Common Hitting Problems – Plate Positioning

Sunday, Jul. 19th 2009

It may sound simple but where the batter stands in relation to the plate has a huge impact on the ability to hit the ball. There are two elements to plate positioning. The first is the distance from the plate and the second is the distance from the pitcher.

Distance
If they are too close, it will be difficult to hit the inside pitch and may have trouble hitting the ball on the sweet spot. Standing too far away, they may not be able to cover the outside of plate making it difficult if not impossible to hit the outside pitch. Both of these problems can also add to “stingers” particularly for younger players who may hit the ball in on the hands or on the end of the bat. We suggest a younger play (under 10) line up about one foot from the plate. As players get older, they will need to move back up to two feet to allow for longer arms and a longer bat.

Depth
The distance from the pitcher is also important. The farther back a player is, the more reaction time they have but the lower the pitch is likely to be. Players or coaches may have to adjust for certain pitchers/umpires and preference but typically a hitter should line up with their front foot pointed directly at the middle of the plate.

It always helps to have an “at bat routine”. Stay tuned for a routine that can lead to hitting success.