This idea for [tag]baseball pre game drills[/tag] was sent in by Rick. Give these a try and hone your [tag]baseball[/tag] team’s hitting skills!
Using a four station approach, effective pre-game [tag]batting[/tag] [tag]practice[/tag] can be completed in about 20 minutes. The stations can be spread out along a foul line in the outfield. One coach, plus 12 golf ball size and 24 softball size yellow wiffle balls are required.
Divide the team into four groups of three or four players. In each group, the players will rotate from [tag]pitcher[/tag] to catcher to batter to shagger (if there are only three players in a group, eliminate the catcher). The balls are thrown underhanded from a short distance (approximately 20 feet). Balls are thrown with speed to simulate the pitches of the game. Little time is given between pitches so batters’ concentration must be maintained and the [tag]drill[/tag] moves along rapidly.
Station 1— bunting. The 12 golf ball size wiffle balls are used here so that batters must concentrate to be successful. Players are to execute the various bunts the team employs. Execution is an absolute must here. If a player does not successfully bunt eight out of 12 pitches, she remains at this station and bunts again. The coach should remain close to this station and see that concentration is at a maximum.
Station 2 — inside part of the plate. Eight softball size wiffle balls are used. Pitches are thrown to the inside part of the plate. Hitters using good mechanics and a short compact swing concentrate to locate the contact point in front of the lead shoulder. The [tag]coach[/tag] should look for a short and soft stride, a closed front side, staying back on the ball and a strong rear foot pivot. It is essential that the hitters are not pulling off the ball to make contact. Crisp, firm [tag]line drives[/tag] are the goal.
Station 3 — middle third of the plate. Eight softball size wiffle balls are used. Pitches are thrown toward the middle of the plate. Again, using good mechanics, the goal is to drive the ball back toward the pitcher, toward the middle of the diamond. Stress line drives or ground balls and not long lazy flies. Hitters concentrate on the contact point, which is closer to the front shoulder than for the inside pitch.
Station 4 — outside part of the plate. Eight softball size wiffle balls are used. Contact point is now deeper in the strike zone. The coach should be sure that the batter’s front side stays closed longer and the [tag]hitter[/tag] stays on the ball, that good mechanics are maintained and she lets the ball get deep into the strike zone. The aim is to hit the ball on a line or on the ground to the opposite field. To accomplish this, hitters must hit down on the ball. Hitters should aim at the second base position if they are right handed and the shortstop position if they hit from the left side of the plate.
At least three balls should be grounded to the right side by right handed hitters (a necessary technique to score runs). Concentrate on the contact point! Keeping the concentration of the players high and moving them rapidly from one station to the other, coaches can make better use of the 20 minutes for pregame batting practice. Give this method a try. I think you will like it.