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Hitting

TopHITTING DRILLS

Click on the following links for video and audio tips

Build more rotational power in the hips, core and upper body using the Sled Drill. All you need is a bat, a rope and an old tire or weight plate (Video)

Three unique hitting drills in a 4 minute video: Inside/outside pitch; curve ball flip; Willie May Bottle Cap

The two tee duelling Drill video

Vision Hitting Drill –video

Five essential building blocks for baseball hitting success

Line Drive hitting target drill

A “slump buster” plan for hitters (video)

Coloured Ball drill (video)

Step in hitting – ProTeach video

Eight hitting mistakes to watch for and how to correct them

Five Steps to a perfect baseball swing

Perception Hitting drill done during Bullpen simulation – video

Strength and Conditioning drills – ProTeach video

The Strike Zone Drill and Pivot Hip Drill (video)

Turn Your Hips off the Tee

To start, set up a batting tee so that the ball is at waist height for your batter. Position your batter so he is standing at the tee as if hitting a ball up the middle. Have your batter hold a bat behind his back by bending both arms at the elbow and placing the knob end of the bat in the crook of his front elbow and the the barrel end in the crook of the back elbow. (Note: this drill works best when using the longest bat you can find.  I’ve even used a long, large dowel with great success). Next, place a ball on the tee and have your hitter hit while keeping the bat behind his back, held in place by his elbows.

Encourage the player to:

1) Pivot on the ball of his back foot
2) Bring hips square to the ball at contact
3) Keep front leg straight and back leg bent
4) Keep weight centered (knees, hips, shoulders in alignment
5) See the ball with BOTH eyes
6) Maintain his balance

Give each batter a chance to hit 10 balls with the bat behind their back. This drill FORCES players to turn their hips correctly during their swing.

Four tips to correcting classic hitting problems

#4 – Poor eyesight
In many cases, struggling hitters simply have trouble tracking the ball because their eyesight is poor. Does the athlete wear glasses off the field? If so, can he have some sport goggles or shatterproof glasses made to play baseball in?

#3 – Swinging too hard.
If your hitter looks off-balance and out of control in the finish phase of the swing, he’s probably swinging too hard. Teach him to swing through the ball with a smooth, controlled stroke.

#2 – No “2-strike approach”
Many youth and high school hitters fail to make an adjustment for 2-strike situations. An easy way to increase your chances of making contact when the pitcher has the advantage is to choke up 2 inches on the bat. This shortens the swing and improves the chances of putting the ball into play.

#1 – Bat too heavy
Many young hitters have a tendency to use too much bat, causing them to pull off the ball with the front side. Below is a useful guide for bat selection, based on a study by the University of Arizona.

 Little League (7-10 yrs)

Player Height   Bat Weight
48-50″          16-17 oz.
51-54″          17-18 oz.
55-59″          18-19 oz.
60+”            19-20 oz.

Youth League (11-13 yrs)
Player Weight   Bat Weight
70-80 lbs.      18-19 oz.
81-100 lbs.     19-20 oz.
101-120 lbs.    20-21 oz.
121-140 lbs.    21-22 oz.
141+ lbs.       22-23 oz.

High School & College
Player Height   Bat Weight

66-68″          27-28 oz.
69-72″          28-29 oz.
73-76″          29-30 oz.
77+”            30-31 oz.

Note that weight is the determining factor for younger players, and height is more important for high school kids and above.

Determine Which Bat Fits Your Body

There are some standard rules of thumb in selecting the appropriate bat length. The charts below offer some guidelines based on age and weight and height.

Determine Your Bat Length by Age
Age Bat length
5-7 years old 24″-26″
8-9 years old 26″-28″
10 years old 28″-29″
11-12 years old 30″-31″
13-14 years old 31″-32″
15-16 years old 32″-33″
17+ years old 34″
Determine Your Bat Length by Weight and Height
  Your height (inches)
Your weight (pounds) 36-40 41-44 45-48 49-52 53-56 57-60 61-64 65-68 69-72 73+
Bat length
less than 60 26″ 27″ 28″ 29″ 29″          
61-70 27″ 27″ 28″ 29″ 30″ 30″        
71-80   28″ 28″ 29″ 30″ 30″ 31″      
81-90   28″ 29″ 29″ 30″ 30″ 31″ 32″    
91-100   28″ 29″ 30″ 30″ 31″ 31″ 32″    
101-110   29″ 29″ 30″ 30″ 31″ 31″ 32″    
111-120   29″ 29″ 30″ 30″ 31″ 31″ 32″    
121-130   29″ 29″ 30″ 30″ 31″ 32″ 33″ 33″  
131-140   29″ 30″ 30″ 31″ 31″ 32″ 33″ 33″  
141-150     30″ 30″ 31″ 31″ 32″ 33″ 33″  
151-160     30″ 31″ 31″ 32″ 32″ 33″ 33″ 33″
161-170       31″ 31″ 32″ 32″ 33″ 33″ 34″
171-180           32″ 33″ 33″ 34″ 34″
180+             33″ 33″ 34″ 34″

Determining the Right Bat Weight

  • Most bats are also weighted in ounces
  • Manufacturers have done a great job in balancing the bat’s weight to its length
  • Many bats have a weight-to-length ratio, often shown as -4, -6, etc.
  • This basically means a 34-inch bat with a -6 ratio weighs 28 ounces
  • Selecting weight really depends on two critical factors–your strength and your hitting style
  • It also depends a lot on your personal preference in weight and length, so the following are simply guidelines to follow:
    • Bigger, stronger players generally prefer a heavier bat since they get the benefits of both the heft and swing power
    • Smaller players with less strength should consider a lighter bat to generate a quicker swing
    • Younger players, too, should consider that a lighter bat increases control–great for singles hitters, while also reducing the risk of injury

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