Practice Tips for Batting Cages
Baseball, like any sport, requires a lot of practice. If you want to excel at it, you need to practice the various different skills that it requires. Chief among these skills is batting.
A solid presence at the plate starts with a great swing. One of the best ways to work on and improve your swing is by practicing in a batting cage. Working in a batting cage is the absolute best way to become a better hitter. It can help you break down each individual part of your swing so that you can correct the ones that need work.
There are two primary skills that you can work on while in a batting cage. Focusing on these two skills will help you get the most out of your batting cage baseball training.
The first skill to work on during your batting cage training is timing. Let’s start by breaking down timing further:
- Follow the ball – The most important step in hitting a baseball is following the ball to the bat. A batting machine offers the perfect place for you to practice doing this.
- Front foot down – Because batting machines fire baseballs in a rapid fire manner, it is essential that you learn to get your front foot down before a new pitch is released. Doing this will help you get into the natural rhythm and balance of hitting a baseball.
- Take a pitch – When you are using a batting machine, sometimes taking a pitch is more effective than swinging at everyone. If you can’t get your natural swinging rhythm and balance (and front foot) down before each new pitch is released, wait for one ball between each time you swing.
The other important skill to focus on while practicing in a batting cage is tracking. The steps to mastering this skill are:
- See the ball – Now that your timing is down, continue to track the baseball. Batting machines generally throw strikes right down the middle. So focus on these pitches and learn to read them from the moment of release. This will ensure that you don’t miss your chance to swing at a perfect dead center fastball on game day.
- Take another pitch – Just as with timing, it can be important to take a pitch or two when working on your tracking. Once again, this is because it is beneficial to have space between each pitch to regroup and set your body and eyes back up in the correct position.
Putting It All Together
After mastering pitching machine timing and tracking, it is time to put both of the skills together. You can do this by:
- Swinging with one fluid motion – They key to the perfect swing is fluidity. A choppy swing will accomplish nothing and can even be a waste of precious energy. Track the ball with your eyes, get the timing down pat, and swing through. Focus on as smooth and fluid a swing as possible.
- Straight down the middle – Most batting cages are designed in such a way that the side nets signify a foul ball. They are likewise designed so that the top net signifies a pop out. So keep your balls off these nets and attempt to hit straight down the middle.
Getting the Most Out of Batting Cages
Batting cages are an excellent baseball training tool. But like any training tool, they need to be used the correct way in order to reap the most rewards. The tips above show you how to get the most out of batting cages so that you don’t waste your time and become a better baseball player.
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