How to Train Timing without a Moving Ball

Written By: Eric Tyler

How to Train Timing Without a Moving Ball

Pitch selection is always a struggle with hitters of any age. However, live pitches aren’t always readily available. So where does pitch selection come from and how can we train timing without a moving ball?

The later a hitter can commit to a swing and still get to contact on time, the longer they can see the ball. The longer a hitter can see the ball the better swing decisions they will make. How well a hitter accelerates is vital to being able to wait longer before committing to swing. The good news is your hitters can train timing and acceleration without a moving ball. 

How Can a Medicine Ball Help Train Pitch Selection? 

How Can a Medicine Ball Help Train Pitch Selection? 

  • A hitter is only as good as the pitch they swing at.
  • The best swing mechanics in the world are of no use if the pitch is one that is unhittable. Now I’m not talking about 92mph sweeping slider unhittable. I mean 4 feet outside unhittable.
  • However, players of all levels chase pitches regularly. Do we just think that they are chasing on purpose? No way. So why do hitters swing at bad pitches?
Vision Training on a Budget 

Vision Training on a Budget 

  • Pitch selection is affected by numerous factors with the most obvious being vision.
  • The fact that live pitches thrown from quality arms aren’t always readily available for a hitter’s training makes training vision much more difficult.
  • So how as a parent or coach that doesn’t have the means available for the ever-growing vision tracking training, can you help your hitter train their pitch selection?
  • The easiest way for a hitter to make better decisions on pitch selection is to allow them to see the ball for longer out of the pitcher’s hand.
  • We can either do that by backing the mound up (not gonna happen), or by allowing the hitter to have a swing that allows them to start their swing as late as they can while still being on time and powerful.
Acceleration vs. Bat Speed 

Acceleration vs. Bat Speed 

  • The only speed and force a hitter can generate and have an effect on contact is the force created before contact with the ball.
  • Pretty short window to try to create speed right? Which is where acceleration comes into the conversation.
  • The faster a hitter can accelerate their bat to full speed, the later they can commit to the pitch. In turn, seeing the ball longer and making better decisions.
  • All on the same page? Great, now let’s train it.

Resisted Med Ball Throws

We’ve posted Medicine ball drills in the past but this version of the drill is my personal favorite to improve acceleration.

  • The hesitation allows the hitter to check their load and make sure their back leg is properly loaded and coiled in order to properly accelerate. 
  • This hesitation also allows the hitter to feel the sudden start of the rotation and the lack of momentum forces them to accelerate properly. 
  • Because they are learning to accelerate instead of just brute force and speed they develop an understanding of just how late they can commit and begin the swing.
  • A better understanding of acceleration will lead to a better understanding of timing in the swing

What to Avoid with this Drill

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