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Monday, November 30, 2009
Advanced Hitting Drills
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By Jack Perconte
There are numerous hitting drills and all have specific purposes. Good hitting drills address a specific area of a hitter's fundamentals. When hitters have practiced basic hitting drills for a time they may be ready for more advance hitting drills. Additionally, these drills can serve to break up the monotony of performing the same drills over and over.
Some drills will actually address a few different fundamental areas at the same time, making them even more valuable. One such drill is the back knee pickup drill that I have written about before. This drill where the hitter swings, picks up the back foot and allows the knee to rotate towards the pitcher is a good multi-use drill that works on using the front side and keeping a firm front side without collapsing the lower half on the swing. It also serves to have hitters transfer their weight and maintain leverage through their swing. This is only a drill and is not the way a hitter will hit in a game, but a drill that reinforces the correct fundamentals for hitters who have specific hitting deficiencies. This drill helps hitters who "step out" with their stride and for those who open their hips or front shoulder too early.
Other advanced hitting drills include the following:
1. The self flip drill is very valuable for advanced hitters. It will force hitters to develop quick hands and strong forearms. To perform this drill the hitter will hold the ball with their top hand as their lower hand grips the bat. The hitter flips the ball up no higher than eye level into the hitting zone. At this time, the hitter will grab the bat with both hands and hit the ball. Obviously, the goal is to hit line drives and in the direction of where the ball was flipped, (middle, inside or outside). Hitters will notice that very quick hands are necessary to hit the ball consistently solid.
2. Another advanced hitting drill is to have the hitter stand a foot or so away from a net, where the hitter is facing away from the net. The goal is to swing and miss the net with the bat going forward, but to hit the net slightly on the follow through with the bat. This drill will reinforce a compact swing and "staying back" at the same time. Hitters should keep their head in throughout the entire swing and not pull their front shoulder out in order to hit the net on the follow through. Once again, this is another drill for advanced hitters only. This drill can be done with a ball on the batting tee or with flip drills for even better results.
3. The two ball flip drill is another advanced hitting drill that is very good for teaching hitters to wait on the ball and to develop a quick, compact swing. Hitters will need the assistance of a coach to flip balls from behind a protective screen for this drill. The coach will hold two balls in the same hand at once and flip the balls into the hitting zone. When the ball approaches the hitter, the coach yells out which ball they want the hitter to hit, either high/low, or even inside/ outside. Obviously, because the hitter does not know which ball to hit until the last moment, they cannot cheat with their swing too early or they will hit the wrong one or miss altogether.
These are a few advanced hitting drills that will help advanced hitters. Many more like these are contained in my hitting book.
Former major league baseball player, Jack Perconte gives baseball hitting tips and batting practice advice for ballplayers of all ages. His baseball hitting lessons advice can be found at http://www.baseballhittinglessons.com/baseball Jack is the author of two books, The Making of a Hitter and Raising an Athlete - and one of his videos can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsIt0TIsHmQ
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