Dusty Baker Hitting Drills (Ancaster Baseball)

PrintDusty Baker Hitting Drills

Written by Dusty Baker 

1-2-3-4 DRILL
This drill is designed for hitters who have difficulty attaining an inward turn. To correct this problem, position yourself in your stance and begin moving back and forth. Lift your heels off the ground one at a time, shifting your weight from one side to the other in a bit of a rhythm as follows: 
•Rock toward the pitcher 
•Then rock toward the catcher 
•Rock back toward the pitcher 
•Then rock toward the catcher
(to coil and explode into the swing) 
The goal of this drill is to attain some rhythm and movement, making an inward turn easier.

Since pitchers often throw a lot of knee-high fastballs, it is important to be able to focus on the low pitch. First, take a batting tee and set it on the outside part of the plate (low, outside pitch). You should flex both knees slightly in order to go down and get the ball. Once the swing is complete, continue your follow-through and then stop and kneel down so that your back knee is lightly touching the ground. If you cannot touch your knee to the ground, you were probably not in a good position to hit. 

Next, set the tee in the middle of the plate (low, across the plate). Again, flex your knees and attempt to hit the ball up the middle. As before, continue through your swing and check your balance with your knee on the ground. 

Finally, put the tee on the inside of the plate (low, inside pitch). To hit this type of pitch, keep your head down, aim for the inside part of the ball and hit a line drive. Again, continue through your swing and check your balance with your knee slightly touching the ground. 

This drill works on hitting pitches in the top of the strike zone. To use this drill, set-up a batting tee so that the ball is at the top of the strike zone (hint: Taller players may need to place the tee on a small block of wood in order to raise it 5"-6"). When doing this drill, do not flex your front knee, do not take a normal stride, and do not take a normal swing. 
The keys to hitting a high pitch are as follows: 
•Swing slightly down through the ball ("slap the hands down") 
•Lead with the knob of the bat at the ball and pull the hands down and across, forcing the shortest route to the pitch 
•Hit the ball hard and on a line 
You do not want to hit underneath the ball, missing the ball completely and hitting the tee. If this happens, it is a sure sign that you need to emphasize the above steps.

This is an excellent drill for the hitter who tends to uppercut. First, place a batting tee on the inside half of the plate. Next, place a folding chair behind the tee with the seat closest to the tee (hint: The 
tee should be slightly lower than the back of the chair). To execute this drill properly, you must swing with a slightly downward angle. If you do not physically swing slightly down through the ball, you will hit the back of the chair before you ever reach the ball, indicating that you are uppercutting.

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Printed from ancasterbaseball.ca on Sunday, July 22, 2018 at 10:19 AM