How to Hit a Line Drive

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The line drive is a dangerous and effective hit. Though it can be caught by infielders, they’ll have to react quickly to get to it. Batters who hit a lot of line drives tend to carry good batting averages. Defenders and base coaches beware: serious injuries occur as a result of being hit by line drives. Pitchers are especially vulnerable after following through on their delivery. Aim for an opening in the infield whenever you hit a line drive. If you can smack a line drive between the shortstop and third baseman, it’s a sure base hit.

Things You'll Need

  • Baseball equipment including a batting helmet
  • A wide open field away from any buildings
  • Adult supervision

How to hit a line drive

  • Pick your pitch.The easiest pitch to hit a line drive with comes over the plate between your waist and shoulders. A low pitch is either popped up driven into the ground. High pitches are hard to hit at all.

  • Swing level.Have the bat parallel to the ground as you make contact with the ball. Use your shoulders to raise the bat for a level swing in the upper strike zone. It’s possible to bend your knees slightly and hit a ball below the belt, but it usually causes a hitter to angle the bat.

  • Hit with the fat part of the bat.To make the ball fly straight for a line drive, you must hit with the middle of the bat’s barrel. Hitting above or below the barrel curve will send the ball up or down. The wide part of the bat has a larger barrel center.

  • Direct the ball.Step into your swing, in the direction you want to send the ball. This squares your body for hitting in that direction. Swing early for left side hits, late to hit to the right. To hit a line drive to the first base side, step your lead foot toward home plate and swing a little late. To advance a runner from second, hit a line drive between the first and second baseman.

  • Practice at low speed.While you’re teaching yourself how to hit a line drive, have someone throw you a lot of slow pitches. This will allow you to get the hitting mechanics in order and get used to following them. Then practice on faster pitches to perfect timing your swing.

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