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How to Dominate in the Batters Box

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

What is a Hit?

A hit occurs when a batter strikes the baseball into fair territory and reaches base without doing so via an error or a fielder's choice. There are four types of hits in baseball: singles, doubles, triples, and home runs. All four are counted equally when deciphering batting average. If a player is thrown out attempting to take an extra-base (e.g., turning a single into a double), that still counts as a hit.

About Coach Justin Sherman

Justin was born and raised in Westchester, NY where he played for New Rochelle youth baseball leagues and later went on to play for the New Rochelle High School varsity baseball team. While pursuing degrees at Westchester Community College and SUNY Purchase College, Justin played for the WCC Vikings Baseball Team. As he becomes College Panthers where he was appointed team captain. Upon graduating, Justin later went on to be the assistant coach of the Purchase Panthers. He also began working privately with the local young athletes—a hobby that would soon grow into what is now known as JustinTime Baseball. After I met Coach Justin through Instagram I ask him to be a part of our #hawkfam and do a podcast about the best practices and mindset to become a great baseball hitter.

Hitting Mindset

Many players always ask what is the mindset going into the batters box; however, I am a pitching coach so I reached out to my personal baseball hitting coach whom I reach out for advice, hitting drills, and mechanical improvements. Below are the components Coach Justin states we need to focus on to become a great hitter and have the right mindset in the batter's box!

Interview between Coach Justin and Coach Drexel

Coach Drexel: What is the biggest mistake I and hitters are making?

Coach Justin: Mindset wise is to separate yourself from the outcome and focus on the process. Control what you can control in the batter's box which is to make great solid contact with the ball. Another mistake players make is swinging just to swing hard at the ball when we need to make adjustments and change our focus base on the situation. For example, if there is no one on base and it's a 0-0 count then yeah you can swing for the fences and try to hit a home run; however, let's say there is a man on first, no outs, and its a 0-0 count, then you might want to consider making a sacrifice bunt to get the runner into scoring position at second base, In this same at-bat you could attempt to bunt but fail and now you got a strike on you so now what do you do because the situation is different now. Always be adjusting and navigating to situations.

Coach Drexel: What are some of the basic mechanical things we need to keep an eye on?

Coach Justin: Stay athletic while you are hitting and staying in the great poster because having balance, control, and you can get away with a bad swing if you remain athletic too. If you are watching your video of you hitting, the best question you can ask yourself is how athletic are you being throughout your swing.

Coach Drexel: What are we not doing but need to do in order to hit better?

Coach Justin: We got to prepare and get ready prior to and during the games. What I mean by this is to analyze the pitchers. We got to take time before and during games to analyze pitchers so we can see tendencies, routines, and get our timing down to hit them. At the latest, we need to start watching the pitcher in the fourth spot of an at-bat. When you are the fourth person to be up to bat that specific inning you got to put all your focus on watching the pitcher and continue to watch them until you are up to bat!

Question for Coach Justin from our #hawkfam Join our #hawkfam on Instagram by following @drexel.smith so you can join our community, ask questions, get support, and love by those who are passionate about the game baseball and pursuing a great life! In addition, we have a Weekly player of the week award and monthly give away too!

Question From Gavin: When I hit off the tee and do front toss drills, I feel great, but when I do live hitting I feel like I am losing my mechanics. Why am I not able to produce and do the same off the tee and front toss as I do in live pitching?

Coach Justin: Without seeing him really hit I would not be able to pinpoint what is happening but this sounds like it is more about the mindset at the plate. If he does have a solid swing then he might be trying to do too much at the plate which is natural and can happen sometimes. Baseball is a hard game and we try to do whatever we can to hit the ball but at the end of the day, we got to keep it simple. Baseball is already a hard game, don't make it any harder by overthinking and doing too much at the plate. Take it one pitch at a time and hit what you get. When in doubt take away from your hitting mechanics and make your swing simpler.

Question From Marco: How do you bounce back after going 4-0 at the plate? I have gone 9 straight at-bats without getting on base. What do I need to do to overcome this, so I can increase my batting average?

Coach Justin: You have to get rid of the outcome of a hitting average because it's not in your control in some way. You can control hitting solid baseballs and putting the ball into play but as we all experience before, hitting a great hit to the left-center field but the outfielder makes a diving play. That's out of your control, so I would recommend focusing more on hitting the ball hard and nine drives. Personally I believe you won the at-bat if you hit the ball solid and put it into play, regardless of the outcome of getting on base. Don't get me wrong I want the players to have a high batting average but that will come from control the controllable and focusing on the process. Take one pitch at a time and the batting average will come from doing those things first.

Question From Jen: What can I do to help my kids so they can play well? Is it about getting them the best equipment, spending time with them, finding the right coach, and/or anything else I need to do to help my son do better on the field?

Coach Justin: Just love your Kid! Ultamintly baseball is a game and you have to just be the loving and caring parent regardless of how well your son performs on the field. Be a parent, not a coach. Leave the coaching to the coaches, so yes find a coach whom you trust and can talk to because at the end of the day you want to be the supporting and loving parent for your child which is important. Baseball is a game and your child is your child at the end of the day.

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