Hitting in the Zone
The best hitters get their bat into correct contact position quickly and keep the bat in that position for as long as possible, giving them many more opportunities at solid contact. The following baseball hitting drill is a great way to help hitters correctly keep the bat through the hitting zone and yet another way to teach hitting. Additionally, this baseball hitting drill helps hitters understand correct contact position, as well as hitting balls in different hitting zones..
For this baseball hitting drill, coaches set a few strips down about a foot apart, designating three different hitting zones, as seen here. Players begin with the batting tee in zone one. From good hitting position, with the knob of the bat down and the bat barrel over their shoulder, batters use their hips to “punch” the ball, stopping the bat at correct palm up, palm down contact position, with line drives the desired result. The ability to hit balls in zone one is crucial for late moving balls as curve balls, sinkers, and changeups. Hitters, who have an incorrect setup position post stride have the most trouble making good contact in zone one. Those who can wait and hit balls deep in the zone, strike out the least and can take balls to the opposite field, especially with two-strikes.
Hitters should continue hitting balls in zone one until consistent line drives result.
Next, the tee is set in zone two, with hitters performing the same swing actions. The same contact and line drives are the goal, without rolling the wrists. Contact in zone two gives players the best chance at making good solid contact and the ability to hit balls to all fields in an aggressive manner.
After consistent line drives in zone two, the tee is set in zone three. Hitters perform the same hitting actions, obviously with more extension necessary, while maintaining contact position. Zone three hitting allows hitters to make contact when fooled on pitches or simply when swinging early. The ability to keep the bat barrel through zone three helps players pull the ball, as well as getting the bat barrel on the ball without pulling off the ball or rolling the wrists early.
An added advantage to this drill is that players notice that when they lift their head up early before contact, their hands raise and ground balls usually result.
Once players consistently hit line drives in all zones, they attempt their regular swing, trying to mimic the same actions with balls set one in zone 1 and zone two and with balls in zones one and three, as seen here. Staying through both balls, with solid contact on both balls, is the desired result.
After this tee work, he next step is to use these hitting-zone strips with regular batting practice. It helps players understand where they are making contact, as well as giving them a better understanding of where contact should be made on different pitch locations.
It is usually best to hit low pitches and outside pitches in zone one or two and best to hit high pitches and inside pitches in zones two and three.
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