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Baseball Tips from the Pros

Does your batting average need a lift? Here's what the pros have to say about improving your hitting!

Hitting Tips - Use a Tee and Wiffle Ball

This might sound like a silly way to improve your hitting, but this is the exact exercise Hall of Fame player Tony Gwynn used to practice every offseason. The eight-time National League batting champion would hit a wiffle ball off a tee about a hundred times a day. This drill will improve your technique and consistency. Tony says that the sooner you can hit a wiffle ball off a tee cleanly, the sooner you'll become a better hitter. You should hear air going through the wiffle ball if you're hitting the ball correctly. Tony says hitting a wiffle ball properly is like hitting a knuckleball.

Hitting Tips - The Ideal Hitter

The late Cal Ripken Sr. was a legendary coach, as well as the father of one of the greatest players in the history of baseball, Cal Ripken Jr. The elder Ripken advises that if you're going to be a good hitter, you have to select a bat that you can handle. You should also learn the strike zone so you won't swing at bad pitches. Keep your head still and focus on the pitcher - don't look at your nose. The former Baltimore Orioles coach also says the ideal hitter will have the following qualities - strength, determination, coordination, vision, rhythm, style, body control and the will to learn and to take advice.

Hitting Tips - Concentrate

Manny Mota was a career .300 hitter during the sixties and seventies. He says the key to being a successful hitter is concentration. You have to approach the plate with the attitude that you are going to get a hit. You want to be aggressive at the plate - but make sure you stay cool and relaxed. Also use quick hands. Mota says taking a short stride will help your hands get quicker and that will result in a more compact and controlled swing. But Mota's most valuable advice is to concentrate on hitting the ball up the middle. If you have that mentality, you will be able to adjust your swing to hit the ball wherever it is pitched.

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