Tuesday Tips to Tattoo the Ball –   Throwing Numbers Hitting Drill

It is difficult to know why some hitters have good timing, while others do not. Eyesight, a good swing, and hand-eye coordination certainly have a part in it. Another factor that may get in the way of good timing is good coaching advice. Although good advice, it often gets in the way of helping batters have good timing. Here is what I mean.

Pitcher position on a baseball diamond

Image via Wikipedia

“Wait and get a good pitch,” is great baseball coaching advice. The problem is that hitters then wait and only begin timing the ball the last half of the way to home, thereby neglecting focusing on the ball right from the pitchers release point.

A drill that I occasionally do with hitters that stresses the importance of focusing on the ball right from the pitcher’s hand is to throw numbers at the hitters.

Focusing on the Release Point Drill

From the mound, the coach goes through the pitching motion without a ball but at release point, they instead flash a number – one through five of course – and have batters call out the number they see. Players will have trouble at first if the arm motion is too fast, but over time, they will get better at it as they learn to focus better.

Once again, the point is to stress the importance of picking the ball up and timing it immediately, preventing the solid but misleading “waiting and getting a good pitch” philosophy.


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