Purpose

Helps players learn to get out of the box quickly, emphasizing the acceleration phase of the sprint to first

Drill Setup

  • You can run this drill in the infield, or set up a home plate and first base in the outfield the appropriate distance apart.
  • Players line up at home plate with a bat and helmet.
Hitters practice taking a short, quick stride to load up the swing and improve timing

How it Works

  1. The hitter will check his alignment by taking a slow practice swing – making sure that the sweet spot lines up with the ball.
  2. On the coach’s signal, the hitter makes a short, quick stride aiming to set his front foot down on the stride line.
  3. Coach checks the stride position and makes any necessary corrections.
  4. On the next signal the hitter strides, loads up and swings, making line drive contact with the ball.

Coaching Tips

  • The stride foot should land softly and in an athletic position
  • Keep the front side closed. Avoid opening up the hips toward the pitcher when you stride (otherwise known as “stepping in the bucket”)
  • The stride and the swing are two separate actions – the swing should not start until the stride foot lands
  • Make it harder: To practice hitting changeups, stride first, pause, then swing to simulate the timing of hitting an off-speed pitch
  • Make it easier: Tie a string connecting the front and back foot, and preventing overstriding.

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