This video involves two of my favorite hitting tools the batting tee and the dropped balls. This drill is only for advanced hitters, as it is not easy, especially at first, as you will see here. I use this drill to help hitters when they are in a situation where they are looking out over the plate for the pitch but have to adjust inside. This is often necessary with a two-strike count, when hitters are usually and correctly taught, to look away and adjust inside. Additionally, this drill is good for learning to adjust on a breaking pitch that appears to be up and away but darts inside at the last second. Hitting the inside ball in this situation is easier said than done, even with the ball sitting on a batting tee, not to mention the necessity of a good, compact swing to hit the dropped ball. For this drill, coaches set a batting tee on the inside corner of home plate, approximately two feet in front of the hitter. When dropping balls, coaches stand off to the side, while setting the ball no higher than the batter's eye level and only drop balls after the stride foot lands. Of course, coaches should never lower their hand into the swing path after releasing the ball and should make sure they do not flip the ball up instead of dropping it. Flipping balls up, even slightly, are much easier to hit and defeat the purpose of the dropped ball drill.
With this drill, coaches drop the ball or hold on to it. When the ball is not dropped, hitters immediately swing at the inside pitch (see also chin music), located on the batting tee. Hitters must expect the ball to be dropped if they are to hit it, but turn on the inside tee pitch, when it is not dropped. As mentioned, this is a good way of helping hitters with two strikes to be able to cover the whole plate and for hitting breaking balls in on the hands. Finally, this drill helps hitters understand that covering the whole plate, even though it is only seventeen inches wide, is not that easily done, especially when expecting a different pitch location.
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.
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