Tuesday Tips to Tattoo the Ball

Striving for the Perfect Swing Hitting Drill

Let me begin by saying that it takes the perfect swing to drive the outside pitch to the opposite field, with the key idea there, drive.

In my 24 years of coaching baseball hitting, I am constantly striving to find the perfect swing hitting drill. When I find it, I will be satisfied, but until that time, this one will have to suffice. When I find it, coaching hitting will be easy for me and all baseball hitting coaches, as we will have batters do the perfect swing hitting drill and all batters will be great.

However, up to now no one hitting drill guarantees the perfect swing. Many drills come close, but most have little flaws, where batters can skip around the drill slightly and still hit the ball well. The closest perfect swing hitting drill that I come up with is a little complicated, because it requires a netted batting cage, well flipped balls, and a coach that knows what the perfect swing entails. My “closest-to-the-perfect-swing” hitting drill goes like this.

Close to a perfect swing hitting drill

In a netted batting cage, the hitter sets their rear foot about four inches in front of the net. (The net is the direction where the catcher is normally) The coach sets up behind a pitching screen, directly in front and about 15 feet in front of the batter. (The screen is in direction of pitcher)

Coaches flip balls, without an arc, to the outside half of home plate. The goal has batters drive the ball with backspin to the opposite side of the field, without hitting the net on the forward swing, but hitting the net, or coming very close to it, on their follow through.

Why This Hitting Drill works for the Perfect Swing

The reason this hitting drill is so effective and guarantees the perfect swing is that it takes a great swing to hit the outside pitch the other way, on the line and with backspin, without dropping the bat head and without jumping at the pitch. The desired compact swing is promoted when the rear net is missed initially, the correct palm-up, palm-down bat angle happens to hit the ball the opposite way and hitters must stay back and let the ball get deep in the zone, if they are to hit the net on their follow through. Good hitting coaches recognize batted balls that have backspin on them, as opposed to those hit in that direction with top spin.

As players get adept at hitting outer half pitches to the opposite field, coaches can flip balls to any pitch location and see if batters can hit balls with backspin in the direction of the pitched balls. This drill works for regular batting practice as it promotes staying back and a compact swing with the net behind the batter. Most hitters’ problems come about from a failure to stay back, an incorrect first move and from having a long swing. This perfect swing hitting drill helps solve those problems. A tarp or sheet works behind the batter with coaches flipping soft balls at the hitter in the aforementioned way, when a batting cage is unavailable.




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