Baseball Hitting Drills
Baseball drills from playing days, books and great coaches. Emphasis on baseball instruction, baseball fundamentals, offensive baseball drills, hitting a baseball and baseball swing.
Name: Texas Two Step
Purpose: Designed to teach the proper mechanics of using the legs while swinging the baseball bat.
How to Conduct: The player stands in a normal batting stance while a bat is placed behind the player using the player’s arms to lock the bat in place. The knob of the bat should be held by the lead elbow. Have the player complete swings by having the bat barrel travel through the strike zone, twisting their hips and using their legs to propel the bat through the zone. They will be taught how to use their legs to complete the act of hitting. This drill is also effective for soft tossing balls to be hit by the bat barrel traveling through the strike zone while in this same position. Many teams have players practice this routine while in the on-deck circle during games as a warm up drill.
Name: Stop the Bail Out
Purpose: To teach players to not bail out of the pitch as the ball approaches the plate
How to Conduct: The coach places a bat behind the player about 6-8 inches parallel to the batter’s box so that if a player steps out of the box they will step on the bat. The player then takes batting practice with that bat in place. It may be necessary to place an additional bat 6 or 8 inches behind the original bat to be sure the player does not step over the first bat. This drill works wonders for little league players who are afraid of the ball or who have been struck by the ball in a previous at-bat.
Name: Watch the Ball
Purpose: To teach players to watch the ball as it is released from the pitcher’s hand
How to Conduct: Have players pair off in groups of two and practice the motion of pitching and hitting to one another. The batter’s eyes should not move from the pitcher’s pretend pitch until after the ball is struck (we are only imagining the ball being struck, however). The drill will allow you the opportunity to teach the players to swing with their head perfectly still, to keep their eyes on the ball, and to keep their head stuck in the hitting position until after the ball has left the bat.
Purpose: To teach players the ability to make consistent contact, get the feel of a baseball hitting the bat, and to practice hitting to all positions on the field while hitting the ball out front
How to Conduct: The players gather in groups of 3 to 5. One player hits while the others are fielding, about 20-25 feet away. The player with the ball throws the ball to the batter, who swings and hits it on the ground to a player, trying to go up and down the position of fielders. If a fielding player catches the ball in the air they get to be the next batter, if a batter swings and misses the next player rotates to be the hitter and the hitter takes the last fielding position, moving from right to left.
Name: Soft Toss
Pupose: To provide many swings in a short amount of time, provide opportunity for swing feedback on the basic mechanics and build strength in the swing
How to Conduct: A coach or player will toss the ball from a 45 degree angle to a player who will hit the ball into a net or backstop. The player throwing the ball should be at least twice the distance of the bat being able to reach the tosser or 7-10 feet. The tosser throws the ball underhanded to the hitter who will swing with an ordinary swing to meet the ball and send it into the fence or net. Instant feedback can be provided from the flight of the ball and from the coach watching the hitter swing with repetition.
Name: Batting Tee Game
Purpose: To allow for a quick intra squad scrimmage game to occur during practice and to allow players to be reminded of the fundamentals of the swing.
How to Conduct: Break the team into 3 groups of 4, however the numbers best work to divide into 3 teams. One team bats while all others are two in the field. The hitting team strikes the ball from the tee, focusing on good swing mechanics, follow through and hitting line drives. This is a great way to introduce players to the concept that if they cannot hit line drives successfully off a tee with the ball not moving at all, they should work on it repeatedly until they can so a moving ball will have a better chance of being hit by the same player. The coach should then allow the players to use the batting tee as another station in batting practice along with soft toss to give the players many chances to swing the bat in a session. This drill also provides some lively competition for the players, which is always fun for them to participate in.
Name: Top Hand Release Drill
Purpose: To teach the proper swing mechanics using top hand release after a ball has been struck and the follow through begins
How to Conduct: The player takes their regular batting stance and holds their top hand behind the wrist of the bottom hand with the palm down to support the bottom wrist during the swing without wrapping around the bottom wrist – keep the top hand open. Swing naturally from this position and allow the top hand to leave the bottom wrist as the swing is completed and the top hand passes the front shoulder. Finish the swing up high and keep the head still while swinging. Do the same drill with a batting tee, then in the cage with soft toss. After successfully completing these drills place the top hand back on the bat and hit away, releasing at the same point after impact with the ball to allow for a high follow through and natural lead arm extension. With repetition, the player will notice a nice increase in their bat speed.
Name: The Crossover Step
Purpose: Teaches proper leg mechanics and weight transfer during the swing
How to Conduct: The player assumes their natural batting stance. Take the back foot and cross over the front in a stepping motion, move the front foot from behind and step forward while swinging the bat. This drill will correct any weight transfer issues in the swing and teaches proper follow through mechanics. Keep the head down during the swing, lock the front leg and let the laces of the back shoe turn towards the pitcher for a complete, relaxed swing. Be sure the front foot is landing with the toe pointing towards home plate so the hip can rotate properly and the weight transfer can be supported by the front leg.
Name: Tight Swing Drill
Purpose: To keep the swing from getting far away from the body, which can result in a loss of power and quickness in getting the bat to the ball
How to Conduct: Have a player stand opposite a batting cage net or fence (net preferred) and place a plate about 4 inches from the net. The player takes a stance parallel to the net in the correct distance from home plate and swings the bat. If the bat is coming in contact with the net the swing is too long and the arms are extended (often called casting). The player can adjust the swing to not hit the fence and repeat 20 times, returning to the original stance each time.
Name: One Arm Swing
Purpose: To develop strength in both arms while teaching the proper mechanics of leg movement and shoulder rotation.
How to Conduct: The player will hit soft toss with the top hand of the swing. Hold the bat about one third of the way up the handle with the top hand only. Get into a regular stance and hit soft toss while focusing on using your wrist and forearm to hit the ball. The lower hand will not support the swing while being placed across the body during the swing. Focus on short swings that are quick to get to the ball. Keep the barrel of the bat on top of the ball until contact.
If you have other drills that should be included in this series please let me know and I will be sure to add them for all to enjoy.
These baseball drills are from my playing days, some excellent books I have read and from some of my great coaches. I placed emphasis on baseball instruction, baseball fundamentals, offensive baseball drills, hitting a baseball and the baseball swing for this offensive series.