In a game like baseball, getting the basics right can make all the difference to both an individual’s and a team’s performance. Obviously one of the most fundamental parts of the game is having players who can (literally) make hard contact with the ball. The best way to get this down is to practice as much as possible, and so this means investing in a batting practice tee.
The best baseball batting tee will have adjustable height, and be suitable for people of all ages and strengths. After all, you’re never too young or old to practice your form, and practicing can help rid you of any bad habits you might have picked up. So to help your players improve their game, here are some of the best baseball batting tee drills and ideas.
Hand-Eye Coordination Drills
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but improving your players’ hand-eye coordination is a must for playing well. This should be one of the first drills you practice with a batting tee, as it will have a positive effect on all the other drills they might do.
To start, simply set up the baseball batting tree and get the player to stand with their front foot facing the second point of the tee. It should be set up at the correct height and distance so that their bat can make contact with the ball, as if they’re going to hit it. The most important thing is to not let them take any practice swings, and for them to do as little as possible to prepare.
Next, without aiming, get them to take a swing at the ball, but to stop before actually making contact. They should hold this position so that they can check their form, and to see how close they would have been to hitting the ball. If necessary, correct any issues you might see in their stance or form.
After practicing the swing and holding for a second or two, get the player to then finish the swing. Practice this a minimum of 10 times, each time not letting them aim at the ball. After a few swings you should notice they’re getting closer to the mark each time.
Proper Swing Technique
In order for your players to develop a good swing path, repeat the first drill but add another baseball hitting tree behind the first. Set the second one six inches or so higher than the first (adjust this height difference in relation to the player’s height).
The object of this drill is to teach them the correct swing path for a good hit. Get the player to repeat the steps of the first drill, including pausing before hitting the ball. At no point should their bat come into contact with the higher baseball batting tee.
Once your players think they have mastered a good swing, get them to practice this drill. If there are any flaws left in their technique this will iron them out. The aim is to practice the drill with both their left and right hands, regardless of which is their dominant hand. After all, if they can swing well with either hand, their chances of swinging well with both hands are doubled!
Start by setting the baseball training tee up as normal, but obviously adjust so it’s in the correct position for the hand they’re practicing with. It might also be an idea to invest in a lighter bat, as swinging one-handed can be much more difficult with a normal size bat.
To start the drill, get the player to grip the bat with their bottom hand, and place their other hand across their body on the opposite hip. Now, simply get the player to swing at the ball. Make sure you’re monitoring their swing, and adjust any flaws as necessary. After taking between 5 and 10 swings, get the player to switch hands and do exactly the same again.
The High Tee Drill
This one is reasonably self-explanatory, and the purpose is to teach players how to maintain a short, yet powerful swing. Make sure players stay on top of the ball, and keep their swing as short as possible; otherwise they won’t gain anything from this drill.
To start, set the baseball training tee up at chest height, quite close to the player. Then, simply get them to swing at the ball. Make sure you monitor their swing, and teach them to stay on top of the ball. Practicing this type of swing will give them much better technique and power when playing an actual game.
The Walking Drill
The purpose of this drill is to show players how much potential energy is actually stored in their body, and to train them to exert this amount of power every time they swing. Having a walk up to the ball will use all the potential energy stored in their body, and give them much more power in their swing. Practicing regularly, all the while reducing the distance of the walk up, will teach them to exert this power at shorter notice.
All you need to do is set up the batting practice tee, and give the player about 5 feet of space to walk up. The player should start with their back foot, and walk with a striding motion that has power. Then all they need to do is swing at the ball. Gradually reduce the distance as you notice their technique and power improving.
Make it Happen
The best baseball batting tee drills concentrate on both power and technique, and allow the player to notice any issues or areas for improvement. Baseball training tees are ideal for players of all ages and abilities, and even major league players still use them to practice their form. As the coach, you should always be aware of how to improve your players’ techniques, and using a baseball training tee is the ideal way to do this.