The following bat speed hitting drills develop bat speed and should only be performed by an experienced coach. The dropped ball drill is more challenging than the traditional side flips that most coaches use. This drill requires bat quickness and the correct first move of driving the hands to the back of the ball in a compact manner, whereas hitters can get away with a longer and slower swing with side flips. Coaches should drop the ball from no higher than the batters eye level and can eventually drop the ball from lower heights as hitters get quicker swings. Coaches should not drop balls until the hitter's front foot lands and for the good of their hand should not lower their hand into the hitting zone after dropping the ball. Additionally, if hitters come out of hitting position with their stride, coaches should not drop the ball and point that out to hitters. Coaches can also drop balls to the outside, middle and inside portion of the plate as seen in this video. Additionally, coaches can delay dropping the ball slightly to be sure hitters keep their hands back and to mimic an off-speed pitch. Inexperienced coaches should do this drill with safer balls like tennis or whiffle balls. Kids, especially under the age of ten, often struggle with hitting dropped balls but this drill provides a challenge most hitters like. Hitters learn to adjust and become quicker, which is the reason for the drill of course. In no time, bat quickness improves, if they are to hit the ball.
Most bat speed hitting drills can be done with dropped balls as seen here with the lead hand drill. One drill I use the traditional side flips for is the rapid-fire flip drill. This drill is great for developing balance, a steady head and a two-hand finish, as well as bat speed. Notice balls can be flipped to different sections of the plate to work on specific pitch locations. Coaches should give hitters just enough time to complete the swing and return the bat to hitting position. 5 flipped balls is a challenging amount to begin with for bat speed without fatigue. This drill should only be used with hitters who have good hitting mechanics, as there is usually no benefit to reinforcing bad swings. Hitters who have good swings but slow hips and/or hands and poor balance will have trouble with this drill at first but will greatly benefit with this rapid fire drill. It is a good way to end hitting practice with, so hitters do not get wore out. Here is a side view of the same drill and it is important to notice that coaches should be totally off to the hitters side so that they cannot be hit by batted balls.
Jack Perconte has dedicated his post-major league baseball career to helping youth. He has taught baseball and softball for the past 28 years.His playing, coaching and parenting storiescreate betterexperiences forathletes andparents.Jack has writtenover a thousand articles on coaching baseball and youth sports.Jack is the author of "The Making of a Hitter" and "Raising an Athlete." His third book "Creating a Season to Remember" is now available. Jack is a featured writer for Baseball the Magazine. You can also findJack Perconte on YouTube withover 120 fun and innovative baseball instructional videos.
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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