The Intent Scale
The next key to starting on time is having the correct level of intent. On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard would you say you are trying to swing the bat? Whatever your answer is, it may be impacting your timing. Everyone has their own “perfect number.” Some hitters may hit their best when they feel like they are swinging harder (higher on the scale), and others may hit their best when they are swinging easier (lower on the scale). It is up to you to determine if you need to try to move up or down on that scale.
Impact that the intent scale number can have on a hitter’s swing and timing…
Too high on the scale = Could be a jumpy, lungey hitter. Often trying to “do too much” at the plate, and may be out in front or early on the pitch. If they don’t lunge or jump at the ball, they may still get “too big” with their swing during the turn/rotation. This means they are muscling up and overswinging with their upper body. Their bat will then be slow, which could make them late, or cause them to make contact down near the handle of their bat instead of on the barrel. This type of hitter should focus on bringing their number down, and having a more simple, base hit approach in the games. Useful cues for this type of hitter: Think quick, not hard with your swing! Don’t try to do too much! Just a base hit!
Too low on the scale = Will be late very often. Not aggressive enough, and will not have the bat speed to get to good fastballs. Will also chase pitches out of the strike zone because their lower body is not ready to hit. They will have to commit to swinging earlier because the swing is mostly arms. Useful cues for this type of hitter: Do damage! Get the barrel out front! Let it fly!