How do I get more air under my hits?
Photo Bill Stanton: Checkswing.com
Joey asked: I hit pretty well and have a high average, but 90% of my hits are singles.
I hit a majority of these very hard, but I seem to have trouble hitting into the gaps and getting air under the ball.
I understand hitting line drives is good, but I would like to hit more doubles and triples since I am going into my first year of high school. I am 5'11" and pretty strong for a 14 year old, so it isn't a size problem. Any tips?
Rick answered: Joey, thank you for your question.
It sounds like you are in a pretty good place as a hitter.
I would never recommend any hitter make it a goal to get more air under their hits. We spend a lot of time in practice working to hit line drives and ground balls.
There always seems to be a great deal of interest in lifting the ball. When younger hitters try to get that lift, more times than not it equates to fly ball and pop fly outs, both of which are the easiest outs to record, after strike outs.
If you are hitting line drives hard and maintaining a high average, you will get the doubles and triples you are looking for, as well as some home runs.
Home runs are just line drives gone bad.
I would estimate that 65-70% of the hitters out there would like to be where you describe you are at. You have some great positives:
- High average.
- The majority of your hits are hit very hard.
- You know hitting line drives is good.
Definition of a quality at bat:
1. See the ball early.
2. Track it all the way to the hitting zone.
3. Put a good swing on it.
4. Hit it hard somewhere.
What happens next is beyond the realm of your control.
Whether or not you find a gap is more about the location of the pitch that you hit and where you make contact with that pitch, such as middle in, middle out, inside, outside, etc.
If you go to the following link, there is a quote from Ted Williams
, under the Tips From The Dugout section of this page, that says a lot about being a consistent hitter. He was the last player to hit.400 in MLB, did that in 1941. In that same season, Joe DiMaggio had his record, 56 game hitting streak.
Good luck as you go into next spring. High School baseball is a great experience, which will leave you with a lot of great memories.
Keep hitting those line drives and ground balls. You can't go wrong as long as you are hitting the ball hard.
Yours in baseball,