Drill: You are viewing what is known as the “walk-through” drill from a side angle perspective. Although you cannot see the person tossing the ball in this video clip, they are firmly tossing the ball underhanded to the batter. The person tossing the ball is standing about 15 feet away from the batter and is also standing behind a protective net, known as an “L-Screen” (ALWAYS utilize an L-Screen when performing batting practice or any hitting drill where a pitcher/tosser is utilized). This drill enables the hitter to physically grasp the concept of “getting started” and “stride-separation.” Having an actual person tossing the ball simulates the timing of an actual pitched ball and is a great drill to develop proper swing mechanics and muscle memory (the “walk-through” drill can also be done off of a tee, but is more effective when using and actual person to toss the ball). This drill is particularly effective when a batter has been having trouble with hitting fastballs. When a hitter complains in the game that “every pitch seems so fast” and that they are “late on everything” it is usually due to the fact that they are getting started late, which gets them to the proper hitting position late, thus making everything seem “fast.” Properly executing this drill will help get the batter to the hitting position “on time” or even “early,” which will “slow everything down” for them, thus giving the hitter a much better chance of successfully and consistently hitting the ball hard.
The main objective of all hitting drills is to develop consistent mechanical hitting fundamentals. Doing these drills properly on a daily basis gets your body and mind into a state known as “muscle memory.” Since successfully hitting a baseball is such a repetitive technique, it is imperative to execute these drills consistently and properly. In this particular clip, the objective is to hit line drives to the middle of the field, wherever the ball is pitched. You start by standing about four feet behind the plate, with your feet almost together. Next, take your back foot and stride across your front foot, toward the pitcher/tosser. Next, bring your front foot forward toward the pitcher. As your front foot lands, you will find yourself in the perfect “stride-separation” position, with your front foot down and your hands back and loaded into the proper hitting position. Mentally, visualize hitting the ball hard wherever it is pitched.
IMPORTANT: ONLY SWING AT GOOD PITCHES TO HIT. If the pitch is not a good pitch, TAKE IT (i.e., let it go). The whole time your eyes are focused on the ball. Finally, let your hands throw the bat head to the ball while keeping your swing path through the hitting zone, naturally pivoting on your back foot. As you follow through with your swing, you can either hold on with two hands or release your top hand, whichever feels most comfortable (this is known as the “finish”).You will be able to tell if you took a proper swing path during this drill if you are able to hit line drives consistently to all fields/areas of the batting cage. Repeat this drill for about 25 swings or until you feel that you have established a nice, consistent rhythm. Remember: your objective is to get yourself into a nice rhythm and mindset prior to your actual game.
Exercises To Use With Drill: Hamstrings (light weights, high repetitions only)
Benefits of Exercises: This exercise complements squats and other leg exercises. It strengthens the muscles in the backs of your legs which are vital components to all athletes for all types of athletic movements. See More Baseball Hitting Videos