HITTING DRILL #3: SHORT TOSS WITH TEE
- Set up a tee on the outside of the plate, and set up a screen for front toss about 15 feet or so from the hitter.
- You will need 2 different colors of baseballs or softballs for this drill.
- The thrower will throw front toss on the inner half of the plate, and the hitter will hit those as normal to the pull field. You may have to practice this several times to make sure tee placement and toss placement allows for good swings and no interference.
- Once the setup is good, set a direction for each color. Example: If the thrower tosses a white ball, hitter hits it. If the thrower tosses a red ball, the hitter will take it and hit the ball off the tee.
- If the thrower holds the ball and doesn't throw it at all, the hitter will hit the ball off the tee.
We haven't found very many hitting drills out there that are better for keeping a hitter's balance in check and keeping them in a good hitting position until it's time to attack the ball. The hitter may get into a rhythm of hitting the inside pitches early, which will make it very difficult for him to adjust to the outside pitch. This is very similar to being fooled at the plate with an outside pitch or an off speed pitch that surprises the hitter. Try this one for sure, it gets really great results for hitters of all ages.
The ability to hit with power and for good average requires that the hitter can maintain powerful posture and dynamic balance on any pitch in the hitting zone. This one hitting drill teaches adaptability and has quickly become one of our favorite drills.
The other thing that we like about this drill is that it makes it very difficult for a hitter's hands to go forward too soon. Many hitters force their hands to start way too early and then if they're fooled or off timing at all to the pitch they have no chance of hitting it. This hitting drill forces the hands to stay back until the lower half has finished and it's time for the core to bring the upper body around.
Early upper body activation is a common issue (discussed in the context of pitching in our Pitching Academy), and one that makes it very difficult to hit with the proper physical sequence. Any hitting drill that forces the body to act in the right order is very valuable for baseball. Watch how much better your hitter's takes become by using this drill as well, as they must be fully prepared to hit the pitch every single time until the very last moment when they finally see where they have to go to hit it.
Here's a picture of what we mean by short toss or front toss. We throw underhand from here usually because it's easier to be accurate, but be careful that ball path from the tossers hand is realistic (not upward to the hitter):