Batting drills are an important part of baseball practice. If you have been looking to enhance your performance in the batter’s box, these 6 baseball hitting drills by YouGoProBaseball (follow their YouTube channel) are for you. These drills can help correct some of the most common hitting flaws with improvement in the following areas:
- Getting into a good launch position
- Finding good balance and rhythm
- Creating speed and torque
- Holding contact
- Proper swing path
- Barrel flow
- Keeping the back shoulder up
Coaches looking for new ways to teach proper swing mechanics may benefit from learning these hitting drills and adding them to their routine. These can help improve your coaching and add some variety to your practice routine.
These drills also have a significant advantage of not requiring a lot of space or equipment. They are appropriate for any skill level or age. Beginner and experienced players alike can improve their hitting mechanics.
Before beginning these drills, it may be beneficial to learn how to properly hold a baseball bat.
Launch Hitting Drill
The launch drill is designed to give you a better launch position while at-bat. Launch position is the exact moment that the front heel hits the ground, not when the toe touches the ground.
It is when the heel plants into the ground that you want to be in the strongest and most athletic position. This drill helps players learn their most athletic launch position.
Having a good launch position while at-bat will give you more powerful swings. Not only that, but you will be able to make quicker adjustments on off-speed pitches. A good launch position allows you to go anywhere leading to more contact and fewer strikeouts.
Launch Drill Instructions
- Get into launch position. Figure out where you want to be when you hit the ground. If you are standing with a taller posture, you may have trouble hitting low pitches, this is not a good launch position. Likewise, if you are standing with your weight on your back leg, you may have trouble with breaking balls. Balance is key to a good launch position and practicing this drill. The distance between your feet should be about 50% of your height and the hips should be open. Your weight should be balanced between both legs. Sink down into your legs until you are almost squatting. This should feel like a strong, athletic position. You are ready for launch.
- Prepare to swing. Pull the bat back into a swinging position. You should feel tension across the chest. The front shoulder should be lower than the back shoulder. The eyes, nose and chin should line up. The hands should be close to the back shoulder and above the back foot. The goal is to learn to swing while in this position, so your body learns what a good launch position feels like.
- Swing away. Try to swing with as little movement as possible. Remember, the goal of this drill is to feel the position. Do not reload your body weight or reposition your arms, take a swing completely from launch position. If you are in a good launch position you should be able to fire quickly and swing without repositioning any part of your body.
Ken Griffey Drill/Stride to Balance Drill
The Ken Griffey Drill builds off the Launch Drill. The goal of this drill is to get into launch position through movement. This drill helps build good balance and rhythm in the body during a swing.
Ken Griffey Drill Instructions
- Start in a tall batting stance. Start with the feet close together, hands relaxed around the bat, and the bat in your normal slot.
- Step forward. Slowly take a step forward away from your hands and land in launch position. This is called walking away from the hands and this move should create separation naturally between the hands. Your goal during this step is to keep your hands in the same place as you step into launch position.
- Fire away. Once your body hits launch position, take a swing. If you landed correctly, you should be able to fire as soon as your front foot is planted. There should be no hesitation or reloading of your weight or arms before swinging.
Angled Open Hitting Drill
The angled open hitting drill is like the launch drill but with the lower body angled slightly. With this drill you want to try to hit the ball up and to center field. This drill is good for loose batters.
Angled Open Hitting Drill Instructions
- Get into position. Your body is going to start in launch position but at an angle. The lower body should be open and angled toward the shortstop. The feet should be staggered.
- Pull back slowly. The hips and shoulders will naturally want to twist and turn. Resist turning the hips and shoulders during this step.
- Fire away. Take a swing, you are trying to hit the ball up and to center field. Focus on keeping the hips and shoulders as stationary as possible. Keep in mind the angle of the barrel while trying to hit the ball to center field, you want the ball to go up and to center field so you will need to make sure you have the right angle on the bat barrel.
Angled Closed Hitting Drill
The angled closed hitting drill is the same as the open hitting drill but with the lower body angled in the opposite direction. This drill is good for stiff batters. Like the angled open hitting drill, you want to try to hit the ball up and to center field.
Angled Closed Hitting Drill Instructions
- Get into position. Get into launch position but angle your lower body through the back hip and away from the diamond. The lower body will be angled away, and the feet are staggered.
- Pull back slowly. Like the open hitting drill, resist turning the hips and shoulders.
- Fire away. The angle of the barrel and contact position should be the same as in the open hitting drill. To get the ball up and to center field, you must make sure you have the right angle on the barrel.
50/50 PVC Pipe Turn Drill
The 50/50 PVC Pipe Turn Drill is all about path and connection. For this drill you will need a piece of PVC pipe about 5ft long, but it can be shortened for shorter or younger players. Using a piece of PVC, allows you to expose the exact path of the barrel and the connection point. This drill helps teach hitters to keep their bat on plane through the zone creating adjustability and more opportunities to make contact with the ball.
50/50 PVC Pipe Turn Drill Instructions
- Set up the tee. This drill can be setup with the tee at away, middle, or end but it is best to start with the tee down away.
- Grip the PVC. Take the piece of PVC pipe and grip it straight in the middle. This piece of PVC acts as the bat to easily trace the path of the swing.
- Get into launch position.
- Swing slowly. To do this drill, swing at about 50% max speed. This drill is all about feeling and watching the movement of the PVC pipe through the zone. Focus on driving the swing through the zone instead of cutting the swing back. Keeping the bat in the zone allows for more opportunities to make contact with the ball.
Connection Ball Drill
The connection ball drill is good for batters who have a problem with the barrel disconnecting from their back shoulder. Pushing the bat can also be exposed and corrected with this drill.
Connection Ball Drill Instructions
- Find an appropriately sized spacer. To do this drill you will need a spacer between the shoulder and bat. No two swings are the same and different players may need different spacers. First, find your own slot by getting into launch position. You need a spacer that fits between the shoulder and the bat. If you are an ear slot hitter, a deflated mini basketball will work as a spacer. If you are a vertical hitter, you will need a larger ball or spacer.
- Place the ball. Set the ball or spacer on the shoulder and place the barrel of the bat on top of it.
- Apply pressure. Keep a slight amount of pressure on the ball with the bat. The goal of this drill is to keep connection through the swing.
- Swing away. Do not let the ball dump away from your back shoulder too early. You should maintain connection with the ball throughout the turn and the ball should not fall until you release the bat out front.
These drills are designed to allow players of all ages to develop proper swing mechanics and movement. Adding these drills to your regular batting drill rotation can increase power and batting efficiency.
Hitting drills are very important to your success as a hitter, but so is finding the right bat: