Drills Using a Batting Tee
Additional Hitting Drills
Side Soft Toss
Batting Practice from Coach or Pitching Machine
Hitting Peas with a Dowel
1. Tee Drill
Improves the fundamental swing mechanics of a hitter.
- See photos above for location of tee relative to plate and hitter.
- Have hitter start with a few slow motion swings.
- Stride is always straight towards pitcher, as the stride foot is down before the hitter knows the location of the pitch.
- Hands should stay higher than the path of the ball as the hitter approaches the ball.
- Hands stay inside the path of the ball. Take the knob of the bat to the ball and lead the swing with the hands, not the barrel of the bat. This will produce a quicker swing.
- Shoulders stay level. Don’t drop back shoulder as doing so takes time, causes fly balls and reduces power and quickness.
- Front shoulder stays closed as long as possible. Opening the front shoulder takes power away from the swing.
- Squish the bug. Back heel should raise off the ground to release the hips into full rotation.
- At contact, hands should be in palm up palm down position (top hand palm up, bottom hand palm down).
- Head is still with eyes focused on ball through contact. Chin finishes over the back shoulder.
- Ultimately, the hitter wants to hit directly behind the ball and through the ball towards the area he is aiming for. Batter should visualize hitting five baseballs in a line back to back to keep the bat barrel on the same plane as the ball as long as possible.
- Ideally, a batter should hit the ball where it is pitched. This means he pulls an inside pitch, hits a middle pitch up the middle of the field, and hits an outside pitch to the opposite field.
- Hand rollover should happen naturally after extension.
From Hitting Fundamentals:
2. Basketball Tee Drill
Helps hitter create good extension through the ball.
- Stick a toilet plunger, business side up, inside a tee or tall safety cone and balance an old, slightly-deflated basketball on the plunger.
- Drill is the same as putting a baseball on a tee.
- Drive to and through the ball and fight through contact to not let the bat jump back.
Watch the barrel of the bat drive through the basketball
3. One Arm Bat Drill
Teaches players to create a good swing plane, extension and finish. Players who only use their upper body to swing are going to have a hard time swinging the bat.
- Find and use a shorter and lighter bat since the batter will be using only one arm.
- Choke up by 2 to 5 inches.
- Swing using the whole body.
- Can work on (setup tee for) balls away, middle and in.
- Drive the knob of the bat and keeping the barrel up as long as possible.
- Drive to and through the baseball and not opening up too early.
- Focus on hitting a nice line drive using all the body parts together.
- Don’t need to swing at 100 percent.
- Hitter really needs to focus on driving behind the and through the ball while keeping their nose and eyes down.
- Watch for hitters who take a short cut and pull off the ball early and don’t get any power on the ball.
Watch for hitter trying to cheat and open up to early which will result in a lot of ground balls.
4. Double Tee Drill
To help players who have a tendency to drop their shoulder and hands early and who swing up at the ball.
- Using two tees set at roughly the same height, place one tee behind the other tee.
- Place a ball on the front tee.
- Player drives knob of bat down with barrel up and hits ball without hitting back tee.
Remove the front tee and have coach do soft toss and player try to hit the ball without hitting the back tee.
5. Double Tee Command Drill
Helps a hitter get into a position so he is ready to hit before either attacking an inside or outside pitch (off the tee). Helps hitters stay back on the ball rather than drifting too far forward when they hit the ball.
- Setup two tees with a ball each. One shorter tee setup on the inner half out in front of the plate and a taller tee setup on the outer half half in line with the middle of the plate.
- The player gets into his stance and takes a stride and then coach calls out the ball to hitter, either “In” or “Out”
- The back tee forces the player to stay back and see the baseball without drifting.
6. Noodle Drill
Helps hitters create a short swing path to the ball.
- Place a swim noodle on a stick in a safety cone and place the noodle about directly behind a tee with a ball with the tee equal to or slightly behind the batter’s back foot.
- Batter needs to drive knob straight to the ball, keep barrel up and hands close to the body to not hit the noodle.
- Have the batter practice the swing in slow motion to get comfortable with swinging with the noodle.
- If necessary, for younger players, move the noodle slightly away from the batter and/or slightly back behind their back foot.
- Hands staying close to the body.
- Barrel up as long as possible.
- Head behind contact and eyes on ball.
7. Bat Inside Stride Foot Drill
Helps a hitter avoid excessive rotation of his front heel into foot plant which can result if a lot of pulled balls.
- Setup a tee with a ball.
- Place a spare bat on the ground slightly in front of the player’s front foot and in line with the ball.
- Player takes stride over the bat and tries not to turn his heel and hit the bat as he swings.
- Stride is light and on the ball of the foot.
- Keep the stride foot closed as much as possible.
8. Front Foot Platform Drill
Prevents hitters from lunging or jumping at the ball.
- Place any type of platform that is about 3 to 6 inches high that will not slide too much in the front of the batter.
- Place a ball on a tee.
- Have batter put his front foot on the platform and keep it there as he hits the ball.
- Keep the back foot back far enough to get a good load.
- Good load against (not on top) of the back leg.
- Drive into the front side keeping the front shoulder down and back.
9. High Tee Drill
Helps hitters create a correct swing path to the baseball. A good drill especially for players who like to drop their back shoulder and hands early.
- Raise the tee to a position well above the player’s belt.
- Have the player take a direct line to the ball. If they drop their hands and back shoulder they are going to hit the tee rather than the ball.
- Can utilize for away, out front, and pull positions.
- Remind players to keep hands close to their body and go directly to the baseball without dropping their back shoulder and hands.
Additional Hitting Drills
Side Soft Toss Drill
To develop the proper swing.
- Setup a net that a batter can hit into.
- Coach kneels off to the side of a hitter up to a forty-five degree angle 10 to 15 feet away.
- Toss the ball underhand to the player, who hits the ball into the net.
- If it is a bad feed, the hitter should “take” (not swing at) the simulated pitch.
- It is important that coaches make good feeds so not to create flaws when the batter is trying to hit the ball.
- The goal is to enforce proper swing mechanics, so the feeder must not hurry and rapid-fire one feed right after the next.
- If an errant feed is made and the hitter mistakenly decides to swing, it can put the feeder at risk of being hit with the ball.
Front Toss Drill
To develop the proper swing.
- Setup a protective screen, such as an L-screen, directly in front of and a short distance away from the hitter to ensure accuracy.
- Find a chair, stool or pail for the feeder to sit on.
- Feed a firm underhand toss to the hitter from the side of the screen or over top of the bottom section of the screenmaking sure to keep your hand and body behind the screen to avoid being hit with a batted ball.
- This drill allows the batter to swing at strikes from an angle similar to one they would see in the game.
- It is a great way to elicit many swings in a short time and to build confidence.
Simply throw batting practice to hitters or use a pitching machine to provide extra opportunities for athletes to hit the ball.
Hitting Peas with a Dowel Drill
- This drill helps hitters improve their hand-eye coordination.
- A player either tosses the peas underhand or overhand from the side or front.
- Caution: The person throwing the peas should wear eye protection to prevent eye injury.
- Record the hitters with a video recording device, including a mobile phone.
- Play back the video on the same device or download and view with a program like OpenShot which allows you to go frame by frame.
- This is a great tool for helping to expose flaws that cannot be detected with the naked eye.
Sources: Trent Mongero, Winning Baseball