Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall - Comfortable Hands
An essential part of a hitter’s success at the plate is gaining comfort in the batter’s box. There is no short cut here, just hours upon hours of hard work, dedication and fine tuning. The more time an athlete spends feeling out their swing, the more comfortable and confident they will become, and undoubtedly, the more success they will experience in live game action.
One particular way for a hitter to analyze their mechanics and gain security at the plate is by looking at their swing in a mirror. In this drill we will focus on hand position, but a mirror is a useful tool for all aspects of the swing and athletic movements in general.
Consider an athlete who is weight training. Every gym around the world is covered in mirrors, and believe it or not, the sole purpose isn’t to flex and admire how jacked one is becoming. The true intention of these mirrors is for an athlete to focus on the form of the lift and what specific muscle group is being developed.
The baseball swing is no different. As a hitter stands in front of a mirror they should be focusing on specific details of the swing and trying to fine tune that respective mechanic.
Using a mirror, find a comfortable hand position in the batting stance. The hands need to be as relaxed as possible while still being able to hang onto the bat. Does a boxer have quick hands? Do they practice that? Do you think they are tense and their fists are clenched before they throw a punch? Absolutely not! They are relaxed and moving.
The best way for a hitter to keep their hands moving and relaxed is simple. Just move them a little. This should be a developed muscle memory that a hitter doesn’t even have to think about. This subtle movement is often a significant part of a hitter’s rhythm at the plate.
This is a great drill for athletes 11-years and older, and all a hitter needs to practice this exercise is a full length mirror. For best results, perform this drill with a game bat; however, not at the expense of Mom’s fine china. A hitter can utilize this drill without a bat in hand and they can do so anywhere.
Hand position is something a player should focus on in a practice setting, but never In a game. Stressing over hand position and other mechanics in a game setting is not effective, as these fundamentals should be developed muscle memories.
A hitter will know they have this drill down when the hand position is consistent and the hands are synchronized with the stride. As a hitter is developing this muscle memory, it is imperative that they are comfortable. Developing an uncomfortable or detrimental hand position will only lead to bad habits, frustration and more work in the future.