57 Hitting Techniques to Customize to the Player
Baseball and Fastpitch Softball
We begin this article by distinguishing between customizable hitting techniques and universal hitting fundamentals.
Fit to Player (Customizable) Hitting Techniques
Softball Momentum Hitter with Leg Kick Stride (Style Technique)
Intricate hitting techniques must be developed and be a good match for the abilities (strength, athleticism, speed, desire, aggressiveness, etc.) of the specific hitter. A hitting strategy that works for one player can be ineffective for another. The choices hitters make, experimenting, and selecting which techniques work best for them, comprise the hitter’s own unique style.
This article identifies 57 hitting techniques that hitters should experiment with to determine what works best for the type of hitter they are. With each of these style-oriented mechanics and options, there is no one right way.
Universal Hitting Fundamentals
Building Rome Series defines universal hitting fundamentals as those where, for at least ninety percent of professional and successful college hitters, there is one prevalent technique for executing the fundamental.
In addition to the 57 fit-to-player techniques portrayed in this article, we can identify a core group of 45 Universal Hitting Fundamentals (click the link for our companion article to this one) nearly all expert performers execute. With universals, there is one absolute mechanic or set of mechanics, and all hitters should do it this way to be successful. To a large degree, this is what makes them so good.
The Art of Coaching
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).
57 Hitting Customizable Techniques and Options
Here is the list of 57 fit-to-player techniques and options. Combined with the 45 universal fundamentals, these two lists encompass an effective step-by-step, “ground-up”, swing build program.
- Choose a Bat (click here for 5 easy steps to choose a good fitting bat)
- Front to Rear Positioning in Batters Box (click here to dramatically improve the rate of hard hits simply by setting up productively in the batter’s box)
- Distance from Plate Positioning in Batters Box (click here to dramatically improve the rate of hard hits simply by setting up productively in the batter’s box)
Stance and Grip
- Type of Grip
- Weight Distribution in Stance
- Width of Feet in Stance
- Foot Alignment in Stance (Open, Even, Closed)
- Degree of Spine Angle in Stance
- Degree of Knee Bend in Stance
- Rear Elbow Up or Down in Stance
- Height of Hands in Stance
- Front to Rear Positioning of Hands in Stance
- Tightness of Hands to Body in Stance
- Bat Angle in Stance
- Methods of Relaxation in Stance
- Degree of Rear Weight Shift
- Degree of Inward Turn
- Front Shoulder Slope
Stride, Separate Hands, and Approach
- Type of Stride
- Length and Height of Stride
- Front Foot Angle at Toe Touch
- Degree of Forward Body Movement During Approach
- When Hands Load
- Where Hands Load (click here to adjust where hands load for best power or average).
- How Hands Load (click here to adjust how hands load for best power or average).
- Angle of Bat at Launch.
- Height of Hands at Launch
- Rear Elbow Angle at Launch
- Front Foot Angle at Contact
- Degree of Axis of Rotation (Staying Back)
Head and Shoulders
- Lead Shoulder Opening Strategy
- Rear Shoulder Row (Scap Load)
Arms and Hands
- Pre-Launch Torque
- Top Hand Torque
- Flat Bat Hitting
- Degree of Flex in Lead Arm During Swing
- Degree of Wrist Snap
- Circular or Linear Extension
- Emphasis of Early Bat Speed (click here for the why and how of early bat speed)
- One Hand Release on Follow-Through
All hitters strive to get their movements on time.
Basics of Quality At Bats
- Emphasis of Gap to Gap Hitting
- Attack Angle
- Launch Angle (click here to optimize launch angle based on ball exit velocity and the type of hitter)
- Emphasis of Gap to Gap Hitting
- Methods used to Hit the Low Pitch (click here for drills to hit the low pitch for high average).
Off Speed and Movement
- Methods of Adjusting Timing for Off Speed Pitch
- How to Hit the Rise Ball (Fast Pitch Only) (click here for fundamentals for hitting the rise ball)
Mental, Strategic, and Situational
- Method of Visualizing Release of Ball (click here for 16 steps to improve seeing the ball)
- Method of Visualizing Ball Travel (click here for 16 steps to improve seeing the ball)
- Method to Recognize Pitch Type
- Mental Approach
- Plate Approach (Having a Plan) (click here for 8 Steps to a Productive Plan at the Plate).
- Situational Hitting
- When to Look for a Pitch (click here for When and How to Look for a Pitch).
- Physical and Mental Preparation Routines
- What to do to get out of slump
- Emphasis on Patience at the Plate
- Whether to Expand the Zone with Two Strikes
The extent of this list may surprise some readers. Two conclusions can be derived:
- Becoming a successful hitter is one of the most challenging skills in sports.
- A hitter’s concepts and training methods are crucial for success.
45 Universal Fundamentals
45 Universal Hitting Fundamentals for All Hitters (click the link for universal/absolute fundamentals all hitters should train for).
Building Rome Series Books: Building the High-Level Swing Series
Click Building the High-Level Swing to learn more about our new book 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!