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It is very perplexing to see batters hardly ever miss a pitched ball in batting practice, only to strike out quite often in games. "What the heck," is my thought when I see that? Obviously, challenging batters correctly in batting practice is not occurring. Imagine having a hitting drill that teaches hitters to stay back, have quick hands, focus, develop bat control, and miss balls, all in one drill. That is the case with one of my favorite hitting drills, outlined below. Maybe the best part of this hitting drill is that it is extremely challenging for young ballplayers, at least until they develop the correct compact swing.
Straight on flipped balls, when a coach sits behind a pitching screen, are a great baseball hitting tool. It allows hitters to see and hit balls form the direction of pitchers, a good thing, but it is not as challenging as game hitting, of course, because after all, they are still flipped balls, no matter how fast or slowly flipped.
One of my favorite hitting drills employs the same straight on flip method, but involves flipping two balls at once. Coaches hold two balls in the same hand, with one ball sitting higher than the other, and flip them both into the hitting zone. Ninety percent of the time, the balls separate with one going higher than the other does. Coaches wait until the final moment, when they feel players have just enough time to react, before yelling out which ball to hit, the high or low one. Again, the key is to wait until the last moment before calling out, so players must, wait, focus, be quick, and control the bat, if they are to hit the correct ball and hit it solidly. * Important note - The often-made mistake with this drill is calling out the pitch too early for players, as the point is making them wait, be quick, and control the bat. Once again, very challenging, but most hitting drills do not teach those all at once, nor do they simulate game hitting as well as this hitting drills does. As mentioned in the title, this favorite of my hitting drills is for young hitters also, even though most will struggle to hit the correct ball, or either. However, missing balls is important, as they will not hit every ball in a game either, making it more game-like than most hitting drills, and the exact challenge and teaching points kids need to learn how to hit.
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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