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How To Use A Batting Stick? [6 Pro Tips]

How To Use A Batting Stick
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The batting stick is not a complex training device but a simple stick with a ball on one end. It is swung or held in front of the batter and replicates a soft toss.

The stick improves the player’s hand-eye coordination, timing, and directional hitting. Players can use it in open areas where they can freely and safely swing the bat.

The batting stick comes in various sizes and materials. Before deciding on one, you must consider factors like length and grip. With the correct positioning of the batting stick, the batter can improve their swing and achieve a good batting score.

Read on to know more about batting sticks, how to use a target batting stick, their positioning during training, and more.

The Batting Or Hitting Stick

Cricket, softball, and baseball players use the batting stick. You can find it in almost all sporting goods stores, costing anywhere from $20 to $40. A hitting stick is essentially a vinyl-colored ball attached to a stick’s end.

Three sections make up the batting stick.

  • The part of the stick the trainer holds in their hands is the handle.
  • The middle connects the handle to the ball.
  • The part at the end with the ball is the barrel.

Practice using a hitting stick involves a trainer or coach firmly holding the stick with the ball facing the player. A right-handed batter will use their right hand, while a left-handed batter will use their left hand. They may even use both their hands if required. The trainer takes position in the opposite-side batter’s box and faces the hitter directly.

With a batting stick, the batter can hit the ball in two directions—up or down and in or out. They can also swing the stick, adding some motion that makes for great practice, especially for beginners and kids.

How To Use A Batting Stick?

Batting sticks are an essential tool that improves batting skills. It helps recognize mistakes in a swing that batters can overcome with dedicated practice and hard work. Several batting sticks are available in the market, so select the one most suitable for you.

1. Select The Right Batting Stick

Selecting the right batting stick is crucial, as only a good bat will help sharpen skills and rectify mistakes. Where you are going to use the stick is important, too. If you are using it for your batting practices at home, you need to ensure that the stick is long enough to cover the entire plate and has a good grip.

Your batting stick need not be high-quality or expensive. A stick of the right size and weight will help you achieve good results. You must be consistent in your practice and remember to keep your eye on the ball at all times.

The heads of most hitting sticks are harder than balls. Most young kids cannot hit hard enough to cause the bat any damage. But a practice bat is a better choice if an older kid or an adult needs to use the stick. If you are using a wooden bat, you can oil it to prevent damage.

2. Get A Good Grip

Both beginners and experienced golfers use batting sticks as it is an excellent tool for enhancing batting skills.

The players will repeatedly hit the batting stick, so the coach or holder needs to have a good grip. The stick should remain under the control of its holder while it is faced with the external force of the bat.

Also, the holder may use either a single hand or both hands, so ensure the batting stick is long enough to be held with both hands.

3. Correct Positioning Of The Batting Stick

The position of the batting stick is crucial for proper training and to get a fair and good hit. You can position it in the following 3 ways to develop better batting skills.

A. Inside Pitch

The stick is placed exactly atop the home plate’s front-inside corner for an inside pitch. The height is adjusted to be thigh-high to the batter. This positioning will help the player adjust their stride, open their hips, and adjust the swing angle with a clear vision to easily pull off an inside pitch.

B. Down The Middle

The stick is placed thigh-high exactly atop the center of the home plate. With proper stance and balance, the player will be able to stay on top of the ball and hit it toward the diamond’s center.

C. Outside Pitch

The stick is placed thigh-high and directly above the home plate’s outside back corner. This will help the player step toward the front foot of the pitch and hit the ball toward the opposite side of the field.

Remember to put the player in complete batting gear with helmets, gloves, and other essential padding to avoid injuries or accidents and simulate an actual game situation. Work on mastering each position before jumping to the next for the best results.

4. Strike The Ball With Force

For a good batting score, you need power in your swing. When you hit the ball with a strong force, it will end up farther in the field. A batting stick held at an appropriate angle will help you achieve force in your swing.

5. Watch The Ball Bounce

Catchers can also use a batting stick to improve their catching skills. A batting stick will help enhance the catcher’s speed, agility, technique, and grip.

With the right-sized batting stick, the catcher can comfortably catch the ball. This hugely benefits players who have trouble grasping the ball as it keeps bouncing off.

For catchers, a batting stick will improve arm strength, reflexes, and hand-eye coordination.

6. Practice

Practice is the key to mastering any sport. Practicing with a batting stick will help improve the stance, increase the swing speed, and even increase the power of the swing.

Warm-Up Drill

Pre-game practices with a hitting stick prove to be a great warm-up option. After lining up the batting order, the first person to grace the field must start practicing with the batting stick.

The place chosen for the warm-up drill must be spacious enough to allow players to swing left and right. It should be less crowded to prevent accidents or injuries. If possible, it must be away from the direct view of the on-field players as many coaches consider them distracting.

Using a hit stick before the game helps the players loosen up and helps increase their hitting score. The coach can even simulate pitches by pulling away the hit stick as they attempt to hit it.

Different players are at different levels, but this is not a concern. The drill can be easily adjusted to the player’s difficulty level, whether their goal is to make more contact with the ball or increase their swing speed or reaction speed.

A warm-up drill with a batting stick positively affects the player’s overall performance. The player gets over their nervousness and generates muscle memory which becomes the key to better performance.

How To Use A Target Batting Stick?

If you have understood how to use a batting stick, you will also know how to use a target batting stick, as it is essentially the same thing. However, there are newer target batting sticks that are just like a regular batting stick but have balls at both ends of the stick. The balls are of different sizes, one larger than the other. The diameter of the larger ball is ideal for young players and beginners.

FAQs

Do hitting sticks work?

Hit sticks help the batter loosen up. It makes their hand-eye coordination better, which helps them make contact with the ball. Regularly practicing using a hit stick helps improve the batter’s hand-eye coordination and increases reaction speed.

What are the four basic hitting steps in baseball?

The four basic steps in baseball hitting are stance, stride, toe touch, and swing. Each batter has their unique way of performing; however, all follow the same steps.

What is a hitch in baseball?

A hitch is a hesitation before a swing, due to which the bat follows an uneven path during the swing. It involves movement in the upper body during the striding and loading phase of the swing. The hitch can negatively affect the player and prove a roadblock to success.

Why is hitting a baseball so hard?

The ball is likely traveling to the player at a speed of 90 miles per hour. Moreover, it is less than 60 feet away, giving the batter approximately 150 milliseconds to decide whether or not to swing. This means that the batter has to make a decision to swing in the blink of an eye. All these factors contribute to the difficulty.

How can I be a better hitter?

Batting has many mechanical aspects. However, the key areas are the stance, the balance, the grip, and a powerful swing. With proper training, mindset, and hard work, achieving a better batting score is not very difficult.

Conclusion

A batting stick is an essential tool in sports that involve a bat and ball, like cricket, softball, and baseball. The tool comprises a vinyl stick with a ball at one end.

It helps the player focus on the ball and improve their hand-eye coordination, swing timing, and speed.

Both amateurs and pros can use the stick. While it helps newcomers make contact with the ball, pro players can use the tool to increase their swing speed.

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