Preseason Timing Tips for Hitting
- Updated: January 5, 2012
I have seen so many kids season ruined before the season even gets close to starting. Dad or team coach takes player(s) to the batting cages and sets the speed at game speed on their first day of hitting, after a long offseason. It is important to realize that hitters’ eyes are not close to ready for such speeds, not to mention their bat speed and timing. The result is that many hitters begin to cheat to catch up to the ball by either jumping at the ball or stepping out and opening up early. Once these habits develop and/or players timing is off from the beginning, they never recover.
Following are some preseason hitting tips
- Always good to begin preseason training by practicing on the batting tee and with short flip work, so players can concentrate on good fundamentals without worrying about timing the ball.
- Begin early batting practice sessions with slow speeds so hitters feel comfortable waiting for the ball.
- An initial no-stride approach is good for the same reason, especially when facing batting machines.
- Hitting balls to the opposite field is important, like always, but especially on slow pitching so players are controlling the bat and waiting for the ball to get deep in the hitting zone.
- Speeds should be gradually increased with subsequent practice sessions.
- Always a good way is having batting practice throwers alternate slow pitches with faster ones to help gain the same swing on all speeds, as well as for waiting and good timing on all speeds of pitches.
As hitter’s eyes and bat speed improve, game-like speeds are appropriate, with attention to good mechanics always a priority.