There are a lot of bad drills in baseball that promote bad patterns. Because of this I want to make a collection of drills that I think promote good patterns or at least not create bad patterns.
Some of the drills have been created by me, others by other coaches in the hitting community. If the latter is true of course I will give credit to the inventors. I will only show drills that I have tested personally.
A very good series of drills is the baseball rebellion rebels rack progression. It works on separation, posture and the turn. Here you can find the drills which are essentially dry turns.:
If you don’t have a rebels rack you can also use a bat or a pvc pipe across the chest.
For a good hand and bat path I like those two one handed drills.
Rear arm: clamp a connection ball between forearm and upper arm and don’t release it until just before contact. Promotes a good elbow slotting and getting on plane early.
Variation: if you tend to roll over stop with the arm extended and the bat pointing to the pitcher.
Here is a lead arm drill. Clamp something between chest and biceps to promote “connection” but make sure the elbow is not down but away from the body (don’t clamp in arm pit but high on chest).
Make sure the elbow and shoulder work up before the bat works down. This creates a better posture and attack angle. Finish over the head. To work on this you can provide resistance with the back arm like this
You can also use both constraints https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpvlT70ABHs
This drill can also help with swing plane
Here is a more detailed progression for the hand and arm movements. Not everyone needs it that detailed but for some you need to build it from the scratch.
To get to different pitch heights the vertical bat angle needs to change. Around 45 degrees for very low pitches and 15-20 for high pitches. Here is a check swing turn drill for different pitch heights. It is important that shoulders and bat tilt at the same angle. Can also be done very good against a gymnastics mat. Do it to all 4 corners to increase path variability.
This BR drill can help rotating the shoulders on a steeper plane for low pitches:#
This is a drill for the load
Here is a drill for the transition from load to “entry in the zone. The elbows move a bit like a seesaw with the front elbow going up and rear elbow going down.
Make sure the rear elbow doesn’t drop before the body is launched
Here is a constraint drill for guys who have trouble with losing being in the rear hip and maintaining head over rear hip posture
This is a dissociation drill. During the stride hips and shoulders usually slightly counter rotate, then just before foot plant the hips open under the body while the shoulders don’t move before the shoulders start to turn after foot plant.
This stop swing drill is great for guys who lack direction and roll over on outside pitches. Set tee outside and stop about a foot after contact with the bat below the hands and pointing towards the oppo gap (stay over tee and not pull inward).
This drill helps maintaining VBA on low pitches and not rolling over
For guys having trouble with inside pitches the Cano fence drill can help. Make sure the fence isn’t too close or it can hurt the swing mechanics.
Deceleration drill: the shoulders reach peak speed about 60m MS before contact and then decelerate in a good swing. This is a deceleration drill that can help hitters who overspin, especially on outside pitches. Peak turn speed early and not after contact:
Anti rotation work is big right now but I would also do actual stopping work like this. I wouldn't do that with 9u players who don't finish the swing anyway but with advanced players it can be good. pic.twitter.com/Shx4zDdfS4
— dominikk85 (@dominikkeul) May 9, 2019
“Stretch and fire” drill. This drill is hitting with an open stance. You stand feet facing forward, then you coil into the back hip and swing forward. Not a drill for everyone but it can help with separation and swing direction and also help with guys who have too much slack in the swing. With the open stance and coiling back you take the slack out so the bat really starts turning immediately when the back hip begins to move. Done correctly you should feel a tension down the rear body side into the rear hip and and on the opposite oblique then start the swing with rear hip extension to the pitcher which then immediately starts the bat. It is kinda like starting the swing from after the “dissociation” position.
It can also be good to do drills with a pvc pipe since the lighter weight causes less fatigue
Our PVC routine guys will use every day this summer.
1) Everything here has been stolen. I take absolutely ZERO credit for any of it.
2) Obviously some aren’t doing them perfectly, and why should they? It’s new for many of them! pic.twitter.com/Bu0w6hbB08
— Max Price (@MrMaxPrice) June 6, 2019
Is it the newest Ninja Turtle? No, it’s @elite_baseball back in the cage with his trusty PVC pipe working on some updates for the https://t.co/zyI6XNg3CG sequential hitting plan……..Either that or practicing his #fruitninja skills pic.twitter.com/eRAeMetqf6
— EliteBaseballTV (@EliteBaseballTV) April 16, 2019
I realize those are a lot of drills. I try to use mostly constraint drills that don’t need a lot of words by the coach. You don’t need to do all drills, the most important rule is don’t fix what is broken, if an athlete does it naturally don’t try to change it and work on something else. I have more drills but this is a collection I like. The most important is an assessment of the athlete so you know what really needs change. Thus I will first asses the athlete and then give him the drills he needs or make up a new one that fits him better. Those are drills to correct mechanical problems. Later I will also write an article about drills that help batspeed, power and game adjustability.