Coaching can be fully explained by one word, teaching. You must be a
good teacher to be a successful coach. Pay
close attention to minor details and to the total picture. I feel that three
things are extremely important in teaching hitting. Enthusiasm, correct consistant fundamentals, and variety in drill work. We as coaches should get excited about hitting.
We should learn the correct fundamentals and stick with them. We should use different drills to develop hitting skills and prevent boredom from occuring.
Here are 12 hitting drills that I feel every team should use in a
year round training program.
Drill # 1
The top hand on the grip is the hand
that takes the bat to the ball. It is improtant to develop strength and skill with this hand. To do this we do a one-handed
isolation drill. The batter uses just the top hand. Gripping the bat at the top of the grip and using the bat like a tomahawk,
the batter tries to get over the top of the ball and hit it into the ground. The batter has a coach or player soft toss the
ball above the waist. The batter hits the ball from the top and drives its straight into the ground. This drill is best performed with the Hit2win Handheld Trainer from Nedco Sports. Suggested - 25 Swings - 3 Times a week.
Drill # 2
Power Hand Drill
A hitters power comes
from the bottom or pull hand. This drill develops bottom hand strength. This drill when done on a hitting machine, the machine should be set at a high strike setting. The hitter uses only the bottom hand in its regular position near the knob of the bat. We recommend the BatAction Hitting Machine for this drill. It works absolutely perfect! The coach must make sure that the ball is above the batters waist. It is best for the ball to be numbers
high. The batter steps into the ball and hits its one-handed. Suggested - 25 Swings - 3 Times a week.
Drill # 3
Location Contact Drill
The hitter is given three pitch locations to practice hitting; inside, away and middle. The ball
may be presented to the batter using soft toss, batting tee, Hit2win Trainer coaching trainer, or Bataction Machine. On the inside location, the batter must learn to involve the hips and turn on the pitch, pulling it. On the middle
pitch the batter hits the ball dead up the middle. On the away pitch, the batter makes sure to take the ball to the opposite
field. The coach may want to put spots on the ground showing where the batter attacks each pitch location. The inside pitch
is attacked on a spot located in front of the plate. The middle pitch is attacked on a spot located just behind the instep
of the hitters front foot. The away strike is attacked on a spot located just inside of the hitters back foot. The batter can also use a Hitting machine and change location to the machine to get multiple strike contact work. Suggested - 20 At Each Location - 3 Times Weekly.
Drill # 4
Two Ball Soft Toss
The hitter learns to concentrate and keep the weight back. The coach tosses two balls. The coach calls top or bottom after
the balls are releasd. The hitter hits the called ball into the fence or screen. This drill can be done from different locations.
The coach should also fake toss and change the release points as well as vary the speed of the balls.
should Know All Hitting Terms
Squash The Bug- The correct action of the hitters back foot.
Trigger-The hitters final
inside turn movement before the swing.
See The Ball Flat-See the ball until it goes flat against the bat and comes off.
Many of our suggested top hitting drills can easily be performed with
the Hit2win Trainer by Nedco Sports. We highly recommend this product for all ages. For more information, CLICK HERE!
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Long Toss BP
One of the best misconceptions in baseball
is that to benefit from batting practice the pitcher must be at regular distance and throw game speed. Much more can be accomplished
when the pitcher throws from half the regular distance. At this distance the pitcher has better control and more work is accomplished.
The ball is thrown at a steady appropriate speed. The speed at this distance should make the batter develop a quicker bat
and great skill.
The coach should never do this drill without a L-screen. This drill
can also be performed with regular or golf-ball sized wiffles.
The purpose of this drill is the increase of bat speed. This drill is best performed with soft toss or the BatAction Hitting Machine. The batter hits a ball that is coming from his back side going toward the pitcher. The hitter must see the ball
and catch-up with it before it gets by him. The speed of the ball is increased to challenge the hitter more and more. When
performing this drill with a BatAction Hitting Machine, it is recommended that you remove the machines power bands to increase your swing counts and to vary the balls comeby speeds.
Drill # 7
Closed Eye Hitting Drill
is one of my favorite drills. The hitter assumes a comfortable and correct stance each time. Then the hitter closes the eyes.
The coach or Hit2win Trainer coaching trainer holder will change the strike height and location each time. A verbal command is given, the hitter opens the
eyes and hits the ball correctly wherever it is located. The batter must use the correct swing to hit inside, middle, and
away pitches. The holder will also locate the ball out of the strikezone. Any ball above the hands or on the ground is a ball
and should not be hit. Suggested - 15 Swings - 3 Times a week.
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Drill # 8
Backside Barrier Drill
This drill is used to shorten-up
a hitters swing. If the batter is too long to the ball or has that A to B to C swing that is considered a slow-pitch softball
swing, drills can be used to make the hitter shorten up. The batter sets up with his hands 8 to 10 inches from the fence with
the fence behind the batter. The fence should run parallel with the batters back foot. If the batter casts the hands backwards
or loops the bat, he will hit the fence or barrier.
Drill # 9
Step in Drill
One of the most common faults
with young hitters is stepping out. This drill is used to combat that bad habit. The coach may use a BatAction Machine, Coach Nick's Hit2win Trainer, or Stay-Back Tee. The hitter sets up to start the drill one step behind where he should be when he hits the ball. The hitter will
step toward the plate with the back foot first then the front foot. When the front foot hits the ground the batter will attack
the ball. There should be no hesitation. Step, step, HIT! The hitter will develop the habit of stepping into the ball when
he attacks it. His momemtum is going toward the plate during this drill so it is very difficult for the hitter to step out.
This is a great drill to develop bunting skills. The drill involves 5 players in each
group. The players may use the pivot or square around bunt technique. The batter must bunt the ball to each of the four fielders.
The hitter bunts one to each and then takes the left fielders (facing the batter) place. The right fielder comes to bat and
the other move over one place. The coach should emphasize that the batters bunt the ball softly to the fielders. The bat should
be keep at a 45 degree angle and the batter should change height by bending the knees. Fielders should catch the ground ball,
bare-handed, out front, then square the feet around and throw the next strike to the hitter. This makes a great warmup drill
for the beginning of practice. Defensive skills should also be stressed.
Bonus Drill - The Hit2win Trainer Bat Speed Drill
The drill begins with the trainer ball on the ground. The holder will raise the ball to the batters numbers.
The batter will hit the ball when it gets to certain called spots, eg. knee, belt, numbers. The speed that the ball is raised
is varied to make the batter wait sometimes and react quickly at other times. The drill is great for developing concentration,
bat speed, and patience.
Drill # 11
Full Count Game
This is a great game simulation drill that teaches hitters
to be agressive and to hit under pressure. Two teams face off in a 7 inning game with each batter coming into the box with
a full count. Action is quick and players must be alert both offensively and defensively. The count may also be changed to
2-2 and each team can be given one out to start the inning.
This is a BatAction Machine drill. The machine should be set at a height suitable for all players participating in the drill for that day. The
machine is set with a one-band setting that allows it to rotate multiple times on contact. The players compete against each
other. In the drill the goal is to make good contact as many times as one can without fouling out. Good contact is a swing
and contact that makes the machine rotate at least once. The hitter that has the longest streak that day is the champ.
This is a great ofF season skill building activity. It develops both offensive and defensive skills. The game is
played with 3 players on a team. On defense, one pitches and two play defense. The object of the game is to be the first team
to score 21. You score by hitting a linedrive or ball in the air that hits the wall in a designated or target area. The target
area is normally a 6x12 rectangle that is attached to the wall or fence. The target may be larger if space so allows.
rules for the game are as follows:
Each team gets three outs per inning. Outs are hit balls caught before they hit the
wall or floor. Foul tips, foul balls, and swing without contact are outs. Each players gets one swing of the bat. Something
must happen, if the ball is a strike. The batter decides if a ball is a
Ground balls are not outs. They
serve to keep the inning alive. You do not get a run for ground balls. Flyballs that go above the target are outs. Balls may
be batted down by defenders to prevent a score. However, batted balls that touch the target before they touch the floor are
scored as a run.
The winning team must win by two. A tournament bracket is drawn and teams play for the championship.
Coaches and parents are encouraged to play on teams. Each team may use only one bat. The bat never touches the ground or floor
until the inning is over.
* Emphasize quality not quanity when it comes to practice swings.
great team drill is to have players line-up in lines at distances safely seperating themselves. As if they were doing exercises.
The team will then do
dry swings together. The coach will be the pitcher. Each player will visualize the ball being released
and coming into the strike zone. Different locations
are hit and the coach may use verbal commands such as ready, trigger,
find, see, hit, finish or freeze.
* The freeze command should be used to freeze the players at the finish position. Check
to see if the front foot is correct and slighly closed and the back
foot has turned or squashed the bug.
* The players
should learn to use general visual focusing when finding a pitchers realease point. What this means is that the hitter visually
concentrates on an object or spot on the pitchers body such as the letter on his cap. When the pitchers arm comes forward
the hitter moves his focus to
the arm and finds the ball and release point.
Visit: The Hitters Homework Hotline - http://www.hit2win.com
You Can Teach Hitting
by Dusty Baker, Jeff Mercer, Marv Bittinger - Bittinger Books/Masters Press