Since the start of baseball, pitchers have found new ways to move the ball. They have sixty feet to make the ball move up, down, left, right, speed up and slow down. As hitters, we only have a fraction of a second and 2.75 inches to make contact with a ball that is traveling faster than a car towards us. It is crucial to perfect our swing in order to defy the odds of hitting and be a threat at the plate. These hitting drills will improve many aspects of your swing which, with enough practice, will directly correlate to your production in-game.
Hitting Drills to Improve Bat Speed
The speed of your hands to the ball is important for pitcher with a lot of speed. Also, the faster you start your motion and move your hands, the more power you will have in your swing.
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Overload and Under load Swings
When practicing your swing, try using a bat that is heavier than the one you normally use or add a weight to your bat. If you play high school or college ball this best BBCOR bats guide can help you find the perfect one. Take ten dry swings with the heavier bat then 10 dry swings without the weight or with your regular bat. Make sure that each time you swing you are focusing on swinging as hard as you can while maintaining proper mechanics. After swinging the heavy bat, swing you regular bat ten times. Now try swinging something that is lighter than your normal bat. Again, swing as hard as you can ten times. Once you have completed your ten swings, swing your regular bat ten times. Repeat two times daily.
If you don’t have a weight or a heavier bat, try using two bats. Grip both bats and complete the drill the same way as listed above. If you don’t have lighter bat, you can use a wiffle ball bat or a broom stick handle. These slight changes will produce the same results as if you were performing the drill as direct.
This baseball hitting drill requires a partner. Swing slowly. While you are swinging, have your partner put resistance on your bat as it travels through the zone. Repeat this ten times then swing ten times without the resistance.
Focus on the Inside Pitch
When hitting an inside pitch, you are forced to have quick hands in order to meet the ball in front of your front hip. By setting the pitching machine to throw the pitches inside, your hands will adjust to the speed and move quicker.
Drills to Improve Timing
Three Ball Front Toss
The purpose of this baseball hitting drill is to be able to detect the pitch as it is coming towards the plate and hit the ball at the appropriate time. By changing the location of the pitch, your body will not be able to get into a habit. Each swing will require accurate timing in order to hit the pitch the best you can every time.
Self-Toss Hitting Drill
In this drill athletes, will toss the ball in the air to themselves and try to hit line drives or hard ground balls. If they are hitting pops ups they are swinging too early. If they are hitting weak ground balls or the ball is going straight down after contact, they are swinging to late. Even though the plane of the ball in this drill is different than in a game, the athlete still has to focus on the timing of their swing like they would in a real game.
One of the most important aspects of hitting is pitch recognition. It is important to be able to read the ball out of the pitchers hand, Being able to recognize the pitch, whether it is inside, outside, or down the middle, will help tremendously with timing. The timing of the swing is based on where the ball is pitched.
In this baseball hitting drill, have someone pitch the ball in. It does not have to be crazy fast or spin, the objective is to be able to detect where the pitch is before it crosses the plate. As the person is pitching, load and act like you are swinging but do not cross the plate with your bat. As soon as you recognize the pitch, call it out. Continue regularly.
Hitting Drills to Increase Power
Hitting Soccer Balls and Volleyballs
This drill is extremely easy and it great for increasing your power. It is set up the same as side toss but instead of hitting baseballs, you hit slightly deflated volleyballs and soccer balls. It is important that you power through you swing and do not stop after contact. Do a couple of rounds with the soccer and volleyballs then do a round with baseballs. Repeat
The Flamingo Drill
This drill works three aspects of your swing: balance, bat control and rotation. Start on your back foot with you left foot in the air at an 90 degree angle. Begin your swing making sure that you weight is transferring from front to back and you are exploding through the ball with your lower half. Its is also important to keep good balance during this drill in order to prevent bad habits.
Total Control Balls (TCBs)
Total Control Balls are weighted balls that are used to increase power in hitters. This drill is run exactly like the soccer/volleyball drill listed above. The weighted balls will only go far if the player makes complete contact with the ball and is able to power through their swing until the very end.
Drills for Beginners and Youth
Two Ball Soft Toss
This drill focuses on patience and concentration. The side tosser throw two ball at the same time, one on top and one on the bottom. As the ball is being tossed, the tosser calls out which ball to hit. The batter needs to stay patient and keep their weight back then explode through the ball. This drill can also be effective with colored balls. In this situation, the tosser calls out what color ball to hit.
Three Plate Drill
Three plates are set up at different distances from the pitcher. the first plate is closet to the pitcher, the middle plate is at normal distance and the last plate is the furthest from the pitcher. Have the batter begin at the middle plate. Hit ten balls then move forward to the first plate. Hit ten balls then move to the furthest plate. Finally move back to the middle plate. In this drill, the batter focuses on timing. The first plate helps with bat speed and when moving to the farthest plate, batter has to have patience.
Top-Hand Bottom-Hand Drill
This drill has two parts. The first part is working just your top hand. Put your top hand towards the top of your grip. Swing the bat the same way you normally would but only using your top hand. Do this ten times then switch hands. Put your bottom hand towards the top of your grip. Swing ten times. Lastly, swing ten times with both hands. This hitting drill is best performed using a tee but can be used with soft toss for added difficulty. It is important that your swing mechanics do not change during this drill.