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Misconception - Hands take the Barrel of the Bat to the Ball

  • by Coach Ross
  • 2 min read

A common misconception in baseball and softball is that a hitter should throw their hands at the ball, essentially being responsible for taking the barrel of the bat to contact. This is false, because your eyes should be utilized as the driving force in “barreling” a pitch.

Hitters who attempt to use their hands in taking the barrel of the bat to the ball, will be left confused, frustrated with poor results, and possibly en route to the injured list. That is not to say that a hitter shouldn’t “throw their hands,” this technique can be very useful in creating a whip like action at the point of contact and to increase power output; however, the act of hitting is not that simple.

The best method is to spend enough time fine tuning vision (through repetition and tracking drills), along with a swing that is sound and has developed into muscle memory. Hitters who are diligent in their training will have the ability to see the trajectory of the pitch and anticipate where the ball will be located at the point of contact. This allows a hitter to “see the ball and hit the ball,” a fundamental approach that produces results.

Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants has managed to be a consistent hitter throughout his career by utilizing an approach  that features visual, mental and physical preparation.If hitting a moving object was as simple as “throwing your hands at the ball,” then anybody could pick up a bat and perform. But, that simply isn’t the case - hitting a baseball or softball is widely considered to be the most difficult task in all of sports. Being a successful hitter requires years of preparation. Those who do it the best are remarkable to witness, like watching poetry in motion, the perfect combination of physical, mental and visual grace.

MaxBP provides athletes with a fantastic opportunity to develop these skills, because it provides endless opportunities for individuals to train the correct way. MaxBP reaction training uses a small ball approach that will help athletes develop their hand eye coordination and vision at an exponential rate.

For advanced players looking to separate themselves from the competition, MaxBP features multi-color wiffle balls for tracking drills and “Slow the Game Down” products that specialize in vision training. Another game changer for developing hitters is the BetterBat Skinny Barrel Training bat. Trying to hit a golf ball sized wiffle ball with a skinny barrel bat is extremely effective in hand eye coordination. Typically the BetterBat is ⅔ the weight of a game bat, allowing a hitter to practice for a longer duration, like a weightlifter utilizing lighter weight to get more reps.

The game of baseball has been around for 150 years, and with that tenure comes some old beliefs that simply aren’t true. MaxBP is here to help you decipher between what is common knowledge and a detrimental misconception. The sooner an athlete recognizes that hitting is a complex relationship between physical, visual and mental preparation - and that it takes endless practice to develop - the better suited they’ll be for success on game day.