Behind the Scenes: Hit Club with Jessica Mendoza
Oct 27, 2015
Jessica Mendoza met with the hitters selected to the 2015 Louisville Slugger Hit Club. In this video, Jessica talks to the hitters about taking a different approach to hitting and she explains one of her favorite drills for hitting the inside pitch.
My big thing with hitting is always looking for the weakness in myself. I know that sounds like gosh you want to be confident and here we are the best of the best hitters. Well this doesn’t do any good. This is what I see a lot in college at the next level, even with the national team and professionally.
There are a lot of great hitters in high school that know how to hit a certain zone certain pitches. And my challenge to all of you is to find those zones and areas where you’re weak and just hone in on that. Staying true to yourself, now not changing your swing and I’m not going to come in today, “Okay everyone we’re going to hold the bat like this, we’re gonna stand like this, and this is our routine,” No. Obviously you’re here for a reason. My big thing is to see the things that you do, but also get that feedback from you. Make this super interactive.
One of my favorite drills is to get a tee and put it where you know you have your classic inside pitch is here and outside pitch is there. So I would reverse it and I would, if I had a tee. I would put the inside pitch close like deep basically and close to my body. And then you’re looking at it. And it’s like the tee is here (close to front hip). And I’m like how am I going to get my barrel there. Just physically it seems so difficult to do.
But part of my warm up would be to do that (drill) so my hands would stay in. I would fly (hips fly open) a lot. When I get excited, I guess the rollover would be the aftermath. But for me it would be a lot of this, a lot of hippy, get crazy with my lower half and fly especially when I recognize inside.
There’s something about seeing an inside pitch you know you just want to jump on and your whole body goes. What I loved about that drill was and I love hearing you say that. A lot of times when you face really good pitching which you guys face sometimes in club and sometimes not.
At the next level, that inside pitch you’re going to get beat on it like its’ gonna happen. So when I say, “Get beat.” You’re not going to hit it in that perfect spot. Ideally yes, if you could hit every inside pitch right off your front foot it’s where you can get your barrel. I always tell hitters this when I challenge them on a tee. “But this is where I (player) hit the inside pitch.)
Are you going to tell the pitcher the pitcher that? Oh I’m sorry can we pause this cause I hit the inside pitch here so when you beat me right here. We’re gonna need to go ahead and reverse it and back it up. No! She’s gonna try to get in your kitchen and cut your hands off.
You guys are power hitters which most of you are. That is the area. If you’re watching MLB, you get the big guys out on inside. Because if they can’t get your hands out, they can’t do anything. You know at least outside, you can do something with that.
But if they get you right here (inside). It’s always good if you have that plan B. Plan B meaning, “Okay she’s beating me, she’s throwing it 60 mph and with break. So now all of a sudden it’s in on me. And I want to make sure I can figure out a way get some part of this barrel on ball.