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How to Hit a Baseball Using Your Legs

How to Hit a Baseball Using Your Legs

 

 

For many hitters, feeling a load, feeling a separation and weight shift is not easy.
Trying to explain that to a young hitter can be difficult. I have a drill to help you do that.
What I call this drill is the “step back” drill. A lot of you may have seen it before. What I want to do is explain how this drill works and why we want to use.

You address the ball the same way that we would in the box. Maybe slightly forward so the ball is at our navel. Get in our nice stance. What we are going to do differently is – before I swing I’m going to step back. I’m going to take a step back and I’m going to feel the weight go into my back leg. This is what I want to feel. I want to feel this load. That way when I come through the ball I can feel the weight shift. I can feel the drive.

For young hitters this can be difficult. They don’t understand what this is supposed to look like. Often times you tell them to load and they do this. Just barely move. By using the step back drill, we can get them into their legs and actually feel the drive. Feel the power. The legs are a big muscle. So let me show you how this works.

I’m set up here. Ball at navel. I’m going to take a step back and drive through the ball. Let me show you that a few times.

EXAMPLES

You can see how I get into my legs. Push into my legs. I want to feel my legs in this drill. Feel the drive coming through. Use this drill especially if you have young hitters, and even high school hitters.
I used it in professional baseball to feel my legs.
I didn’t understand it as a young player. I want to feel my legs. Feel that drive and have a great game.

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Hitting the Breaking Ball – Angled Front Toss Drill

Hitting the Breaking Ball – Angled Front Toss Drill

 

 

One of the hardest things as a hitter, we try to do is hit a breaking ball.  A Curve Ball, a Slider – it really doesn’t matter.  We try to time ourself with a fastball, but that timing is off if we get a pitch that is going away from you or cutting across you.  I have a drill that is going to help you with that to make you a more complete hitter.  You can see I have Coach Casey over here, and I have the L screen set.  It is offset.  He is actually going to be throwing from behind me.  The ball is going to be coming across my chest.  This is going to simulate a ball coming across like a breaking ball.  It is incredibly important for me to keep my front shoulder here and drive down through my back leg, in a good power position.

I’m set up through the pitchers mound.  Not set up to Coach Casey.  I will bring my eyes over to him but I will not set up towards him.  It is going to come across and I’m going to drive down.

The goal of this is for the balls to go toward center, or up the middle.  What I don’t want to do is hit balls out to left, getting out in front.  I need to let the ball get to me.  Don’t be shocked if you miss hitting the ball a few times.  It will get easier.  It will help make you a breaking ball hitter.  Most importantly it will help make you an all around hitter.

We want to make sure we keep the weight backand let the hands work.

What I want to do is get the bat behind the ball and drive.

If I hit out here, I’m going to miss the ball.  If my back shoulder collapses, I’m going to miss the ball.

Let me say it again.  It is not an easy drill.  We’ve got to let the ball almost get to home plate and I have come down.  If this shoulder leads, I am in trouble.

So what we want to do is make sure we get back behind the ball.  Set up to the pitcher always.  Now let the ball travel across us.  Focus on back knee driving down.  Shoulder staying here.  I need to really be able to use my top hand coming down on the ball.  I want line drives to right, right center, or center field.  Use this drill.  It’s going to make you a more complete batter and make you a better breaking ball hitter.

Have fun, enjoy the game.  Don’t get frustrated with this drill because it is difficult.  Use this drill, the front toss angle drill!

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Baseball and Softball Batting Drill- Fastball and Change Up Drill

Baseball and Softball Batting Drill- Fastball and Change Up Drill

There’s nothing quite the same as the game for a hitter.  Practice is never quite the same how we treat it. We can’t simulate the game.  What we want to do is try to get close.So, I have a front toss drill.  Casey is going to flip front toss to me.  The firmer ones are going to simulate a fast ball.  The softer ones are going to simulate a change up.

What we want to do is make sure we are always ready for the fastball.  The softer ones are going to simulate a change up.

What we want to do is make sure we are always ready for the fastball.  We need to be always back in time for the fastball.  For most of us, we hit the fastballs better than off-speed pitches.

So, no matter what, I want to be ready for my pitch.  I don’t care that the pitcher has a great curve ball.  I don’t hit curve balls very well to begin with so I will look for my pitch.  I want to be in position for my pitch.

So, what I want to do is make sure that when I load, I’m in position and now I’m going to drive through the ball off his fastball.  When he throws a change-up and I don’t like it, I take it.  I’m making sure I’m back and I can recognize it.

Let’s take a look at the drill.

Both of those would be fastballs.  I’m getting back in time.  Now he’s going to show me a change up.  What I want to do is make sure and let it come to me.

I was in a much better position.  I stayed back.  I’m not going to tell him what I am looking for and he’s not going to tell me what he’s throwing.

I was back and ready for the fastball.

Change up and I wasn’t in a position for it.  I wasn’t quite there.  That’s what I want you, as a hitter to do.  If you’re not ready to hit that pitch, take it.

It’s okay.  It’s strike 1.  We got two more. Right?  We want to make sure we are making this as close to the game as possible.

Get back.  Look for your pitch.  Put a good swing on your pitch.  Use this drill.  Mix in the change-up.  You don’t have to them.  Make sure you are staying back.  This drill is going to help you become a more complete baseball player.

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Where in the Batters Box Do I Stand?

The Batters Box – Where to Stand

 

 

So we have this giant box right here. We have a giant batters box. We have home plate and our box. Where do you stand? I mean there’s a lot of space here. We get back here too far, we can’t reach home plate. We get in too close and now we’re going to get jammed on everything. So how do you choose where you stand in the box? Let me give you a few guidelines. Hope these will help you. They did for me. Cause at times I wasn’t sure where I should be in the box. I’d have coaches tell me different things. It comes down to the hitter. They want to feel comfortable and you need to feel comfortable where you’re at.

Let me give you a few guidelines. First off, let’s make sure we get to contact point. This is our contact point. We want to get to right here. Now lay the bat down. We want to make sure, once we lay that bat down, we have 2 inches of coverage. Let me show you. We’re here, boom we get to contact. When we lay that bat down we want to have 2 inches of coverage. I probably could back up off the plate a little bit from where I was just standing. That will give me a little bit more room. We don’t want to have to reach for the ball down and away. We want to be able to make a nice swing at it without a reach. That’s why we want to guide our self with that at point of contact, 2 inches off the corner.

Now where front to back? We got our distance from home plate. But do I stand at the front of the box or do I stand back here. Well let’s use Major League Baseball as an example. Almost every hitter in the Major Leagues stands at the back of the box. For me, that’s a pretty good place to start. The reason is, they want to get as far away from the pitcher as possible. They want more time. That’s right, more time to see the ball. There’s not a lot of time when the ball’s coming in, being released at 95 MPH, to see it. They want every little bit they can. So if it’s this much further that they get to see the ball, that’s this much more of an advantage for them, so most hitters find themselves in the back of the box.

Here’s the rule. Your foot can be on the line. It must be touching the line. You can have one toe on the line and you’re considered in the box. So in most cases, most hitters will find themselves at the back of the box. The distance from the plate, use this as your guide. Make sure you have 2 inches of coverage. Towards the back of the box, find a spot where you feel comfortable. Remember, if you move around the box, it’s going to change your perception of where the outside corner is. I don’t advise moving around the box a whole lot. Find a spot where you feel comfortable, so you can get used to knowing where the outside corner is. You start moving around too much, it changes that.

Now, if there is a situation where a certain team is pitching you inside, inside, inside, inside, then yes back off the plate a little bit. If every pitch is away, yes get a little closer.  But remember, when you do, your changing what your eyes know to be the outside corner. Just because the plate’s a little closer to you now, your eyes are still going to be used to the plate being further away. Just make sure you remember that. So when you get in the box the next time, find a good spot, probably towards the back. Make sure you got that plate coverage, at least 2 inches off the corner. We don’t want to have to reach for that pitch. Dig in, be comfortable, be confident and have a great game.

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Before You Get in the Batters Box

Mental Preparation Before You Get in the Batters Box

My rookie year I’m playing for the Minnesota Twins and we’re facing the great New York Yankees. Yes the great New York Yankees. I’m facing Andy Pettitte and I’m nervous. For me to have any chance to succeed, I need to be confident, I need to be focused and I need to have a plan.

So in today’s lesson we’re going to talk about what happens before we get in the batters box. Too often, at bats are won of lost before you even step in the box. If you’re not clear what you’re looking for, If you’re swinging at his pitches. We need to be clear about what we want to do. So let’s formulate a plan. First off, you need to know yourself. What do you do well? Do you like the fastball? Do you like off speed pitches? I didn’t. I liked the fastball.

So I wanted to look for the fastball in the zone that I handled well. For me that was the ball middle away. I want to look for the ball there. I want to look for something hard in that zone. I don’t want to look for what he wants to get me out with. He’s going to beat me if I swing at his pitches. I want to look for my strength. Pitchers make a lot of mistakes. Let’s capitalizes on those. So we want to look for a pitch in our zone. For me, mine was right here. I wanted to look for the ball in this area. I didn’t want to swing at these other pitches because that’s how he wanted to get me out.

So now that we know what we are looking for, we need to make sure that we’re confident. We need to be sure that once we step in this box, we are 100% certain we’re going to succeed. If you walk up here with doubt, you might as well not walk up here with the bat at all. That bats already over at that point.

We need to be confident in our brain. At bats are won or lost way to often because of confidence of lack of confidence.
There’s going to be times you’re not quite so sure of yourself, but when you step in this box you got to be clear. That takes place in the on deck circle. That takes place before you get in here. Once you get in here, we can handle one thought and we got to be focused and confident. So the next time you step in the box, be clear, have a plan, be focused and have a great game.

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