Here is a tip that is guaranteed to improve hitting performance and can be mastered immediately. The greatest enemy of hitters is the tension that is built up in the body before every pitch. Even if the mind is clear and hitters are mentally prepared, the body doesn’t always follow suit. The solution—-just breathe. Specifically, breathe out.
This tip is not revolutionary, but it is a good reminder of the best way to combat nerves and tension in the batters box. While you are reading this post, try taking deep breath in and then really let it out. You should be able to feel your shoulders immediately become relaxed. This state of relaxation quickly extends through the entire body. Some athletes claim they can actually feel tingling in their feet when they exhale.
A relaxed body as the pitch is thrown means the initial weight transfer (load) will be more controlled, hip rotation will be more fluid, the upper body will rotate more powerfully after the lower body completes its rotation, full extension (lightning) will be more devastating at impact with the ball, and the swing will finish without sacrificing batspeed.
I ask my hitters to “breathe out” frequently in practice, even off the batting tee. My theory is what becomes automatic in practice will surely become automatic in games. The internet is filled with great sites and articles that describe the many benefits of breathing techniques to improve performance in all sports, including crushing a baseball or softball.