Baseball Hitting Drills
There are numerous amounts of baseball hitting drills
used by coaches and teachers across the country to help tune the hitter. Baseball hitting drills such as taking the right stride and simple things like griping a bat plus many more areas are covered on this page. We will center on several techniques that we have found to be most beneficial in improving hitting mechanics. These drills will help you adjust either baseball or softball swing.
It is not necessary to do all the baseball hitting drills every day. Do a few drills each day. This helps accomplish a couple of things. First, you can select only those baseball hitting drills that focus specificly on a certain aspect of hitting that you want to improve. Second, you can select those drills that will help you fine tune your stronger areas so they remain strong.
Before You Begin
Remember Never to Fatigue the Body
It is important not to fatigue the body. Your body must remain fresh in order to optimize your performance and trainnig routines. If you train while fitigued you run the risk of creating bad habits. If train while you are fresh, you are more likely to perform using the proper mechanics and lock them into your muscle memory bank.
The baseball hitting drills you choose should be performed once between 10 to 15 repetitions on any given day. If done more you risk body fatigue and the baseball hitting drills you have chosen will be meaningless. If the body or the mind is fatigued the drills will be done poorly and more importantly they will be done wrong making your practice session a total flop. Remember practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. This is not an excuse to disrupt your routine, it’s simply a guide line to performing the baseball hitting drills in the correct manner. It also ensures that you will get the most out of each drill.
The baseball hitting drills below aren’t in any particular order. Read through each description and select the drills that best meet your needs. Most of the drills can either be done alone or with a partner. The best time to start them is when you’re young and haven’t developed any bad habits. However, if you follow these baseball hitting drills and perform them religiously you can break any bad habits you may have developed through your years of playing.
If possible, visit your local baseball training facility. Many of these facilities offer lessons that stretch out over a course of a few months. Pick one that meets your needs and budget and register. These facilities usually have great coaches who have been through it all and have been trained to teach you the proper hitting techniques you will need to progress. The nice thing is that they will start with the basics and get into more advanced baseball hitting drills to help you master the challenges of hitting a baseball. For more on this please refer to Baseball Hitting Drills.
Baseball Hitting Drills #1
The Grip, Stance & Stride
The Check List Drill. This is not necessarily a drill but a mental "check off list" that will assure you, the batter, of approaching each drill correctly. I refer to this as the check list drill because it is exactly like a check list. It’s like planning a trip or going off to practice. You go through a check list to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. It's your baking recipe to make sure all your systems are "GO".
Check Point #1a
The first check point is a proper batting grip. Start with the bat on a 45 degree angle. Place your lead hand just above the knob of the bat, resting resting the bat in the middle of your fingers. Next, take the other hand and place it above the lead hand. When you do this be sure that the bat is in the middle portion of the fingers and not in the palm of the hand. The main point here is not to choke the bat. Choking the bat prevents you from following through with the swing and loosing distance. You don't want to have the "grip of death" on the bat. You must be relaxed, no one will steal the bat from you while you are up at bat.
If done properly, when you close your hands the “Door Knuckles”, the middle knuckles on both hands should be lined up to form a straight line. Click here for illustrations of the proper Batting Grip.
Check Point #1b
Once you get into the batter’s box or get ready for a particular baseball hitting drill, you what to run two more checks. First, you want to make sure that you can reach across and touch the outter most part of the plate with the bat. This ensures that the barrel of your bat will be able to extend over home plate and reach its outside corner. Second, if we prefer an even, balanced, or normal stance you want to make sure that the front toes of both your feet touch a straight coming from the pitcher towards home plate. This can be accomplished by taking the handle of the bat and drawing a straight line in sand of the batter’s box that starts even with the back end of the plate and moves forward towards the pitcher stopping at the front corner of the plate. Now all you need to do is just line up your toes on the line you just drew. Make sure your feet are approximately shoulder width apart.
Where should your front foot be? With a balanced or even stance your front foot position can change, up, even or slightly behind the front part of home plate. But the rule of thumb is to place the front foot even with the front portion of home plate. The foot can move slightly closer towards the pitcher if the pitcher tends to throw a lot of curve balls and change-ups and his fast ball has slower than normal velocity.
Open and Closed Stances
There are other stances a batter can consider. They are: an open stance in which the batter tends to open up his stance by positioning the front or lead foot slightly out towards the opposite end of the batter’s box; and, a closed stance in which the batter takes his lead foot and positions it slightly towards the inner front corner of the batters box. Therefore, if you are a right hand batter wanting to use an open stance, you would take your front foot move it to the left or away from the plate. If you are a left hand batter, you would do the opposite and move your front foot to the right and way from home plate.
On a closed stance you do the opposite. The batter takes the lead foot and brings it towards the inner upper corner of the batter’s box towards home plate. Click here for illustrations of The Batting Stance.
Check point #1c
The Upper Body
Next you want to be totally relaxed. This means being loose. There shouldn’t be a tense nerve in your body. Make sure your knees are slightly bent and the bat is somewhat near your rear ear. The bat should be on about a 45 degree angle. Your arms should also be relaxed and your rear elbow slightly turned down. Keep your hands still. Remember to use a loose grip. The will grip will naturally tighten up when you swing. Another point to note here is that the shear power of a swing comes from the ground up. This means the batter generates his power from his feet to his hips first. But you'll also want strong forearms and wrists, so be sure to check out our free trainnig program to help you build powerful forearms. If you have trouble relaxing at the plate, click here for technigues on how to relax.
Check Point #1d
One of the biggest mistakes a batter can make is to over stride. A key element to hitting is keeping the head quiet. This means little or no movement from the neck up. The more a batter over strides the more his head drops dramatically causing the batter to loose sight of the ball as it approaches the plate. Thus, making it even hard than it already is to hit the ball. The way to overcome this common flaw is to cut down on your stride.
This can be accomplished a couple of different ways. One way is to place a 2x4 about six inches in front of the foot closest to the pitcher or your stride foot. The 2x4 should stretch across the batter’s box. Now, take a normal swing. You want to be sure that your foot doesn't touch this board. You can even over exaggerate by placing the board 3” closer to the stride foot. Another way is to have the batter place his foot in the center of an unfilled tub-less tire. This forces the batter to take a minimal stride, as well.
If the batter has the urge to move his front foot, it is better to simply pick up the front foot and place it directly down with no stride at all.
No matter what stance you choose, your weight should kept slightly back but never unbalanced. Avoid leaning forward or to one side.
Baseball Hitting Drills #2
Working on the Swing
#1 Tossing an Oversized Ball
There’s a lot that can go wrong when swinging a bat. Not as much as in swinging a golf club, but close. For example, there can be hitches, too much hand movement, dipping the rear shoulder, casting the bat and so on.
One of the most fundamental drills for developing a proper swing is to replace your bat with an oversized ball. Find a basketball, beach ball or even one of those large exercise balls for building up abdominal muscles. Grab the ball with one hand on each side. From your proper batting stance throw the ball towards the pitcher in a slightly downward motion at about a 10 degree angle. This teaches the batter to "throw" his bat at the ball as it approaches the plate. It also shortens the swing and prevents casting the bat as you would a fishing rod. Ball Toss
#2 Frisbee Toss with Lead Hand
Straight Push with Back Hand
To do this drill, which is similar to the oversized ball hitting drill, you need to grab a Frisbee in your lead hand. From a proper batting stance, toss the Frisbee towards the pitcher. Next take your back hand, keeping it shoulder high, push it directly towards the pitcher. The do both movements at the same time.Frisbee Toss
#3 Hitting of the Tee
Tee Ball is very popular for children just starting out playing baseball and it teaches them to hit the ball where it's thrown. However, even the pros use the batting tee to tune up on their swings. Hitting off the tee is a very useful baseball batting drill and should be done in the off-season as well as in spring training and on off days during the season. The batting tee can also be used during the game in a cage off to side if you're not playing. Keep your head down and learn to recognize where the ball is coming across the plate and hit it where crosses.
There are single position batting tees, multi-position batting tees and tees that have a swivel arm that can be positioned on the various parts of the plates. Get in the habit of using the batting tee as part of your regular regime for baseball hitting drills. T-Ball
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