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BatSpeed Development - The UnderLoad, OverLoad and SameWeight Theories



BatSpeed and skill determine hitting success. What workout system is best for Increasing batspeed has been the subject of much debate for years. The three different systems are the "UnderLoad", "OverLoad" and "SameWeight" . Here I explain the merits of each.

"UNDERLOAD" - The batter swings a bat that is very light in weight compared to the regular bat used. The reduction in weight allows the hands to "learn to move faster". Quicker hands or faster muscle memory is the purpose of the UNDERLOAD training technique.

"OVERLOAD" - The batter swings a bat that is heavier than the regular bat to increase muscle mass and power. The increased muscle strength improves bat control and speed. Many people feel that the hands and arms may actually slow down because the added weight cause the hands to move slower. This slow down causes the hands to learn "slow muscle movement".

"SAMEWEIGHT" - The batter uses the regular bat weight but improves strength by increasing the number of reps. Increased strength, hand quickness, and improved durability are the results of this technique.

I feel the best training program encompasses a combination of all three techniques. This new training product builds strength, skill, and improved muscle memory. You use a variety of drills that improves hand wquickness and builds muscle mass.


There is a new training product that allows you to use all three training techniques, UNDERLOAD, OVERLOAD, and SAMEWEIGHT while hitting a target.

The ProZip SpeedToss is an excellant training product for high schools and colleges. T

he ProZip retails for $24.95...It is a great daily practice tool and incredible pregame warmup device.

For More Info on the ZipnHit Pro Trainer.....Click Here!

Better Practice Scheduling Coaching Tips
I recommend that all coaches make out written practice schedules. A copy of the schedule should be given to each assistant coach. It is also a good idea to post the schedule for players to see. The best way to make your practices more productive and improve your coaching effectiveness is to schedule and organize your practice into time periods of 3 to 10 minutes. Coaches should remember to allow ample time for warm-up and cool down. The schedule must also reflect an awareness of the attention span level of your players. Baseball and softball practice does not have to be boring. It is up to us as coaches to add spice to it.

Here is an example of one of my varsity practice schedules:

3:00 - 3:20 Stretch, Run & Throwing Warm-up .....

3:21 3:25 Brief Overview of Goals & Expectations of Today's Practice.

3:26 - 3:36 Team Infield - Pre-game & Practice Routine

3:26 - 3:41 Fly Ball & Pop Up Communication Drill

3:41 - 3:45 Defensive 1st & 3rd Calls, Bunt Coverage & Catchers Throwing to bases.

3:45 - 3:50 Coach Overview of Practice thus far.

3:50 - 3:55 Batting Practice Field Preparation

3:55 - 4:15 Group One Hits

---4 players per group

---1 Player - Bunts 3 & Hits 8

---2 Player - Warms up on deck

---3 Player - Chases Foul balls

---4 Player - Runs Base Running "Circuit" Note: The players will switch rolls after each bats. 2 Hit, 3 Warms up, and 4 chases foul balls, 1 is running circuits. 4:10 - 4:30 Group Two Hits

4:30 - 4:50 Group Three Hits

4:50 - 5:10 Group Four Hits

5:10 - 5:15 Field Clearing ...............

SUGGESTED TIP: ONFIELD BATTING PRACTICE While each group is hitting. Two coaches are fungoing to our infielders. the infielders will also field each ball that is hit. the coach will call out situations. Different situations could be as follows: "Corners up, Middle Back, Double Play Situation", "Cut the Run at The plate", Median Infielders depth, and two out situations. We always use a catcher doing "live arm" on-field batting practice. The catcher has a bucket beside him. When the batter misses or a ball is thrown home, the catcher drops it in the bucket. We also have a bucket at first. When the first baseman receives a ball, it is dropped in a bucket. We also have a screen behind second on the grass. All balls hit to the outfielder are thrown to the players "manning" the bucket. The balls are dropped in the bucket. When the "BP" pitcher yells "Bucket" the catcher, firstbase, and outfield buckets are ran to the mound. .....5:15 - 5:30 Conditioning

SUGGESTED DEFENSIVE DRILL - "9's". A coach hits nine balls, one at a time, anywhere on the field. Every player must play the ball correct and move to the correct position on the field. After the play is made, every player sprints to a designated spot and back. When every player is back, another ball is hit. We do nine of these. If a player makes an error or a mental mistake, we start over. We will do this drill until we get nine good plays in a row.


Pitching Basics
Let The Numbers Work For You!
Statistics prove year after year that if you throw
strikes and make hitters swing the bat, they will
find a way to get themselves out most of the time.
The "key to success" is to allow the "numbers to
work for you"!

Hitters fail up to 75% of the time. Even great hitters fail up to 60% of the time. That means that most of the "battles" are won by the pitcher. These statistics make it important to remember several "laws" that maximize pitching performance and team success!


(1)...Work to achieve AN ADVANTAGE COUNT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE...0-1 counts are bad for hitters...PITCH AHEAD...MAKE THINGS HAPPEN EARLY(1st 3 pitches)...AVOID 3 BALL COUNTS!...JUST DON'T LET THEM HAPPEN!

(2)...IF YOU FALL BEHIND IN THE COUNT....CHALLENGE THE HITTER...Learn to thrive under pressue!...When the games on the line..accept the challenge and PERFORM!...Prove your "worth under pressure"! Be a leader!

(3)...HAVE TOTAL PITCH COMMAND...with your fastball when ahead and your breaking pitches when behind. Have the confidence to throw any pitch you have, wherever you need it, whenever you need it!


(1) Walk the lead-off hitter.


(3) Go from 0-2 to 3-2 on a hitter.

(4) Walk 2 hitters in an inning.

(5) Allow a 2-Out Walk

(6) Go three-ball count on a hitter!

The "Fastpitch Tracking" Drill
Great Drill For Hitters, Catchers, and Pitchers!

The pitcher is throwing to a catcher as she normally would in pitching practice or bull-pen work. The pitcher is throwing at her normal pitching distance. The coach has one or two batters, with helmets on, stand in the batter's box without bats. Each batter will assume her regular stance and imagine that she is holding a bat.

The batters "track" or watch the first three pitches out of the pitcher's hand until the the ball hits the catcher's mitt. Next the batters will swing with "imaginary" bats. The batters read the location of each pitch and hit the ball where it is pitched. One batter or two batters can track pitches. Having two batters makes the pitcher have to concentrate even more. When two batters are tracking, they will do opposites. One will pull a pitch in a location that her tracking partner will hit to the opposite field. The coach may wish to call out a count such as 2-0, 3-1, 1-2, and 0-2 to allow the batters, pitchers, and catchers certain mind-sets in different situations.

Note: If your hitters are too young to perform this drill, have a coach stand in. The coach may wish to wear a helmet and wear a glove for protection.This is a difficult drill that is great for developing composure and concentration of all parties involved. Make sure all participates wear helmets and other proper protective equipment.

Tips For Catchers: Use Ankle Sway To Get Strike Calls
 We all know the importance of "Framing Pitches". Cathers often get a "close call" by making a pitch appear to be a strike. Here are two great tips for helping catchers become better "Framers".

MAKE SURE TO TURN YOUR GLOVE CORRECTLY...When you catch the ball..always turn the glove in to the plate. This gives the umpire the impression that the pitch is on the plate. Always try to move outside of the pitch and catch it with a "moving in" motion that makes it look like the pitch is on the plate. Never catch the ball moving the mitt outward.

MAKE SURE TO USE ANKLE SWAY TO "GET THE BALL INSIDE YOUR SHOULDERS" without having to take a step. Catchers can "expand the plate" several inches on both sides by using the flexibility in their ankles to "sway" left or right. This is a skill that needs to be practiced every day.

Good catchers can get a few "close calls" to go your way every game! Good Luck til next time. ... Coach Nick

Correcting Common Hitting Flaws - Batter Opening Up Too Soon and Is Pulling Off Pitches

The batter's front side is opening too soon causing her "whole body" including head and eyes to pull off the pitch. This flaw often causes the barrel to lag and a reduction in bat speed. Much less plate coverage is allowed. Another result of dropping the hands is an increase in flyballs.


Have the batter strive to keep the "knob to belly button" relationship during the swing. The batter should be taught to make sure that her belly button rotates with the knob of the bat. On inside pitches the batter will still "open" but the timing will be perfect. On middle and away pitches she will not open or rotate so much. "The belly button to knob" relationship maintains correct timing.

Correcting Hitting Flaws - Improving Hip Rotation
 ---PROBLEM---Young Hitter has a "Top Heavy" swing with little or no hip involvement.


1) The batter never opens, the "belly button" remains "focused" toward firstbase.

2)The lower body does not flex and turn. The back foot does not "roll" onto the toe and "turn shoe laces to pitcher".

3) The back shoulder does not rotate forward properly.

4) The batter does not follow-through or finish the swing after contact with the ball. The bat often stops quickly....These symptoms cause the hitter to often hit weak grounders and popups.


We all know that proper hip rotation generates greater bat speed and power. The lower body is where the hitter's power comes from.


OBJECTIVE- Teaches hitters to get maximum "hip involvement" in their "power sing" by emphasizing hip rotation. Young hitters get the "feel" of what is like to use the hips to generate power.

PROCEDURE - The holder places the hit2win trainer ball or soft tosses the ball from behind the hitter and toward the hitter's backpocket. The ball is slightly behind the hitter and is directed at the hitter's back pocket. The hitter takes a small step, opens the hips, turns, and hits the ball.

RECOMMENDED WORKOUTS - 10 Swings, 2 Days a Week.


1) Emphasize the "knob to belly button" alignment during the swing. Young hitters often open too soon or too late. Check the hitter's timing by making sure that the belly button stays in "time" with the barrel of the bat.

2) The coach should stress that the batter should always be aware of the batter's body movement and action. The batter should make sure to use the proper lower body mechanics. The batter should make sure that the back foot turns "shoe laces to pitcher". The holder can increase or decrease the required amount of hip movement by moving closer to the front or farther to the back of the batter.