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Upcoming Events

18 Mar 2018;
01:00PM - 03:00PM
Baseball Player Evaluations


Training tip: Batting
Coach Kenny Buford, Knox College

To start, set up a batting tee so that the ball is at waist height for your batter.

Position your batter so he is standing at the tee as if hitting a ball up the middle.

Have your batter hold a bat behind his back by bending both arms at the elbow and placing the knob end of the bat in the crook of his front elbow and the the barrel end in the crook of the back elbow. (Note: this drill works best when using the longest bat you can find. I've even used a long, large dowel with great success).

Next, place a ball on the tee and have your hitter hit while keeping the bat behind his back, held in place by his elbows.

Encourage the player to:

1) Pivot on the ball of his back foot
2) Bring hips square to the ball at contact
3) Keep front leg straight and back leg bent
4) Keep weight centered (knees, hips, shoulders
in alignment
5) See the ball with BOTH eyes
6) Maintain his balance

Give each batter a chance to hit 10 balls with the bat behind their back.

This drill FORCES players to turn their hips correctly during their swing.

Hitting Tee Work

From the National Association of Youth Sports

 Squish the Bug

"Squish the Bug" gets used alot. See what it really means from ebasballtips.com

Bottom Hand Drill

Coach Kenny Buford, Knox College

Many young hitters suffer from a strength imbalance that throws their swing way off.

This "bottom hand" drill is a fantastic way to improve bat control... all you need is a bat, a whiffle ball and a tee.

Here's how it works:
Start by placing a tee over the middle of the plate.

Have your hitter hold the bat using the bottom hand only.

** TIP: Use a very light bat and choke up several inches, especially when trying this drill for the first time!

For right handed hitters, grip the bat with the left hand. For left-handed hitters, use the right hand.

Next, put the free hand on the chest to avoid interfering with the swing.

Start with 2 sets of 10-15 swings per player as part of your batting practice routine.

If the whiffle ball is flying straight ahead without spinning - you'll know the hitter is making solid contact.

If the ball is slicing away with heavy spin, the hitter is probably letting their elbow ride up and producing an uppercut swing (sometimes known as a "chicken wing").

To fix this, focus on driving the bat down toward the ball.This will produce a clean, level swing - getting the bat head on the plane of the incoming pitch as soon as possible... and keeping it there as long as possible.

**NOTE: It's very natural for hitters to feel weak and uncoordinated while performing this drill.

But after a few dozen swings, they will start to develop the coordination and see very rapid improvements.

Dueling Bats
Coach Kenny Buford, Knox College

Materials: Batting Tee (s), Wiffle Ball (s), Two Wiffle Balll Bats

Using a right handed and left handed batter together, place a wiffle ball on the tee and have each player take a stance on either side of the tee. When they are both set, say a command such as "Go" or "Swing." The player who hits the ball first wins that round. Make up any contest you want. Do not use regulation bats and baseballs when competing on ONE tee.

OR... If both batters hit from the same side, use a second tee and space them safely apart. Coach gets to judge who hit the ball first.

Older players hitting in a large enough net can use a standard bat and baseball.


Repair Drill
Coach Kenny Buford, Knox College

When coaching 3rd to 5th graders, we have a “repair” drill when a guy gets beaned.  It is only natural for players of that age to start bailing out afterwords.  So it’s back to bean bags, then tennis balls then baseballs.  Bean bags with coach pitch, tennis with kid pitch and baseballs into the net.  Then step them up and see how they do.

Most times, we cure fear with one repair drill!

 Hitting: Strength Training

Coach Kenny Buford, Knox College

These baseball hitting drills are ones I used with youth baseball teams. I try to make baseball practice fun while improving baseball skills at the same time.

A strength training tip I got from a colleague, and my players love, involves the use of a batting tee, but instead of using baseballs to hit, we use half inflated basketballs.

The idea is to hit these basketballs as hard as you can with good form of course. I urge my players to try hitting the basketballs over the infield which is not as easy as it sounds.  This baseball drill will increase their batting speed and power tremendously.

Another baseball drill I have is to use plastic golf balls and stand behind the batter and toss the balls over their shoulder. They have to pick up the ball as it comes over the shoulder and make good contact with the ball.

Training tip: Batting

Coach Kenny Buford, Knox College

These tips are for your younger players.  Simple, but so important to teach.

Batting: Both hands should be held at the shoulder with the bat an inch above the shoulder, that way the bat is close to level/slightly raised/hits down on baseball. Therefore hands, and thus the bat, get to the ball quickly.

Chin Touching Shoulder: I’ve noticed a lot of kids from over the years pulling their heads off the ball. And that takes their eyes off their target, which isn’t going to help them hit the ball. So simply have them keep the chin tucked into the shoulder; it really helps to keep the eyes on target and hits will start to pile up!