WINTER HITTING TIPS:
A couple weeks ago I wrote an article about keeping quality over quantity this winter, check that out if you haven't read it yet.
Moving on from there, another thing that we need to keep in mind while we're locked in the batting cages this winter, is that there is never another time of year where so many bad habits are formed in a baseball player. Winter is cold, it's ugly, and we're in batting cages on tees and pitching machines a lot of the time. There aren't batters boxes, there's no way to see where the balls that you're hitting are going, it's just not too game-like or friendly to hitting. Yet, this is the time and place when a lot of hitters take a ton of swings.
First, don't spend too much time on just one thing.
Some kids will get in the cages with the tees and just swing away for an hour. Well, if nobody else is in there with you then that's about the only thing you can do so I get it. The problem is that the tee is not like hitting a pitcher. There are many things you can do on a tee that you cannot, or do not, do against a pitcher. The load is different, the rotation is different, the ball path (nonexistent) is different, and on and on. The tee is a great tool, but don't overdo it.
Same goes for a pitching machine. Hitting is timing, we've heard that before. Timing a pitching machine is very difficult, and at the very least it's not like a real pitcher. The more animated and "pitcher like" the person is that's feeding the machine the better, but it will never be like a real pitcher. Too many swings off the pitching machine can really harm a hitter's timing mechanisms, so while it's a good tool like the tee, it should be used sparingly.
Use all of your tools in moderation.
A drill that can help you out, can also cause bad habits if it's overused. I've seen high tee drills used for kids that were dropping their back shoulders, only to see the kid overuse the drill and develop an overly flat bat or a dumping of the bat on launch. Great drill that I like a lot, but issues arise when kids do it too much; especially unsupervised.
Any drill that exaggerates a certain piece of a complex mechanic, which almost all baseball drills do, can be overused. When special attention is paid to one specific aspect of the motion, it can change the other pieces as well. Without close attention to what is changing and how it's changing, too much of it can cause adverse modifications that are hard to fix.
So my advice is to keep it simple and keep it varied. If the tee is all you have, then take 10-15 swings and then take a break before you take another set. Really work to visualize a pitcher and a field to make the tee and the cages more lifelike. Sometimes the best thing to do is take a break from hitting and get out the medicine balls!
Video Analysis is available still, thanks to all you who have enjoyed it!
See you guys soon, have fun!