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Monday, June 21, 2010

The Perfect Baseball Hitting Drill?

The Perfect Baseball Hitting Drill?
By Guest Author:Jack Perconte

The sign of a good baseball hitting drill is one that forces the correct hitting fundamentals and that over time, causes the correct hitting action when a hitter goes without the drill. With that in mind, some drills are obviously better than others. The drill below does just that. It forces the correct action and works on all the important hitting fundamentals of staying back, compact swing, weight shift, hips opening and follow through.

Because this drill combines all the correct baseball hitting fundamentals into one drill, it makes teaching hitting easier and quicker, as long as it is performed correctly. It is a little complicated and requires some hitting tools that one does not usually have in the basement, or backyard. The local batting cages though will have the things needed - balls, protective screen, batting cage.

Here is the perfect baseball hitting drill:

1. The hitter stands very close (within six to 10 inches) from a net, facing the pitcher with the net being behind the hitter where the catcher stands. The hitters rear foot and hands should both be this distance away from rear net. Make sure a home plate is set and hitters stand their normal distance from the plate.

2. The coach sets up behind a protective screen with a bucket of balls in front of the hitter, beginning at twelve to fifteen feet away.

3. The coach flips balls to the outer half of the plate - firm underhand flips are best from this distance, trying to keep the ball level with no rise or drop on the flipped ball.

Result you are looking for? Because the ball is on the outer half of the plate, hitters should drive the ball to the opposite field by missing the net on the initial portion of the swing but hitting the net on the follow through.

Note: Hitters may graze the net on way forward and come up a little short of hitting net on follow through and this is acceptable.

Why is this the perfect baseball hitting drill?

1. One of the main fundamentals of hitting is "staying back" - if the hitter jumps forward (lunges or over strides) they will not be able to hit the net on the follow through.

2. Another goal of hitters is to have a compact swing - when a hitter's swing is long, in anyway (upper cutting, casting, dropping barrel behind them) they will be striking the net on the initial portion of their swing.

3. Another objective of a good swing is to have the hands in a power position (palm-up, palm down) at contact. By hitting the ball to the opposite field on this outside pitch, this drill will guarantee that the hitter is in this correct contact position.

4. Another component of the perfect baseball swing is that the hitters' weight transfers while their hips open - missing the net on the way forward will promote weight shift and the only way to hit the net on the follow through, or get close to it, is to open the hips.

5. Another ingredient of good hitting is that hitters' keep their eye on the ball; thus, the reason for working on the outside pitch. It is further recommended that hitters keep their eyes in the direction of where they ball is hit, while trying to hit the net on the follow through as hard as possible.

As hitters begin to perform the drill with some consistency (frequent line drives with back-spin to the opposite field), the coach can begin to back up until eventually doing the drill from regulation, hitting distance.

Is the drill the perfect hitting drill? Maybe not, but if done correctly, it works on all the necessary hitting fundamentals all at once. Finally, I am sure that I have not been the first one to discover this drill, but it is one of my favorites while teaching hitting over the last twenty-two years.

Former major league baseball player, Jack Perconte gives baseball hitting tips and batting practice advice for ballplayers of all ages. His baseball playing lessons, books and advice can be found at
Jack is the author of two books, The Making of a Hitter and Raising an Athlete - his positive parenting advice and books can be found at

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