You've got to have a good grip to deliver effective strikes. When gripping the baton, position the bottom portion of the grommet between your fingers. After you've achieved a proper grip, you need to consider the striking surface of the baton. Imagine that your baton is actually a sword. The edge of the blade is in line with your middle row of knuckles. When striking you must angle the baton so that only the "edge" makes contact with the target. If you strike with any other surface (i.e. the flat part of the blade), there is a good chance that you will disarm yourself upon contact.
Ineffective use of "off-hand"
Your off-hand plays a vital role when using the baton. It should never be left dangling by your side. Your off-hand should either be protecting your face or in the suspect's face! If the suspect were to charge you and get inside the arc of the baton, you could be in serious trouble. Not only have you lost your reach advantage, but also one or both of your hands are occupied (depending on how you're holding the baton).
Use the palm of your off-hand to maintain striking distance. You can either palm his face, which is an excellent distraction, or you could palm the upper arm/chest area, which tends to prevent the suspect from moving forward.
Remember to keep your off-hand up to protect your face, especially when delivering a strike to the leg. Officers have a tendency to lower themselves by bending at the waist, which leaves their head exposed. Instead, lower yourself by bending your knees.
Wow! Who would have thought so much technique was involved in swinging a stick? And we didn't even touch on topics such as verbal commands, disengaging, jabbing, blocking, etc. Still, I hope this article encouraged you to assess your current level of proficiency with the baton. The rest is up to you.
Train hard. Stay safe (and always carry your baton)!