Alex, what’s the best way to improve my bat speed to hit more home runs? Your posts have helped me a great deal, but my bat speed is an area of my game I have to improve upon. I hope you pick my question this week, as I really need your help.
Ben, I really appreciate all the kind words! Knowing that I’m able to have a positive impact on your baseball career fires me up! Now, let’s get into your question. First off, this question is the MOST popular I receive. I’ve written about ways to improve your bat speed in previous posts, but now I’m putting this topic to bed! Here are 101 ways to improve your bat speed! Leaving no stone unturned at Simone’s Baseball Performance! LET’S GO BEN!! (I’m fired up)
- Put on Muscle
2. Increase Lower Body Power
3. Increase Lower Body Strength
4. Increase Rotational Power
5. Train Strength outside the sagittal plane
6. Train Power outside of the sagittal plane. Power is plane specific
7. Increase Upper Body Power
8. Increase Upper Body Strength
9. Increase Upper and Lower Body Power with Contrast Training
10. Improve Full Body Strength Using the Max-Effort Method
11. Improve Full Body Strength Using the Dynamic Effort Method
12. Improve Full Body Strength Using the Repetitive Effort Method
13. Use eccentrics in your training to pack on muscle and strength
14. Use Isometrics in your training to pack on muscle and strength
15. Deadlift (Properly)
16. Box Squat (Properly)
17. Bench Press (Properly)
18. Shorten your swing
19. Shorten your stride
20. Lengthen the time your bat is in the hitting zone
21. Stop waving to your girlfriend in the on deck circle and TIME the pitcher. Timing is every thing!
22. Try a leg kick/lift. Nine times out of ten your going to feel more comfortable, and athletic. Can you name 5 big leaguers who don’t have a leg kick/lift?
23. Stay Centered during your forward motion. Head between feet and belly button.
24. DON’T EVER tell yourself to get your foot down. If a coach tells you this, tell him he’s wrong. Tell yourself to start your movement/stride earlier instead. When you think “get the foot down” you’re creating a 2-part swing.
25. Start Earlier (If you start too late)
26. Start Later (If you start too soon)
27. Use a lighter bat. If your bat is too heavy and you can’t get it through the zone fast enough use a lighter bat
28. HIT, DUH?
29. Use a heavier bat in batting practice
30. Don’t listen to your coach if he tells you to “swing down on the ball”
31. Don’t hit TOO much. Quality swings over quantity every single time
32. Don’t try to go oppo ALL the time in BP. HIT THE BALL WHERE IT’S PITCHED!
33. Use Short Bats
34. Don’t do short toss all the time. Take live hacks as much as possible. A pitcher doesn’t flip the ball to you when you’re up does he?
35. Swing like you would during a game in BP. Why would you swing at 40% effort in BP if that’s not how your swing works in a game?
36. Watch this AWESOME video from one the greatest, Tony Gwynn
37. Follow CoachRoweHitting on Instagram. He was my hitting coach for 2 years, and was one of the best hitting coaches I’ve ever had
38. Take your tee work seriously. Tee’s are a great place to work on your mechanics, as there’s not a MOVING ball. It’s hard to think about making mechanical adjustments and hit a moving ball at the same time.
39. Improve your bat path by hitting with a low tee. This was my go to drill when I played. Lower the tee to the lowest height and try to hit the ball on the line to the back of the cage.
40. Don’t WRAP the bat around your head
41. Make sure your hands are in a strong position at contact
42. Have good BALANCE
43. Work AGAINST your front side
44. Hit with wood in batting practice. There’s less room for error with wood bats than metal. You can “miss” hitting a ball with a metal bat and it will still go out. By using wood in BP it will train your bat path, and swing to find barrel more frequently once you go back down to metal.
45. Watch this Video of Miguel Caberea
46. Don’t go to a hitting coach who teaches everyone how to hit the same way. Everyone is different.
47. Tell your dad to stop yelling mechanical flaws from stands while your up to bat. 99% of the time he never even played college baseball.
48. Watch and listen to GREAT hitters
49. Stop trying to have the perfect swing
50. Stop worrying about the swing and just focus on finding the barrel 😉
51. Realize when you try something new to improve your swing, it won’t always work the first time
52. Practice your swing mechanics in the mirror to improve muscle memory
53. Have an approach at the plate
54. Choke up on the bat
55. Don’t grip the bat so hard
56. Line up your knuckles when gripping the bat
57. Have ZERO tension at the plate. Be loose, and relaxed
58. Train using reactive and visual cues
59. Be athletic in your swing. How many robots do you see playing in the big leagues? ZERO
60. Stop thinking when you hit. You DON’T have enough time
61. Hit with better hitters than you. Do you learn from hitters worse than you?
62. Don’t be afraid to fail. If you’re afraid to fail in baseball you might as well just quit now
63. Use FatGripz. Add these to any strength training exercise to improve your grip strength
64. Use thick ropes in your training
65. Do you even DIG bro? Do RICE DIGS, your forearms will blow up!
66. Do Farmer Carry’s of ALL variations
67. Add towels to your pull-ups, and shrugs to improve forearm and grip strength
68. Play multiple sports
69. Throw medicine balls often (overhead & rotational throws)
70. Improve your core stability
71. Improve your rotational stability
72. Swing a Sledge Hammer
73. Perform Anti-Rotation exercises to resist forces that are trying to rotate our body. This is the number one way to improve core strength.
74. Breathe better. Good breathing patterns improve posture, stability, movement quality, and performance.
75. Do Planks of ALL KINDS
76. Foam Roll, Every. Single. Day.
Why? Click Here ==>http://simonebaseballperformance.org/2016/10/02/does-foam-rolling-really-improve-performance/
77. Push Sleds
78. Pull Sleds
79. Improve Upper and Lower Body Strength Unilaterally
80. Chop Wood, Hank Aaron did it…
81. Jump with weight to improve your power output
82. Improve Ankle Mobility
83. Improve Hip Internal Rotation
84. Improve Hip External Rotation
85. Improve Hip Extension
86. Improve Shoulder Mobility
87. Improve Thoracic Spine Mobility
88. Don’t be on your phone so much. More and more young kids nowadays wrists are messed up hindering their swing.
89. Get your upper back strong
90. Have a walk out song that fires you up. Mine was, Meek Mill – Imma Boss – It never failed to do so 🙂
91. Be CONFIDENT at the plate
92. Sleep More. You can’t train hard, play games, and practice effectively if your not recovering. It’s starts with sleep.
93. Start warming up before you hit. You’ll get to stronger positions in your swing by increasing your range of motion.
94. Make sure your performing a proper warm-up before games and training sessions. This consists of SMR (foam rolling), Dynamic Mobility, Activation Exercises, Global Core Stability, Fundamental Body Weight Movements, Flow, Central Nervous System Intensive (Light Sprint or Jump).
95. Play more games
96. Stop doing workouts big leaguers are doing, you’re not a big leaguer
97. Stop paying for showcases and INVEST in a GOOD strength coach, watch big leaguers, and educate yourself.
98. Train hard and smart. Don’t be an idiot and train for 4 hours everyday, you’re doing more harm then good.
99. Be Consistent. Training or Hitting “once in a while” will do no good. You have to have a plan to improve your bat speed/game on a daily basis to reach the next level.
100. Stop Using Gimmicks that you see on MLB Network commercials. They don’t work, trust me
101. Never ask me how to improve your bat speed again 😉