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Baseball Drills - The Hitting Tee And A Cup Of Coffee

By Nate Barnett

I remember giving my players a choice of what baseball drills to begin with during batting practice a few years back. The options were: front toss, short toss in the batting cage, live batting practice, and tee work. Guess which one of the baseball drills was chosen last. That's right. The exciting tee drill (yes, that was sarcasm).

I would like to offer up the comparison of coffee to the basic hitting tee for your learning enjoyment. You'll find both are an acquired taste to be sure. But, the rewards are so enjoyable! Of course, you'll permit me to explain my analogy.

Similarities between the hitting tee and coffee:

* Both coffee and the hitting tee take some time to get used to.

* Once you have "acquired the taste", you'll find it hard to quit.

* There are so many "specialty" brands on the market today, but the basic version is just fine.

* Imagine the world without either, how would we be able to function? (Again, a bit dramatic, but you get the point)

So now that you fully understand that the hitting tee should be an integral part of your baseball drills, here is how to spice it up a bit in practice.

1. Make sure it's in the right position. If you place the hitting in the middle of the plate, make sure that the ball on the tee is across from the inside of the front thigh as a hitter sets up. Having the tee back in the zone will force the hitter to keep his weight back while he swings. Placing the tee too far out in front (unless you're working on the inside pitch of course) will allow the hitter to get away with a sloppy swing by having his hips slide toward the pitcher during the swing.

2. Set up some games to play. While working on hitting the inside and outside pitches off of a tee, put a couple screens out on the right and left side gaps and have the hitter try to hit the screens. The more correct swings are done on the tee (measured by hitting the screens), the more swings they earn in the live batting practice station.

Have fun, now go make yourself a cup of coffee.

About the Author

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball and is based out of Washington State. His expertise is in the area of hitting, pitching, and mental training. Coach Barnett's passion is working with youth in helping expand their vision for their baseball future. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career. His instructional blog is located at

His new FREE ebook, Toxic Baseball: Are you polluting your game? can be found on the main BMI Baseball website.

Hitting 101, an ebook on complete hitting mechanics will be released by June 1st, 2008. Features include numerous illustrations, video clips, and a special offer to discuss your hitting questions over live on the phone strategy sessions.

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