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Hitting the Breaking Ball – Angled Front Toss Drill

Hitting the Breaking Ball – Angled Front Toss Drill

 

 

One of the hardest things as a hitter, we try to do is hit a breaking ball.  A Curve Ball, a Slider – it really doesn’t matter.  We try to time ourself with a fastball, but that timing is off if we get a pitch that is going away from you or cutting across you.  I have a drill that is going to help you with that to make you a more complete hitter.  You can see I have Coach Casey over here, and I have the L screen set.  It is offset.  He is actually going to be throwing from behind me.  The ball is going to be coming across my chest.  This is going to simulate a ball coming across like a breaking ball.  It is incredibly important for me to keep my front shoulder here and drive down through my back leg, in a good power position.

I’m set up through the pitchers mound.  Not set up to Coach Casey.  I will bring my eyes over to him but I will not set up towards him.  It is going to come across and I’m going to drive down.

The goal of this is for the balls to go toward center, or up the middle.  What I don’t want to do is hit balls out to left, getting out in front.  I need to let the ball get to me.  Don’t be shocked if you miss hitting the ball a few times.  It will get easier.  It will help make you a breaking ball hitter.  Most importantly it will help make you an all around hitter.

We want to make sure we keep the weight backand let the hands work.

What I want to do is get the bat behind the ball and drive.

If I hit out here, I’m going to miss the ball.  If my back shoulder collapses, I’m going to miss the ball.

Let me say it again.  It is not an easy drill.  We’ve got to let the ball almost get to home plate and I have come down.  If this shoulder leads, I am in trouble.

So what we want to do is make sure we get back behind the ball.  Set up to the pitcher always.  Now let the ball travel across us.  Focus on back knee driving down.  Shoulder staying here.  I need to really be able to use my top hand coming down on the ball.  I want line drives to right, right center, or center field.  Use this drill.  It’s going to make you a more complete batter and make you a better breaking ball hitter.

Have fun, enjoy the game.  Don’t get frustrated with this drill because it is difficult.  Use this drill, the front toss angle drill!

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Burn Out in Baseball and Youth Sports

The game of baseball can be fantastic for teaching teamwork and working toward a common goal.  It can also wear down the brain because of the intense focus that is required to perform in a competitive atmosphere.

As a player, I would experience this in the middle of the season often referred to as “The dog days of August.”  Younger players are also learning this because of year round baseball.  The disappearance of seasons for certain sports is taking its toll on young player’s brains and bodies.

I have encountered many excellent ball players who are suffering from “burnout”.  They stop enjoying a game they used to absolutely love.  They want to quit not because they are not succeeding but because they start to despise it.

This is a game and must be treated as a game and enjoyed.  We must miss the game from time to time or we risk resentment.

As a player I needed my off-season to get away from the game.  Several months would pass from the end of the season before a bat was picked back up.

That does not mean that workouts for physical health and strength were neglected but time was needed away from the grind of the game.

Don’t let it happen.  Take time off from the game for a little while.  We need to miss it from time to time.  Don’t end up resenting a sport you love when a couple weeks or a month could change it.

Remember, when someone asks what position you play – you respond “I PLAY shortstop” or “I PLAY 1st base or “I play the outfield.”

The key phrase is “I play the game of baseball”.

 

Until Next Time,

Chad

Baseball and Softball Batting Drill- Fastball and Change Up Drill

Baseball and Softball Batting Drill- Fastball and Change Up Drill

There’s nothing quite the same as the game for a hitter.  Practice is never quite the same how we treat it. We can’t simulate the game.  What we want to do is try to get close.So, I have a front toss drill.  Casey is going to flip front toss to me.  The firmer ones are going to simulate a fast ball.  The softer ones are going to simulate a change up.

What we want to do is make sure we are always ready for the fastball.  The softer ones are going to simulate a change up.

What we want to do is make sure we are always ready for the fastball.  We need to be always back in time for the fastball.  For most of us, we hit the fastballs better than off-speed pitches.

So, no matter what, I want to be ready for my pitch.  I don’t care that the pitcher has a great curve ball.  I don’t hit curve balls very well to begin with so I will look for my pitch.  I want to be in position for my pitch.

So, what I want to do is make sure that when I load, I’m in position and now I’m going to drive through the ball off his fastball.  When he throws a change-up and I don’t like it, I take it.  I’m making sure I’m back and I can recognize it.

Let’s take a look at the drill.

Both of those would be fastballs.  I’m getting back in time.  Now he’s going to show me a change up.  What I want to do is make sure and let it come to me.

I was in a much better position.  I stayed back.  I’m not going to tell him what I am looking for and he’s not going to tell me what he’s throwing.

I was back and ready for the fastball.

Change up and I wasn’t in a position for it.  I wasn’t quite there.  That’s what I want you, as a hitter to do.  If you’re not ready to hit that pitch, take it.

It’s okay.  It’s strike 1.  We got two more. Right?  We want to make sure we are making this as close to the game as possible.

Get back.  Look for your pitch.  Put a good swing on your pitch.  Use this drill.  Mix in the change-up.  You don’t have to them.  Make sure you are staying back.  This drill is going to help you become a more complete baseball player.

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