Tuesday Tips to Tattoo the Ball – Keeping at The Batting Tee Before and After Games
Avoiding the Fade Away
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Many hitters get off to a fast batting start and are “in the zone,” only to have it fade away considerably about three weeks into the season. Sometimes, the law of averages catches up with them, as hitting is a difficult thing to do, of course. However, often the fall off occurs because players stop doing the “small focus” drills that they did all offseason.
I tell hitters that the best way to stay in the zone is to hit in the zone. I try to impress upon all players, whether they are going good or bad, is to never get away from the little drills that keep players focused in the contact area. Batting tee work, dropped and short flipped balls keep players focused at the point of contact, which is crucial for good hitting. Nothing is more important to good timing than watching the ball to contact and staying on the ball with the swing, the last few feet to home plate. I use a continual phrase with my students that, “Hitting is T-ball with timing,” to get that point across. Ultimately, it all happens as if the ball were sitting on the batting tee.
With that in mind, I remind players of three things:
- Use the batting tee as a golfer uses the driving range – before games to get loose and focused and after games to correct fundamental flaws that showed up in the game.
- Most hitters have a negative swing tendency that comes back occasionally, or often, so it is important to stay on top of that with drills that address that tendency.
- Always remember that you are only one swing or at-bat from putting it all together or from falling apart, so the little focus drills help get you going, or prevent the latter.