Hitting Drill to Spice Up Practice
Kids really enjoy this sequential hitting drill. This practice drill is a fun team hitting drill, which helps get kids gain interest in using a batting tee, gives coaches a chance to observe each player’s hitting mechanics at once, and is a competitive team hitting drill. Coaches have each player bring their batting tee to practice, or the coach rounds up as many tees as possible for team practice. This practice drill use of the batting tees works indoors or outdoors.
Players set up their tees a safe distance from the next player, and by either hitting into the batting backstop, or lining them up down the base lines, where all players are hitting balls out into the playing field. Coaches divide balls up equally, with the more balls for each player the better, for not wasting any time. Hitters get ready to hit by placing a ball on their tee and with their eyes out towards the pitcher, as all good tee use should begin. The coach designates one player at the beginning of the line of hitters to be the lead off batter. When the coach says that player’s name, that player takes their swing. When the next player in line hears the crack of the bat from the previous player, they take their swing and so on, until the last player takes their swing. There should be a sequential sound of continuous smacks of the ball – “crack, crack, crack, crack” until the last player swings.
The advantage of the drill for coaches is that they can see the mechanics and results of every batter’s swing, as this would be impossible if all swung at the same time. Because coaches can observe each players results, it is an easy way to turn this sequential hitting drill into a contest. I have varied the contest rules for this in many ways, including:
- Each player must hit a line drive in that round or the team keeps hitting off the tees until all line drives result.
- Only players, who hit a line drive in that round, advance to the next round, until the last player remains. Coaches can still have others, who failed to hit a line drive, keep swinging, but hey would not be able to win that round.
- Divide the team into two groups, the ones along the 3rd base side versus the players along the first base side, and count each round how many line drives each side hits, to determine the winners.
- When playing on the field, the losing team must go out and pick up all the balls hit.
Of course, there are a number of little contests possible in this hitting drill routine that provide a fun and instructive way for coaches to teach hitting and batting tee use. Coaches can roam the sidelines instructing batters with little tips in between swings, of course.
Finally, when there are not enough batting tees for the whole team, the above contests are possible with four or five players at a time.