Welcome to BRUCE BOLT and Coach RAC's presentation of the best baseball hitting drills. We put this together to help you improve your batting average and become the hitter you've always dreamed of being.
Whether you're a seasoned baseball player or just getting started, hitting drills are a fundamental part of honing your skills and perfecting your swing. A good hitter understands that hitting is more than just swinging a bat; it’s a combination of perfect timing, hand-eye coordination, power, and control – all of which can be enhanced through regularly practicing certain hitting drills.
Because hitting a baseball is one of the hardest tasks in sports, it isn’t surprising that players are constantly seeking effective tactics to help increase their performance. The right drills can transform you into a consistent hitter who makes solid contact with the ball, even driving it to the opposite field at will. Let BRUCE BOLT and Coach RAC guide you on your journey to becoming a more skilled and confident hitter.
Understanding the Basics of a Baseball Swing
Before diving into specific hitting drills, it’s crucial to gain a deeper understanding of some key concepts. Understanding these elements will help transform you from just another player at the plate into a formidable hitter feared by pitchers across your league.
Central to successful hitting is hand-eye coordination. This skill determines how accurately you swing at each pitch and your ability to make contact on the sweet spot of the bat. A successful baseball player has to train their eyes and hands to work seamlessly together to deliver the bat to the right spot at the right time.
Then comes hitting mechanics - the method and motions you use to strike the baseball. Correct hitting mechanics enable you to swing more efficiently and increase the likelihood of making consistent contact with the ball. The core principles of hitting mechanics include a balanced stance, a compact swing, and an overall controlled hitting motion.
Mastering these two fundamental elements of swing mechanics and hand-eye will lead to significant improvement in your baseball swing and batting average.
Top Hitting Drills to Improve Batting Performance
Once you’ve grasped the basic concepts of baseball hitting, you can focus on a sequence of drills to improve your performance. Each drill we mention here will boost your abilities in different ways.
Starting with a coveted favorite, tee work is an excellent way to drill that allows you to focus on your basic hitting mechanics without the added element of live pitching. Using a batting tee for practice provides a stationary target, enabling you to perfect your swing path and make consistent contact with the ball. The batting tee helps you understand how to hit line drives effectively, boosting your batting average over time. Here are some of our favorite tee drills:
- The Front Foot Drill: Also known as the “post stride drill,” this drill is a great way to give your lower half a workout. This drill is great for teaching a hitter to plant their front heel into the ground. If the front heel is late, the kinetic chain will be out of sequence, and there will be no power! To do this drill, simply focus on how you transfer your weight from your backside to your plant foot as you swing. Here is a YouTube video from Justin Bour on MLB Network to show you what we are talking about.
- The Top Hand Drill: This drill targets controlling your top hand during the swing, which is critical for steering the bat toward the ball and is essentially the horsepower of your swing. By strengthening your top hand, you can achieve better bat control and power. For this drill, first, grip the bat with your right hand (for righties) at the top of the grip tape. Then, with your left hand over your chest (to avoid it getting involved) you will want to focus on driving through the ball with your top hand making sure that your right elbow stays close to your body for power. Here is a great YouTube video to illustrate what we are talking about.
- The Bottom Hand Drill: In addition to the top hand drill, working the bottom hand can help your direction and bat path. The challenge with the bottom hand is not letting your front side fly open when you swing. Both isolating the top hand and isolating the bottom hand are great fundamental drills to improve your swing.
- Tee Adjustment Drill: Place the batting tee at different heights and areas across home plate, simulating various pitch locations. This drill helps high school players become more adaptable at the plate, as they learn to hit balls with precision regardless of the pitch’s location.
Soft Toss Drills
Then there are soft-toss drills, loved by coaches and professional players alike. These drills involve tossing the ball from the side of the hitter, enabling you to get a better feel of hitting skills without the strain of predicting and adjusting to pitch speed. They are perfect for enhancing hand-eye coordination and perfecting the timing of your swing, especially if you want to improve hitting to the opposite field. If you want to ramp it up, have your partner toss from behind you. We have found that this is an excellent way to train quick reaction hand-eye. Here are some aspects of the swing to focus on when practicing soft toss drills:
- Bat Path and Point of Contact: One of the primary benefits of soft toss drills is the opportunity to work on the path your bat takes through the strike zone and where you make contact with the ball.
- Timing and Rhythm: Soft toss drills are excellent for improving the timing and rhythm of your swing. Since the ball is coming from a shorter distance and at a slower speed, you can focus more on the timing of your swing and how it syncs with the ball's arrival.
- Body Mechanics and Balance: Pay attention to your stance, the rotation of your hips, the position of your shoulders, and the follow-through. Make sure your movements are fluid and coordinated, maintaining a strong, balanced posture throughout the swing.
Some Drills From Coach RAC
To wrap up our drills section, we asked Coach RAC to send us some of his all-time favorite hitting drills. Here’s what he gave us:
- Varying Speed Soft Toss: Have trouble hitting the offspeed pitches? No wonder, you constantly drill the same speed of tosses. To combat this, next time you do soft toss have your buddy mix up the speeds. Here is a TikTok from Coach RAC that explains this drill thoroughly.
- Top Hand Palm Up Drill: This is a simple one that will make a huge difference in your ability to keep your bat on plane longer and keep your top hand from turning over. Here is a TikTok from Coach RAC that explains this drill in more depth.
- Sit Down in a Chair Drill: To prevent lunging at the ball, you constantly are telling yourself “Stay back.” But, Coach RAC found that this thought process wasn't preventing the lunge but actually making him load into his lunge. To solve this, his friend gave him a drill to work on where you focus on even distribution between your legs and sit down as if in a chair. Here is the TikTok where Coach RAC explains the drill.
Using a Heavier Bat to Train Bat Speed
Another excellent drill targets bat speed. Swinging with a heavier bat than you usually do in a game during your practice sessions can help improve your bat speed. By constantly practicing with a heavier bat, your muscles adapt to the added weight, increasing your bat speed when you switch back to a regular bat.
Regular practice of these recommended drills can drastically improve your baseball hitting skills, leading to better performance on the field. Moving on, we will discuss some unique strategies for youth and high school players. Let's keep pushing your performance to the next level.
Special Strategies for Youth and High School Players
Youth players hold immense potential and coachability, and with the right guidance, drills, and dedication, they can vastly improve their game. For young stud baseball players, hitting drills should be fun and engaging, promoting love for the sport while developing fundamental hitting skills.
Drills for Youth Players
Start with the simple tee work, allowing the young players to focus solely on their swing path and make solid contact without the complexity of a moving ball. Refer to our list of favorite drills from the previous section for drill ideas. After they master the fundamentals, you can move to soft toss drills to train hand-eye and eventually live pitching drills. YouTube and Coach RAC's TikTok serve as great outlets for drill ideas based on what you are struggling the most with.
Drills for High School Players
As youth players advance to the high school level, more complex mechanics can be introduced. It’s at this level that they need to master their baseball swing and hitting mechanics further. One key addition should be to start drilling against faster-speed pitches coming from a greater distance as you adjust to a full-size field. This can be done at a batting cage where you can control the velocity of the pitches coming your way. It also becomes increasingly important to learn how to read the ball out of the hand of the pitcher and drill against hitting up on the ball. There is a tendency for players to develop bad habits when the distance to the home run fence increases. This is why it is essential to continue to focus on your fundamentals (using tee drills and soft toss drills) so that you do not develop any damaging habits.
The Mental Side of the Sport
Lastly, just as important as physical practice are mental exercises. High school players and youth players alike can benefit significantly from visualization. Spending time visualizing successful hits and imagining the feeling of making contact with the ball can improve confidence and performance levels.
How BRUCE BOLT Can Help You at the Plate
From tee work and soft toss to swinging a heavier bat and even mental training, each of the exercises we covered today serves a unique purpose in refining your hitting skills. Now, to make the most of these drills and elevate your performance further, having the right baseball gear at your disposal is crucial. That's where BRUCE BOLT fits in.
At BRUCE BOLT, our mission is to provide players with the best baseball equipment to enhance their performance and experience on the field. Crafted using the finest materials and unmatched craftsmanship, our batting gloves offer better grip with outstanding durability and comfort, allowing you to focus on honing your skills. In turn, our protective guards ensure that you can train and play without the fear of an injury. These products give you the confidence to step into the batter's box, knowing you can focus solely on your hitting.
And let's not forget the importance of practicing with a high-quality wood bat like the ones we offer. Using a wood bat in your practice sessions from a young age will help you make the jump to the big leagues when that time comes.
All in all, implementing these carefully selected hitting drills and equipping yourself with the best baseball gear from BRUCE BOLT is a sure way to watch your performance at the plate skyrocket. Remember, consistency leads to progress, and progress leads to success. Now it's your turn, step into the batter's box, and make next-level performance a reality!