One of the biggest frustrations for a coach as well as a player is when the player continues to put the same swing on balls and either pop the pitch straight up or pound it straight into the ground, pitch after pitch!
A lot of people miss pitches and either pop them up or pound them into the ground, especially during batting practice, front toss, or tee work because their swings have mechanical issues that need fixed. However, a hitter, whether or not he has a mechanical issue, needs to be good enough to be able to make an adjustment and get the job done!
What kind of adjustment can you make?
The easiest and quickest adjustment to make has nothing to do with your physical swing. Instead, it has to do with your eyesight!
Your eyes act as your scope. Whatever you are looking at, you are going to hit. It’s amazing to me when players are missing pitches and I ask them where on the ball they’re looking, they look at me with a blank stare! We wrote an article on “Where To Focus Your Eyes While Hitting” you can read for more information on that process!
So if you have an idea what kind of focus you have and where you’re looking on the ball, the question becomes how do you make vision adjustments during an at-bat or in practice.
The easiest thing you can do is this: If you miss two consecutive pitches in the same way (popping up or grounding out), think about where on the ball you’re looking and make the adjustment accordingly. For example, if you are looking at a tiny spot on the upper inside part of the ball and you are hitting bad ground balls, focus on a spot an inch or so lower. Making this tiny focus adjustment will change your sights and will have you brain send the barrel a little bit lower, likely resulting in a line drive! If you’re underneath everything, focus on a part of the ball a bit higher.
There have been days I have faced tough sinker ball pitchers where I literally had to set my sights at a point inside and below the baseball. I know this may sound crazy, and in all reality you’re not really looking off of the baseball, but mentally your focus will allow you to get the barrel to the right position to be able to drive the baseball!
If you really work on making these adjustments in practice, making them in a game will be second nature. The bottom line is if you have don’t have the ability to make adjustments after each swing, you will never be able to hit at a high level!