When a player doesn’t hit, frustration sets in for players and parents alike. Hitting can be a very difficult skill for parents and untrained coaches to figure out. The good news is that you don’t have to know what is wrong as long as you know how to “fix it.” Hitting in its most basic form comes down to doing three things – watching the ball, throwing the hands (bat) at the ball, and opening the hips. The following three drills will make these things happen and can prove a quick exit from the player’s hitting slump.
1. Seeing the Ball Drill – In batting practice put an object like a ball glove or empty soda can at the front of the opposite side batter’s box. After taking their swing, the hitter should keep their eyes on the placed object for a second or two before looking out to see where they hit the ball. This will prevent hitters from pulling their head out early on the pitch and help prevent them from over swinging.
2. Pad Drill – Place a pad like a sponge, towel or the player’s glove under their lead armpit when taking batting practice. The hitter’s goal is to keep the glove under the arm until contact and then allow the pad to fall out after making contact. This drill ensures that the hitter is using their hands and forearms to swing the bat in a compact, direct manner.
3. Back Knee Pick-up Drill – Have the hitter pick up their back leg with their back knee turning to point at the pitcher as they swing. This drill will force the hitter to use their front side to pull the bat initially as well as forcing the hitter to open their hips. Both of these forced moves with this drill promote contact, weight shift and power.
There are many hitting drills that can benefit a hitter and it is a good idea to continue with some of them throughout the season. Drills are the best way to develop good fundamentals whereas batting practice is good for the hitter’s timing.
Finally, it is always best to challenge hitters during batting practice with game like speeds and speed changes. There is no speed that is too slow or too fast, within reason of course based on the age of the player. Remember, you don’t need to know what is fundamentally wrong with a hitter’s swing as long as you know how to fix it.
Source by Jack Perconte