Great excitement has been building for the finals of the best hitting drill of the year tournament. Before revealing the best hitting drill of the year, a word about hitting fundamentals is necessary. The correct bat hitting position, first move of the hands and bat path must be absolutely correct to make consistent line-drive contact. The best lower half turn in the world does not guarantee good contact without the correct bat path. Of course, the full body swings the bat, but hitting drills that emphasize the correct bat setup and bat path are the most crucial. In addition, it is easier to teach the weight transfer and hip rotation than the correct bat action.
It is also important to describe what makes a drill good. Good drills do three things one, they explain a crucial element of a skill to players. Two, they force the correct action that the skill requires and three, after performing the drill, players regular action is better, at least initially, as long range results take a great amount of repetition. Once players find the particular drills that help the most, they should stay with it to negate any incorrect tendencies reoccurring. Finally, there is no absolute perfect drill, which solves every hitting issue, and performing drills correctly is necessary to see the desired improvement.
On to the final four The first matchup has the glove under the arm drill edge out the drop ball drill. Even though both drills help develop a compact swing and hand quickness, the glove under the arm drill wins because it works with every kind of batting practice including tee work, dropped balls, short flips, and even with regular batting practice. The only negative to the drill is having to pick the glove up after each swing, because the glove should fly out with the correct swing extension.
The next matchup was unbelievably close with the roll back, hop back drill winning out over the 1,2,3 drill. Both drills stress the all-important correct hitting position at stride foot landing, but the back weight shift and rhythm development with the roll back hop, back drill proves better than the static movements of the 1,2,3 drill.
The finals was almost too close to call, but ultimately the glove under the lead arm drill is the best hitting drill of the year. As long as hitters set their hands back enough with the glove under the arm, which is sometimes a problem for young players, the drill guarantees good starting position, the inside leading of the hands to the ball and the correct arm extension. The roll back, hop back drill is so valuable because hitters can load the bat into correct hitting position and leave it there as they automatically shift their weight to the backside but it does not guarantee the correct first move of the swing as the glove drill does.
The ironic thing is that a similar drill to the best hitting drill of the year may be even better, the glove under both arms is an awesome drill, but having to pick up two gloves after every swing is too much to ask of young hitters.
So there we have it. The best hitting drill of the year is over and am looking forward to next year's tourney.
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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