I believe Woody Held’s quote is more than just a fan’s heckle; it’s what you should do when you are at the plate! Yet too many hitters worry more about hitting techniques (I call them fallacies) and their batting average versus just hitting the baseball.
Too many players today over think their mechanics, and instead of making adjustments to an existing swing, they completely change during the middle of an at bat (e.g. choke up, shorten up their swing, or try and take the ball the other way).
This flip/flop approach to hitting begins well before a hitter ever steps into the batter’s box. They are told to take the first five swings the other way during batting practice (regardless of where the ball is pitched) and yelled at if they happen to rip the ball to anywhere other than opposite field.
To confuse them more, hitting a ball out of the park during batting practice is considered a bad thing; “Quit swinging for the fences,” they’re told. Yet, the concept of hitting is based upon the maximum transfer of energy, which occurs when their swing is the most efficient. I am guessing you would agree hitting a home run is likely where their swing was the most efficient and likely transferred the maximum amount of energy; certainly more energy than converting to an inward/outward swing just to hit a ball the opposite field.
Now I agree, learning to hit behind the runner is useful, but I do not believe it should be the primary focus to ensure a high batting average or should it be a fall back when you have two strikes. It is my recommendation that every hitter focus on doing what it takes to perform the maximum transfer of energy all the time, during batting practice or during the game, regardless of the count.
Purchase “Hitting is Simple, Have Your Figured it Out Yet?” and learn to become your own hitting coach.
As Woody Held said, “Don’t forget to swing hard, just in case you hit the ball.”
Until Next Blog…SWING HARD!