Height, Tempo)
- Stride to Even Alignment
- Head Centered During Approach (click here for drills to help the hitter stay back).
- Front Heel Drive
- Rear Knee Drive
- Rear Knee Hinge
- Firm Front Side Halts Approach
- Maintain Balance
- Core Rotation
- Head Steady during Rotation (click here for drills to help the hitter stay in and not pull their head).
- Rearward Leaning Axis of Rotation (Stay Back) (click here for drills to help the hitter stay back).
- Hip and Shoulder Separation
Head and Shoulders
- Shoulder Rotation
- Shoulder Tilt
- Maintain Athletic Position as Swing Executes
Arms and Hands
- Hands Connect to Rotation
- Slot Rear Elbow
- Target with Lead Arm
- Lead Arm Tight
- Barrel Inside Pitch
- Palm Up, Palm Down at Contact
- Wrist Snap
- Emphasize and Develop Early Bat Speed (click here for the why and how of early bat speed).
- Long and Smooth Follow-Through
Timing Related Hitting Fundamentals
- Good Tempo
- Slow, Controlled Gather on Time
- Sync Stride to Pitcher’s Motion
- Toe Touch on Time
- Front Heel Drive on Time
Basics of Quality At-Bats
- Swing in Plane of Pitch (click here to improve ball exit speed and the rate of hard-hit balls).
- Optimize Attack and Launch Angles (click here to increase productivity by analyzing the optimum attack and launch angles for different types of hitters and levels of competition).
Mental, Strategic, and Situational
- Develop Ability to Recognize the Type of Pitch At Release
- Have a Plan at the Plate (click here to develop a plan at the plate in 8 steps).
Hitting Fundamentals Conclusion
The extent of this list of hitting absolutes may surprise some readers. Two conclusions can be derived:
- Becoming a successful hitter is one of the most challenging skills in sports.
- The hitter’s concepts and training methods are crucial to reaching a high-level of success.
57 Hitting Non-Universal Techniques
57 Hitting Techniques Which Should be Customized to the Player lists non-universal mechanics (click the link for the companion article to this one). Each option should be fit to the abilities of the individual athlete.
Building Rome Series Books: Building the High-Level Swing Series
Click Building the High-Level Swing Series to learn more about our new two-book hitter series containing a detailed and comprehensive description of 100 hitting fundamentals and 140 step-by-step drills that efficiently construct the batting swing from the ground up.
In the Building Rome Series of books, the construction of skills are in functional order, providing a “roadmap” to becoming a great hitter.
All baseball and fastpitch softball players can “climb the Roman Coliseum steps” to become a powerful and productive hitter.
Enjoy the quest!