Why should you practice your baseball hitting drills in front of a mirror? You can see your body actually going through the movements, you can see the proper sequence of the swing, and this will help you to assimilate the movements that are necessary in having a good swing. This mirror technique is very effective with visual learners.
Types of Learners
- The visual learner is a player who, watching himself or watching other players, learn and are able to pick up a particular skill.
- An oral learner is a player that you can really talk to and you can actually talk him through the movements and then he has his success from there.
- A tactile learner is a player that really learns better by putting your hands on them and helping them through the movement. And by them feeling you moving them through the movement and assisting them in that way, it helps them to be able to learn the skill much easier.)
By being able to visualize and use the mirror then, hopefully, you’ll be able to carry that over out into the field. So today I am going to talk about some hitting drills that can be done in front of a mirror.
The dry drill was created by Bob Kaiser of the Utah Baseball Academy and it helps a player to be able to feel the proper sequence of a swing.
This is one of the hitting drills that allow the player to work specifically on taking his stride. When his front foot makes contact, getting his back heel up, and beginning rotation, with his hips going first, back heel coming off the ground in a forceful action, and then his upper body rotating. The reason we have his arms crossed is we want to take the hands and arms out of the swing. It’s much easier for him to be able to feel the sequence. He doesn’t have to worry about swinging a bat. And we really want to work on the proper sequence here with the lower body leading the way.
There’s two forms of energy in a swing. One is linear, when your front foot makes contact; that’s the slight movement forward. The other is rotational, which begins when the back foot comes off the ground in a forceful act. Then the hip begins to rotate and the energy is produced then into the upper body.
A hitter that’s working on this particular hitting drill really wants to work on being able to concentrate on the proper sequence. Most hitters will do this drill anywhere between 10-20 repetitions. The big point is that they are concentrating on getting the sequence correct. Once their concentration begins to wane, then they should stop.
Dry Swing Drill
In the dry swing drill, the player is actually going through his swing as he visualizes it through the mirror.
He’s working on the components of the swing. He’s making sure that his swing is in the proper sequence. He’s also working on the rhythm of his swing. By that we mean his stride, where he comes back with his front foot, taps, and goes forward.
It is very important to get the sequence of the swing correct. The energy developed through this swing is then delivered to the bat. The bat lags behind the rest of the body and is the last part of the rotational piece.
This dry swing drill allows the hitter to see himself from a different angle. He can actually see his body parts working in sequence as he looks straight into the mirror. It gives him a different view. It really helps a visual learner. Mirror drills allow a hitter to become consistent with his swing. He can develop the proper sequence and he’s able to do this practicing on his own.
Strike Zone Awareness Drill
This is the strike zone awareness drill. It was developed by Jerry Weinstein, an excellent collegiate and professional coach. We are using an actual home plate in this particular drill. It helps the player get a feel for the distance that he is from the plate. You could actually use tape on the floor or actually draw a plate on the flooring itself.
We have taped the player’s strike zone on the mirror. It is set at his armpits down to his knees. It is the actual width of the plate, 17″. And as he begins to stand in his stance, he can actually see where his strike zone is.
The other part of this drill is he could stride and go through his swing while totally being aware of his strike zone. Many young hitters are not aware of their own strike zone. This is excellent for a visual learner to actually see the strike zone he’s working with.
There is also an advance strike zone awareness drill, where we’re actually working on hitting a pitch on the inside part of the plate.
By the player going through his swing, he can actually see his hands having to come inside the ball and being able to hit the inside pitch. He visually can see exactly what his body needs to do in order to be able to get to that pitch and hit through the ball.
We could place balls at different spots on the strike zone so that the player could work on his swing throughout that zone. They can also work on tracking the ball by simulating it coming out of the pitcher’s hand and tracking it into that hitting zone, where the ball is taped.
Will you be trying these hitting drills and techniques with your players? Be sure to let me know how it goes! And don’t forget to Become a Fan on Facebook, where you can share more great hitting drills and training ideas with other fans!
And for more great tips and techniques, be sure to check out our Baseball Drills & Practice Plans!