Nothing is more important for successful hitting than bat loading to the correct hitting position. Bat loading is one of the more difficult aspects of teaching hitting. This simple drill is one of the easiest ways to do that. It not only helps players load the bat correctly from start to finish, it gives players the visuals to learn how to repeat the bat loading process.
Using the drill with a batting tee, at first, is best, but it is easily done with short flip work and batting practice, too.
Coaches set a trail of objects on the ground for the hands to follow back to a strong hitting position. Players begin with the knob of the bat pointing directly at the ball on the tee, and are to keep the knob of the bat pointed directly at each object until it sits over the last object, before swinging.
I used a beginner ballplayer, my friend Taka here, to give the drill a try. The only thing I told him was to keep the knob of the bat pointed at each ball, beginning with the ball on the tee, until his hands were back, before letting it rip. It was simple for him to accomplish this, after explaining, what the knob of the bat meant. We will work on the rest of that swing in the future.
This drill helps hitters automatically shift their weight to the backside, too. With some hitters, the hands have a tendency to drop or stay low. Adding a ball on a second tee, as seen here, with the instructions of making sure not to knock that ball off on the bat load is a good way to fix the hands dropping.
For more advanced hitters, an additional object is recommended, placed back at the catchers feet area to make sure players angle the bat towards their head, with their top hand cocking slightly towards the pitcher with this action.
Once hitters grasp this action with tee ball, they should try it with batting practice. The goal here is to begin the backward movement of the hands when the pitcher begins their body movement towards home plate. In no time, players begin to load the bat and develop a nice rhythm when bat loading and preparing to swing.
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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