Cycle Publishing
Van der Plas Publications


1282 7th Avenue
San Francisco
CA 94122, USA

Tel.: (415) 665-8214



Baseball's Hitting Secrets

How to put a round bat on a round ball — squarely
by Ted Burda

Format: 6 x 9 in. trade paperback
Description: 160 pages with 120 black & white photographs and other illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-892495-64-8
Price: US$18.95
  • A down-to-earth hitting system that works for real people
  • The most effective and up-to-date training methods
  • All the "tricks of the trade" used by professional players
  • Suitable for beginners and experienced players alike
  • Scores of coaching tips and gimmicks
  • Overcoming fear and motivating performance
  • Also recommended for girls' fast-pitch softball

The only book you need to secure your home run

About the book

Baseball remains the most popular sport in America and is rapidly gaining acceptance in other countries as well. And, yes, there are many books on the subject. Many of those other books cover the subject in its entirety — but consequently not in adequate depth. Once you are familiar with the game, a general book is not going to be of much help: You'll quickly figure out for yourself where your strengths and weaknesses are and which aspects need more work.

The most important of these aspects that can lead to a dramatic improvement in performance is the art of hitting. It has been said that hitting a round ball with a round bat — squarely — is the most difficult part of baseball, and that’s what this book concentrates on. Without wasting your time with lengthy text explanations, it shows with clear illustrations and simple drills how to perfect that most difficult part of the game. The book is packed with simple drills, tricks, and exercises to bring your hitting up to speed.

About the author

Ted Burda is a professional batting instructor in Southern California, where he has taught thousands of aspiring hitters from youth leagues through college level. A graduate of the University of California, he is a former furniture industry executive who "dropped out" to become a professional baseball instructor. Although he is now in his fifties, you’ll often find him hitting 85 mph pitching in his cage.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Fast Track, Shortcut Option

2. The Preliminaries

Choosing a Bat

Hyperlite Versus Thicker Wall

Big Barrel Versus Regular

Loud Versus Quiet

Metal of the Month

Sting Stoppers

Wood Versus Metal

3. Getting Started

The “Set-Up”— Foundation for Success

Foot Placement


Grip Pressure

Body Alignment

“Squared-Up” Position of the Hands and Elbows

“But That’s Not What My Favorite Pro Does”

Try Knowing What You’re Looking At

Common “Square Up” Disasters

Starting “Close”

Bat Angle


Head Position

Getting That Special Best Look

4. Master Secret No. 1: Learning to Really Watch the Ball

Pulling Your “Head”


The Challenge

First-Aid Ball Watching 101

“Out in Front, Where It’s At”

Practicing Head to the Bat

5. The Swing to the Ball

Learning the Power Chop-Swing

Do Not Pass “Go”— Before Passing This Test

Swing Instruction For the Youngest

6. Master Secret No. 2: Level Swing

A Side-to-Side, Inside-Out Cut

The “N” in the “WIN” System: No Uphill Swings

No Uphill Swings

Never Try to Lift the Ball

Missing Under Phenomenon: Top Half Remedy

How To Miss-Hit the Ball Better

Level Swing Drills

Finishing Long Drills


How to Identify an Uppercut

7. Master Secret No. 3: The Secrets of Timing

The “I” in the “WIN” System: “In Front” Contact

Out in Front Batting Practice

Learning the Hammer and Hammer Rehearsal

Hammer Tee Drill — Ideal Positions for Various Pitches

“Hammer” Training Tools: The Tire

Tennis Racket Trainer — “Flat-Handed” Hammer

8. The Secrets of Power

Bat Head Speed — “Throwing the Bat Head” and “Quick Twitch”

Quick Twitch

Where’s the Beef?

Learning an Explosive Turn “Spotlight Drill”

The Mechanics of the Weight Shift

Rotational Hitting Versus Weight Sliding

Harnessing Power — “Leading With the Knob”

The Barrier Drill

“Sweeping is for Brooms”

Coiling and Wrapping: Extra Power

Hitch Breake

“Wrapping” the Bat

9. The Stride

Stride Mechanics — Over-Striding

Coiling, Cocking, and Your Stride

Coil, Separate, and Launch

“Dead Hands”

Timing Out the Coiling/ Stride

Step Every Pitch

Eliminating Overstriding, “Stepping in the Bucket,” etc.

The Latest: the “Back-Step”

10. The Best Ways to Train Your Hitting

Physical Strength Training

Dry Swings

The Sand Bat

Medicine Ball Muscle

The “Speed Stick” Bat Speed Trainer

The Batting Tee 

Soft Toss


The Sock Ball Drill


Your Local Batting Cage

Give Them a “Hand”

Sharp-Shooting Golf Wiffle Balls

Full Contact Indoor Hitting — Without Guilt

Home Practice Area

11. Advanced Hitting Skills

Advanced Hitting-the-Ball Stuff

Hitting Offspeed

Hitting Inside

“Don’t Tense Up, Stay Loose.”

Getting a Good Pitch to Hit

Becoming a Smart Hitter

Two-Strike Hitting

Advanced Hitting Aspiring to Greatness — the Razor’s Edge

Secrets for “Raising the Bar”

12. Winning the Mental Game

Sole Swing Thought

Positive Thinking in the On- Deck Circle/Visualization

Coping with Failure

Fearful Batters

Setting Goals and Incentives

13. Troubleshooting

Pulling the Head and Not Seeing the Ball


Swinging Late — Rear Foot Block

“Dead Hands”

The Little Kids’ Swing Syndrome — Weight Shift Slide Style Hitting

14. Conclusions

Master Skills and Drills Outline

A Step-by-Step Fail-Proof Plan

15. Teaching Wizardry for Coaches—Keeping Their Attention

Teaching Tips: The Terrific Ten

Coaches Appendix 1

Vital Coaching Phrases: “Say the Magic Words”

Coaches Appendix 2

Conducting a Quality Batting Practice

Station One: Swing Building


Station Two: Player , Plus Coach Tee, Toss, and Darts

Station Three: Live-Arm (Preferably) or Machine Batting Practice

Creating and Maintaining Focus



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