Home » Fundamental Baseball Skills

Fundamental Baseball Skills

Excellent performance in baseball, or any sport, has to be built on a solid foundation. The following articles help to establish the core foundation that a player must have to become a great hitter. These mechanical fundamentals and muscle memory drills should be practiced by youth players to instill proper form and function at a young age. Please leave us comments on our articles, we love hearing from our readers!

Swing Path and Hip Rotation


Bat Path Every time I work with a new hitter, I ask “How would you describe your swing to me?” I like to get their thoughts and see if they match the actions of their swings. I can honestly say most kids say, “Swinging down to create backspin.” It’s really frustrating for me to watch hitters start off hitting ground-balls ...

Read More »

Go With the Pitch – Every Pitch!


Every player at one time in their life has heard their coach tell them to “go with the pitch”. Unfortunately, the only time players usually hear that phrase is when it’s an outside pitch. What most players don’t understand (and some coaches) is that you should be doing that for every pitch. The batter must be taught to “go with ...

Read More »

The Key to Solid Contact

Joe Mauer Swing

Throughout this website you will see so many tips and swing concepts that deal with hitting the ball this way and hitting the ball that way. How about something that concentrates and simplifies the basic fundamental of just “hitting” the ball? After all, isn’t this the most difficult task in sports? In this article we’re going to review those critical ...

Read More »

Bat Speed Often Determines Success

Let’s keep this very basic and simple. Forget all other baseball tips on hitting. Very simply, the faster the head of the bat is going when it hits the ball – the harder a baseball hitter will hit the baseball. There are hundreds of baseball tips on hitting, but when it’s all said and done… don’t the hitters with the ...

Read More »

Hand Position for a Powerful Swing

In this article we will cover the basic batting stance, including how to practice the right style sure to increase bat speed. You will learn tips that include how the bottom hand takes you to the ball. And the role of the top hand, which is the power hand. Also taught is how and why the back arm forms a ...

Read More »

Developing the Proper Bat Path

First, let us understand the direction the ball comes to us. A pitcher pitches off of a 10 inch mound and because he is elevated when he pitches the ball, the ball will come to the hitter diagonally down. If you can visualize a ball coming to a hitter on a downward plane and the hitter also swinging on a ...

Read More »

Eliminate the Strikeout

A baseball player has to be able to keep up with better pitching these days. As a former Division 1 baseball coach, I have the answer for this. The principles for the correct stroke are the same for fast pitch softball as they are for baseball. So, boy or girl… baseball or softball… listen up! In today’s game it is ...

Read More »

4 Inches of Power – The Sweet Spot

The Philosophy at BABH is always centered on taking time tested principles of hitting from the great hitters that have played the game. Some of these principles have their roots set so far back in the game that they bring back names like Cobb, Ruth, Mantle, Aaron and others. Typically, these hitting principles focus on some mechanical aspect of the ...

Read More »

Shrink The Batter’s Box

If you are going to be a hitter, a good hitter, one your teammates and coaches can depend on… then you need to know this: Learn how to “Shrink the Box”. OK.. you are probably saying “What the heck does that mean?” Well, this is a fundamental skill that all good hitters possess, and you should too. Shrinking the Batter’s ...

Read More »

Hips, Knees & Elbow in Baseball Swing

Lets take a look at the correlation of the back elbow, back knee and back hip in the baseball swing. It’s my finding that the synchronization of these in the backside motion are critical to the success of a hitter. On the elite hitters in the game, such as Albert Pujols, these three separate parts of the body work in ...

Read More »

The Pro Six Step Baseball Swing


At BeABetterHitter (BABH) we have learned that the easiest way to teach young players the baseball swing is to break the swing down into parts. Elsewhere on this site you will find the 6 Steps to a Sweet Swing and other articles that refer to this approach. As complex as the baseball swing can be, it can also be quite ...

Read More »

The Baseball Hit Chart

Count Hitter’s Expectation (Thought) Expected Batting Avg. 0-0 Fastball (See it-Hit it!) .318 0-1 Pitchers Choice (My Pitch/My Zone) .238 0-2 Any Pitch Close (Put it in play/Battle) .094 1-0 Fastball (Tighten my zone) .359 1-1 Pitchers Choice (My Pitch/My Zone) .282 1-2 Any Pitch Close (Put it in play/Battle) .166 2-0 Fastball (Drive it!) .373 2-1 Fastball (Drive it!) ...

Read More »

The Pete Rose Swing

Some younger players may not even know who Pete Rose is .. others may identify with him as a bad role model. The plain fact is that Pete Rose is the All-Time leader in hits for Major League Baseball!! So, putting aside whatever issues haunted him as a human being off the field.. Let’s just take a look at what ...

Read More »

All Great Hitters Hit To The Opposite Field

What do Derek Jeter, David Wright and Albert Pujols have in common? They all let the ball get ‘deep’. What does that mean you ask? Letting a ball get deep in the strike zone means simply hitting the ball later. Too many young hitters are told to ‘go get the ball.’ In our training facility we teach all our hitters ...

Read More »

Pure Hitter = Power Hitter


What do we mean when we say “Pure Hitter?” It’s simple actually. We want our hitters to swing to hit the ball “Pure,” not swing to hit the ball “Hard.” In the process of hitting the ball “Pure” (hitting the big part of the ball with the big part of the bat) you will naturally hit the ball “Hard.” Pure ...

Read More »

The Football Change — A Baseball Hitters Defense

Football Change.. that’s what. Football what? Football Change. It has also been referred to as Football Curve. It is a devastating pitch that hitter’s should learn to immediately recognize. It not, you will likely have a very difficult time laying off of this pitch. If thrown by a Right Handed Pitcher, the ball falls away from a Right Handed Hitter. ...

Read More »

Choosing The Right Baseball Bat


One of the most important factors in a young player’s enjoyment of the game is his (or her) success at the plate. Besides proper training in the art and science of hitting a baseball, the bat itself plays a big role. Choosing the right Baseball Bat is crucial. Too many well-meaning but uninformed parents buy their kid a bat that ...

Read More »

Lost Secrets of Hitting

By Coach Rob Ellis Going for home runs, too many modern players pile up strikeouts instead of making contact with the pitch! It was a monumental find. While pursuing my lifelong study of the skill of hitting, I discovered some old, dusty, 16 mm film footage of the great hitters of yesterday. One was titled, “Hitting Stars of 1943.” It ...

Read More »

The Top and Bottom Hand Swing

If you have played under a good hitting instructor at any time in your baseball career, you have heard those words before. Releasing your hands to the ball is vital to good hitting. The top hand on the bat is the “power hand” in the baseball swing. It starts out on top, trails the knob of the bat and lower ...

Read More »

Six Steps to a Sweet Baseball Swing


Everybody wants to be a great hitter. Most young players dream about hitting the ball like Alex Rodriquez or David Wright or Prince Fielder. What they don’t realize is that All-Star players like that have such deeply ingrained muscle memory built into their swing that they can totally forget about their swing and concentrate solely on hitting the ball. The ...

Read More »

The Swing Plane


I always get a kick out of listening to the parents of Little Leaguers when their child is at bat. “Swing level,” “Keep your back elbow up,” “Do this,” Don’t do that.” “Geez, Mom, hush up and let me hit!” Most kids would probably love to step out of the batter’s box and say that. In reality, your swing must ...

Read More »

The Grip – It Starts with the Hands

The hands are the one and only physical link to the bat. You don’t hold it with your arms, your shoulders, your legs, feet or your mind. The only body part which touches the bat is your hands. You may use those other body parts to swing the bat properly, but your hands are the only physical connection to the ...

Read More »

The Myth about the Elbow

I have heard fathers and coaches yell out commands to their sons and players for quite a few years now. Many times their information is incorrect. One command in particular that stands out in my mind (because I hear it so much) is the one telling the hitter to keep his back elbow up. I’m not sure where this tip ...

Read More »

The Ready Position

Okay, now that the lower part of your body is squared away and you understand how to stand and the necessity for good balance, let’s put the weapon in your hands and get into the hitting position. Assume the basic stance position with your weight balanced and your knees slightly bent. Now, gripping the bat properly, raise your hands up ...

Read More »

The Hitting Stance and Balance

Let’s get you in a good hitting position with your stance. Your feet should be slightly more than shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent and your weight evenly distributed between both feet. You should feel a little more weight toward the balls of your feet and to the inside of your feet. You should feel springy and ready for action, ...

Read More »

The Three Batting Stances and Vision

As it relates to your stance, seeing the ball better means how you initially stand in the batter’s box to look out at the pitcher. There are basically three different types of stance. The neutral stance is one where your feet are square to the plate. This means that they are an equal distance from the plate. A stance like ...

Read More »

Building a Solid Hitting Foundation

Derek Jeter

When it come to developing a good stance, there are two very important factors that need to be expressed. The purpose of the stance is to afford you the best opportunity to see the ball. Secondly, to have enough balance so that you can take a mighty swing at the ball, giving you the best opportunity to hit the ball ...

Read More »

Avoiding The Inside Pitch

More often than not, a young hitter’s lack of success at the plate can be directly attributed to the fear of being hit by a pitched ball. Let’s face it, in the Little League Majors Division, a big 12 year old can throw the ball extremely hard from 46 feet. This can lead to intimidation, a very real fear of ...

Read More »

Hitting: a 7 Step Process

During the winter months I am frequently asked to speak at coaching clinics regarding hitting. One of my favorite lectures breaks the mechanical process of hitting into 7 steps. In this article, we will look at how I approach explaining the mechanics of the hitting. I like to look at the mechanics of hitting broken down into 7 steps as ...

Read More »

Coiling and Uncoiling

Much has been said about Bat Speed and how to develop it. Although it is obvious that the size and strength of the individual swinging the bat has a direct impact on the swing speed, there are certain mechanical factors involved that also have a significant impact. Given two individuals of the same size and strength, it is entirely possible ...

Read More »