Hitting Smarter, Not Harder: Top Strategies for Hitting Pitchers Throwing GasFeb 10, 2023
As youth coaches, we all know the feeling when a player comes to us saying "I can't hit that, it's too fast." It can be frustrating, but it's also a challenge that we have to take head-on to help our players improve and succeed. In this blog, I want to share with you my top five ways to help your players hit pitchers that are throwing gas.
The Three Plate Drill: This drill is designed to challenge your players by changing the timing of the pitches they receive. Set up three home plates, with the furthest one simulating a slower pitcher, the middle one simulating an average pitcher, and the closest one simulating a pitcher throwing gas. The coach will front toss at the same speed, but the closer the plate is, the faster the ball will get on the player. The key to this drill is to make sure the player never feels rushed.
The Ball Drop Drill: This drill will help speed up your players' reactions. Have your hitter stand ready and hold a softball or a baseball straight up in the air. As soon as the ball drops, the player should swing as quickly and compactly as possible. The goal is to be ready and to have your legs and hands ready to fire.
The Three Ball Quick Toss: This drill will test your players' ability to stay compact and hit fast pitches. The coach will take three baseballs and present them to the player as fast as possible. The player should get preset and ready to go and hit each pitch with a tight and compact swing.
The Hack Attack Pitching Machine: Using a machine like a Hack Attack or a Jugs machine can be a great way to challenge your players and get them used to seeing velocity from the distance that a pitcher would be throwing from. Although players might not like it because it's tough to time up, our goal as coaches is to challenge them in practice so that they don't fail in the game.
Overhand Batting Practice: Finally, don't be afraid to get close and throw overhand batting practice from a much closer distance. The coach can throw at the same speed, but it will quicken up the player's reaction time because the coach is only a few feet away. This drill will help players get used to the speed of pitches and will challenge them in practice.
In conclusion, these five drills will help your players hit pitchers that are throwing gas. Remember to challenge your players in practice so that they don't fail in the game. Good luck,and keep coaching!
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