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Hitting Tips from Ray DeMarini

Here are some hitting tip from Ray DeMarini's
"The Secrets to Ultimate Bat Speed"
and a few other places.

1. Keep your hands loose - you get a lot more speed with a relaxed grip than with a tight grip.

2. PUSH with your back hand while PULLING with your front hand - the PUSH will give you a significant increase in power & improve your follow-through.

3. Release your top hand off the bat - this will help give you more extension which means more power. If you don't already do this, it will probably feel uncomfortable at first, but work with it & you should see an increase in power.

4. Keep your hands out in front of the bat - basically throw your hands at the ball so that the last thing that comes through the strike zone is the bat head.

5. Hit the bottom half of the ball - this causes back spin which will carry the ball farther.

6. Make sure you are shifting your weight from your back foot to your front foot as you're powering through the ball. If you keep your weight on your back foot, you just won't generate that much power.

7. Make contact slightly in front of where you're standing because this will be where you're generating your max bat speed. Too far in front, though, and the bat will be decelerating when you hit the ball. Too soon in your swing, & you won't be generating enough speed & won't have enough leverage.

8. Drop your pinky finger off the knob to get more leverage because leverage = speed.

9. Choose pitches in your "power zone". Each of us has his own zone where he can hit with the most power. Try to be patient & really work on pitch selection.

10. "Ikey-Mikey" - start your swing with your chin on your front shoulder (Ikey), and end with your chin on your back shoulder (Mikey). This will keep your head down on the ball and prevent you from opening up too soon & losing power.

Don't worry about hips, back elbow, and all that other stuff; concentrate on your hands - keeping them relaxed, swinging them fast and pulling (accelerating) through the ball to maintain as much speed as possible, and the rest (hips, weight transfer, follow-through, etc.) will take care of itself.

You'll be surprised what you are capable of if you apply proven techniques and practice hard. If you WANT to hit with more power and consistency, you CAN and WILL; it is up to YOU.

Hitting Tips From Ray DeMarini
These tips were posted on DeMarini Sports' web site when the softball list was in existence

Let’s get started. Subject - what weight bat to use. I have done lots and lots of scientific testing relating to hitting a softball. I have become a proponent of using light weight bats and here’s why:

Using myself as an example - I generate approximately 95MPH bat speed with my 26 ounce bat. I can generate just about the same 95MPH speed using a 29 ounce bat. You would logically think that I should use the 29 ounce bat, no question. I can swing it as fast and the added mass will allow me to hit the ball farther than with the 26 ounce bat. Logic in this case is dead wrong!

The important part of the equation that isn’t considered in the above comparison is relative bat speed immediately after the ball has left the bat. In other words, how much of my initial 95MPH speed was I able to maintain while hitting through the ball. Here are the facts. I swing both at 95MPH just prior to hitting the ball. With the 26 ounce bat, my bat speed immediately after the ball is hit goes down to 56MPH! With the 29 ounce bat, my bat speed goes down to 49MPH! In other words, with the heavier bat, I’m swinging it fast but cannot push the bat through the ball and maintain as much speed as I can with the lighter bat.

Before we even take this subject much further I think it is crucial to stop and realize the incredible fact that I lose that much speed from hitting a 6.5 ounce ball. It simply amazes me. I have a pretty good follow through, I am extremely strong and have a decent swing ... and I lose all that speed when I hit the ball. I have tested lots of hitters; it is a constant. You lose a lot of speed when you hit the ball.

If you really think about it, what separates the true power hitters from the mere mortals is their ability to maintain bat speed. Compare my stats to that of a truly great player. I’ll reference Larry Carter, one of the most awesome distance and power hitters I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen most all of them!) Larry weighs 260lbs+ and is in great physical condition with a vicious swing and scary strength. He can squat over 600lbs, bench 485lbs. and military press 275lbs. (easy)! You get the message. Larry is strong! He is dedicated and a great, great banger. Compare his bat speed to mine. It’s the same at 95MPH. Larry uses a 31 ounce bat ... I use a 26 ounce. So why does he hit the ball over 100 feet farther than I do? Simple ... his speed during contact with the ball.

Larry has the highest ‘after’ speed I have recorded. I finish at 56MPH, Larry finishes at 89MPH. In other words, Larry literally loses NO bat speed while powering through the ball. Larry shouldn’t go down in weight! He isn’t losing any speed with the 31 ounce ... there’s no need to go lighter. The question is can YOU? If you went with a lighter bat than you now use, would you pickup ‘finishing’ speed, and therefore distance? Try a friend's lighter bat and give it a fair chance. Take the time to know what works for you. Don’t swing 5 times and say, no, not for me. Give it 100 swings. See if your follow through seems more efficient. Note what is happening with the ball.

What I am really trying to get across to you is crucial to hitting performance: you MUST have an efficient and complete follow through with your swing. You must think acceleration through the ball. Go right directly through the ball. Don’t give up your swing the second you feel the ball hit the bat ... in fact, that’s when you have to swing hardest! And give some thought to your bat weight. Make sure you give yourself full chance to be as good as you can!




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