Great hitter Hank Aaron was the first to break the career home run record established by Babe Ruth. Aaron was a consistent, all-around, excellent hitter who considered the tracking of a pitched ball paramount in his success. He honed his astute batting eye as a youngster by hitting bottlecaps with a broomstick, often under the dim light of a dull streetlamp.
This remains an excellent way to train. Select an object that is smaller than a regulation baseball as your target, and learn to hit it. If you couple a smaller target with a smaller bat you derive even greater benefit. The overall objective is to make the task of hitting a baseball, in a game, seem easy by comparison.
Utilize many targets. The possibilities are vast: beans, berries, pinecones, and even pebbles or dirt clods work well. In addition, small plastic golf balls and a whole host of commercial products are available. Or, stick with the tried and true Aaron bottlecap, proven effective at the elite, immortal level.
Note: Do not use your game bat to strike odd targets such as bottlecaps, pinecones, or dirt or pebbles. You will dent, scratch, mar, and otherwise ruin the bat. Use a broomstick, for example, or an old bat and swing away without worry of damage.
Whatever the target, see it, hit it, and hit it hard just like Hammerin’ Henry Aaron! Make practice difficult and a game easy. Select your target and be a hitter!