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Great Early Season Hitting Drills














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6 Great Early Season Hitting Drills
 

These drills can be used all season because each

teaches and build correct fundamentals of hitting

and bat speed.

 

 
Drill #1
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"Perfect Swing - Group Hitting Drill"
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  • Make sure to Emphasize quality not quantity during this drill.
  • A 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.(Shoelaces-to-pitcher)
  • 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.
  • Additional Coaching Tips: You may want to closely check each players bat angle, bat position (behind the shoulder), grip (fingers alligned - bat out of the palmn), and triggering or loading action.

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Drill # 2
 

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"Back-side Barrier Drill"
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  • 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 barrier (a wall or fence) with the  barrier behind the batter. The batter should assume a position putting the barrier parallel to the hitter back foot.
  • If the batter casts the hands backwards or loops the bat, he will hit the fence or barrier.
Book: The Natural Hitter's Handbook by Luis Ortiz (Former MLB Player)

Drill #3
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"Two Ball Soft Toss"
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  • The hitter learns to concentrate on seeing the ball and keep the hands and 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.
Book: The Baseball Coaching Bible by Jerry Kindall

Drill #4
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"Bunt Pepper Drill"
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"An offensive and defensive drill."

Everybody knows that you must "hit to win"! However, I believe that one of the most often neglected phases of the game is the "short game". Of course we would rather "green light" all hitters. But in reality sooner of later your team's ability to bunt or inability to bunt will affect the outcome of a game. Execution of the bunt takes proper instruction and regular practice.

"Bunt Pepper" is a great drill to use as a warm-up before practice. The drill is performed with 4 players in a group. Each player bunts 5 and then rotates. Four players field the bunts and throw a strike to the bunter. The drill incorporates many teaching fundamentals. The bunter learns to see the ball, to have bat control, to use correct bat angle, and to use the different types of bunts. The drill would be set up as below:


(players)_____a b c d_____

(players)________x________

The bunter bunts 5 times and then goes to defense. The last bunt is a drag or push bunt. The bunter then lays the bat down and assumes the position of the "a" player that moves to the "b" spot. The "d" player comes to the bunt spot. This drill is a fast paced drill. We performed it daily for from 5 to 10 minutes.

Remember to emphasize the following:
1. The bunter will use the "square", "pivot" and "drag/push" techniques.
2. The ball must be bunted downward. A ball caught in the air by a defender means 10 pushups.
3. The defenders use this drill to perfect their footwork. They are now allowed to throw a pitch to the bunter without first turning their body and feet to the proper throwing position.
4. You may want to incorporate other skills into the drill such as having your middle infielders use an underhanded "stiff wrist" double play feed as their throwing method. Such changes keep the interest level up and adds valuable repetition of basic skills.

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Drill #5
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"Off-the-wall" Drill
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  • 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.

The rules for the game are as follows:

  1. Each team gets three outs per inning. Outs are hit balls caught before they hit the wall or floor.
  2. Foul tips, foul balls, and swing without contact are outs. Each players gets one swing of the bat.
  3. Something must happen, if the ball is a strike. The batter decides if a ball is a strike.
  4. Ground balls are not outs. They serve to keep the inning alive. You do not get a run for ground balls.
  5. Flyballs that go above the target are outs.
  6. 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.
  7. The winning team must win by two.
  8. A tournament bracket is drawn and teams play for the championship.
  9. Coaches and parents are encouraged to play on teams. Each team may use only one bat.
  10. The bat never touches the ground or floor until the inning is over.

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Drill #6
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"Streak Drill"
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This is a BatAction Machine drill
. It can also be performed with the new DEREK JETER HURRICANE BATTING MACHINE.
 
  • 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.

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