In this fourth edition of our Coach's Tip, let's continue with our focus on hitting and cover some key points about situational hitting. In previous Coach's Tips, we've focused on both the mental and mechanical aspects of successful hitting. Just as important as swing mechanics or mental attitude is being aware of the game situation and the objectives that need to be accomplished during your at-bat. Here are four situations and what you should be focusing on for your hitting plan.
The primary goals of this play is to move the runner. A hit is a bonus. The hitter's job in this situation is to hit the ball on the ground.
Here the hitter's job is to hit a ball hard to the right side of the field. We'd like a hit, but an out to the right side will move the runner to third with one out. Don't give yourself up - try to hit the ball hard.
This is where we want the ball hit hard and in the middle of the field. Pulling the ball to the corners will not allow the runner on third to score. This is a situation where they are giving up a run and we need to make sure that we take advantage of that opportunity. I suggest that in these situations, the hitter should shorten up on the bat and move up on the plate.
The key here is to drive the ball, not lift it. Focus on hitting the ball between the gaps to keep from "rolling over the ball" and hitting a ground ball. Think line drives, not fly balls!!
That's it for now..keep your head in the game.
Updated September 18, 1997