Hitting Tips/ Videos
See below for some great baseball and softball hitting drills and tips! These are just a sample of the drills that I do during my private baseball and softball lessons in Phoenix and Scottsdale Arizona. Enjoy!
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Baseball/Softball Soft Toss Drill:
Soft toss when done properly can be a great tool to improve a player’s swing. While soft toss seems simple, many coaches/parents make mistakes when they throw soft toss. The two most common mistakes I see are: coaches/parents rushing players during soft toss and coaches/parents positioned too far back when tossing the baseballs/softballs. If soft toss is rushed, the player does not get a chance to get back in the proper hitting position, resulting in hitting flaws. If a coach/parent stands too far back (towards where a catcher would be) when tossing the balls, the balls won’t come from a close to realistic direction. Also, the balls won’t be hit at the right position in the hitting stance. Check out this soft toss video showing the proper way to do soft toss as I do for my boys’ baseball & girls’ softball lessons.
Baseball/Softball Front Side Soft Toss Drill:
This is a popular drill that many coaches and parents do with their sons/daughters and players. One of the most important things to remember in this drill is to make sure the batter gets his/her front foot down early! If the hitter takes a step too late with his/her front foot, he/she will be late on the ball (many times hitting weak balls). Also, this many times causes players to completely miss the ball. Just like with the side soft toss drill, it is important not to rush the throws to the batter. Make sure that the batter is in the proper hitting position before the ball is thrown. As you can hear in the video, I emphasize “being on that front toe” frequently during my baseball/softball instruction. By staying on his/her toes, the batter stays balanced throughout the swing. If that front foot flies open, a player will lose power, lose balance, and will many times pull their head out on the swing.
Back Side Baseball/Softball Soft Toss Hitting Drill:
This drill is great for keeping baseball/softball fun! Stand off to the opposite side of the batter (behind him/her), and throw underhand balls in the direction of the field. This drill helps batters track the baseball/softball, and the goal is for the hitters to “stay on” the ball. To “stay on” the ball means to make contact and drive through the ball. A good way to think of this is that the batter wants the bat to stay on the ball as long as possible through the swing. This will help the player hit the ball harder. If this drill is done correctly, the baseball and softball players should many times be hitting the ball up the middle, or slightly opposite field. Another reason for this drill is that it helps to increase hand eye coordination. Remember, short swing to the ball, long swing (follow through) after hitting the ball.
Softball/Baseball Back Knee to the Ground Hitting Drill:
I can’t emphasize enough to batters how important using their back leg is to hitting the ball hard. During my baseball/softball private lessons, the back leg is one of main areas that I focus on. This drill helps get my players use to using their back leg. If a player swings and doesn't rotate their back foot, most (if not all) of their power on the swing will be coming from their upper body. BUT, if the player rotates that back leg, they will notice an instant different in the speed of the ball coming off their bat, and the distance it will go. This drill helps get the player in the habit of rotating that back leg. MAKE SURE that the player completely swings and follows through BEFORE they come down on their back leg. If they go down on their back knee too early, their front knee will bend and cause improper hitting mechanics. Try this drill out and see what you think!
Baseball/Softball Lob Toss Hitting Drill:
This drill is for more advanced hitters. I see many of my students get underneath baseballs/softballs when they are hitting. There are a few drills like this one to work on the batter staying on top of the ball. One other drill is the high tee, which works on the same principles of this drill. The coach/parent begins by standing 10-15 feet away from the batter. Then the coach/parent pretends that they are throwing darts about chest high to the batter. The baseball/softball player has to work on staying on top of the ball, and not popping the ball up. While the pitches aren't necessarily strikes in the games, this drill is a good way to learn to stay on top of the ball and to hit hard line drives.
Older Videos (Yet Still Very Informative)!
Working off a tee is one of the most important things for baseball and softball players to do. However, only proper mechanics will help them truly improve their swings. Watch this video to the left and see an example of the high tee drill and proper mechanics! Every private batting lesson with Evan at The Cages includes tee work. Even Major League players use the tee!
Kneeling Two Hand Soft Toss Drill:
This is a great drill that focuses on your upper body. The goal of this hitting drill is to work on having quick hands to the baseball/softball and creating bat speed. We want to see great rotation through the baseball/softball. Lunging or taking big strides can have a negative effect on your swing. With this drill, we take that away and only focus on our upper body supplying the power. Oh by the way, if you can get on your knees and hit, don't you think you can hit standing up!? This is a great confidence booster!
While bunting might seem less fun than hitting, is EXTREMELY important! It can help a team when a championship game by advancing the runners, or it can help create momentum for your team. Bunting is such a BIG part of baseball and softball, Evan tries to incorporate bunting into his one-on-one batting lessons to help girls and boy improve there bunting. BUNT ON!!!
Front Hand Soft Toss (bouncing balls):
This is a fun drill for my baseball and softball hitting students. By bouncing the ball, the players have to wait back on the pitch, a common problem with baseball and softball players. We still want to stay short to the ball, and drive it up the middle. Check out some of the hitting tips in this video, and watch how you can get power by waiting back on the pitch.
Size and Weight of a Baseball Bat:
A common question from parents is, "what is a good size and weight baseball bat?" This chart answers most of those questions, HOWEVER this sizing chart can vary from player to player! Having the right size baseball bat for hitting is VERY important. During my private Phoenix baseball lesson, I help parents find the right size bat for their son.