In this article, learn the best hitting philosophy and approach for baseball players and softball players.
I created the CRUSH method of hitting a few years ago while speaking with national champion wrestler, martial arts champion, fitness specialist, and zen master, Matt Furey.
We were discussing ways to help players mentally prepare for hitting in batting practice, and more specifically, the game.
Basically, take good hitters and make them great hitters by using a different way of thinking.
In a few short months, the C.R.U.S.H hitting system was born.
Hemo’s Recommended Training & Gear
- Hitting Courses
- Catching Gear
- Training Gear & Coach’s Gear
- Tiger Stick
- Heavy Bag
- Practice Net
- Tanner Tee
- Atec Tee
- Total Control Baseballs
- Pitching Mound
- Pocket Radar Gun
- L Screen
- Baseball Cart
The C.R.U.S.H Hitting Approach
First, there are so many things going on when you get to the plate.
As a result, it’s impossible to keep it all together.
Add adrenaline to the mix and before you know it, you’ve forgotten everything you know.
Now, you are trying to have a successful at bat in a game where the odds are against you.
The CRUSH is an acronym for a checklist to help you separate and integrate the many steps necessary to give you a shot for success at the plate.
Essentially, using this method is an important part of the mental aspect of hitting which will help you build a perfect baseball swing.
Furthermore, these steps are an important part of the swing at batting practice, in the cage, on batting tees, shadow swinging, and especially in the game.
The steps in this acronym will help integrate your physical training with the mental aspect of the game.
So, without further ado, lets review the CRUSH method of hitting.
C – Confident and Connected
So, you’ve taken the time to dot the “i” and cross the “t”.
As you know, with great preparation comes great CONFIDENCE.
Confidence is the belief that “you are up to the task”.
Additionally, This positive attitude is acquired thru knowledge and detailed preparation!
It is unrealistic to ask you to be confident in your abilities when learning a new or difficult task.
Confidence grows as you become more familiar with the workings of the task at hand.
When standing on deck or on the mound during competition, you’ll have comfort and CONFIDENCE that your diligence in preparation will see you thru to success.
Furthermore, connection is also synonymous with rhythm!
Also, If you can stay connected, you allow your swing to work in an orderly and timely fashion.
Being CONNECTED means that your body and mind are working in concert.
From the head to shoulders, arms, core, hips, legs, and feet, with proper training they will all come together collectively for a much stronger and accurate delivery.
Obviously, use the CRUSH method for support.
And, remind yourself that you have put in the work!
With that said, here are hitting drills the best hitters in the big leagues use to stay connected.
R – Relax and Review
Obviously, relaxing means breathing.
First, slow your heart rate down.
Then, gather your thoughts to review the task at hand.
When you get up to bat, chances are your sympathetic “fight or flight” nervous system prevails releasing adrenaline (and norepinephrine) increasing heart rate, anxiety, etc.
Some of this is inherent when it comes to competition; anxiety, if not dealt with, creates a slew of issues.
Consequently, this causes things to break down.
Slowing things down (breathing), posturing, and reviewing what needs to be done to have success are positive steps toward maximizing the quality of our at bats.
Posturing your body correctly or incorrectly can have huge impacts on our confidence.
We carry ourselves with a warrior like posture.
Start your RELAXation in the dugout knowing you’re up soon.
Next, focus on your breathing and put yourself in a more relaxed place.
Then, continue this technique as you are on deck, with an, “I’m ready to kick some butt” attitude.
As you relax, start to review.
Review the Checklist
What do you need to do?
Do you know your issues at the plate?
Are you aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the pitcher on the mound?
What core principles do you need to review in the box?
For example, a tool that might help you relax is ‘the bat on the groin’.
If you are feeling anxious, take a second and lean the bat up against yourself for a moment.
Obviously, if you move too much the bat will fall.
Next, get your head and shoulders into a very confident posture and take a couple deep breaths.
You will be amazed at how much clarity and confidence you will get from this baseball mental tip.
The brain is always working fast, sometimes too fast.
So maybe if we quiet our body into a super confident posture, and take a deep breath, the brain will follow!
Try it for yourself, you’ll be surprised.
U – Understand and Utilize
Understand the situation and utilize the information to make the play.
The most successful hitters understand what they need to do to help the team win.
At the end of the day, baseball offense get on base and score runs
What is the situation?
What is at risk?
Do you need to hit a home run or just need a base runner?
Did you notice the 3rd baseman is injured and/or can’t move very well?
If you are a good bunter, you might use an open stance and lay one down.
Is the wind blowing out?
Look for a ball up in the strike zone and only swing at good pitches.
Is the wind blowing in?
Obviously, there’s no chance any ball hit in the air will go far.
You need to focus on hitting ground balls down the line and line drives by reducing the launch angle.
Is the pitcher throwing a high number of first-pitch fastball for strikes?
Look for something in the middle of the plate.
Then, make the pitcher pay for trying to get ahead in the count by making hard contact.
Recognizing these situations is the first step!
Next, utilize it to your advantage with the CRUSH baseball hitting philosophy.
Moreover, take inventory of the situation and utilize it to guide you!
Last hitting tip – have a plan before stepping into the batter’s box!
S – Smooth and Swift
Often times, batting practice to young players means a chance to hit home runs to impress their friends and family.
Consequently, this sort of thinking leads to over-swinging.
Over-swinging is one of the most common hitting mistakes.
Also, we know that having a plan and being under control are the best advice given by hitting coaches.
Yet, you still allow yourself to swing too hard, too often.
Ultimately, this is not a winning formula when you are training, nor in the game.
Keep in mind, realize the game time swing requires a bit more finesse.
As you know, swinging hard, if out of control, is futile, and ineffective.
You say to yourself, “I feel strong…so let it rip!”
You’re “amped up”, full of adrenaline.
Ultimately, this makes you want to swing hard with a slight uppercut.
Here’s where your swing breaks down followed by frustration and failure.
Amping up effort to the point of disconnect is a recipe for disaster and the wrong way to hit.
Early hips, lousy head, balance, etc, are all symptoms of over swinging.
Here’s a hitting tip.
So many young hitters equate effort with results.
For example, swing hard and it will go further.
Well, that won’t happen without good contact.
Obviously, you need to practice being smooth.
Smooth will lead to swift.
H – HONE the HEAD
Most importantly, the position of your head in the baseball swing must be the main focus.
Remember, if your head is in good position during your swing it’s impossible for everything else to be bad.
Your head has to be money at every practice session.
Keeping your head down is the golden rule taught to young players.
Also, If you can’t control your head, cancel Christmas.
Is your head all over the place?
Well, just go sit back in the dugout. It’s over!
Keeping the head in the right place during a baseball swing helps you stay under control and connected.
More importantly, you can stay in the battle if your HEAD stays in the zone.
Also, It prevents you form over swinging.
Sammy Sosa said, “I’m going to swing as hard as I can without my head breaking down.”
Moreover, keeping the HEAD in the zone will help to temper the swing speed.
Keep in mind, “Smooth and swift” can’t happen if the head is not in the right position.
Obviously, if you work the CRUSH method, these steps are all connected. One step will lead to the next.
While there are no guarantees at the plate, following the CRUSH method will build a really good approach.
In turn, this equates to better at-bats and better results.
The Crush hitting philosophy and approach will help you connect the dots.
Additionally, it will give you a chance in a game where the odds of success are against you.
Ultimately, this hitting philosophy brings the physical aspect of the game and ties it into the mental aspect.
So, let’s go!