Make the Training Environment Challenging!
The ability to challenge a hitter in training is key to recognizing flaws in movements or even mentality. It's easy for hitters to feel comfortable and take their best swing against tee work, front toss or even BP. Successful training shouldn't feel comfortable.
As instructors, we must make sure the hitter maintains confidence and aggression while facing velocity whether via pitching machine or live at-bats.
How Do We Adjust to Pre-Season Training
Not only does the way we challenge hitters change during this phase but also the goal of the lesson changes depending on the hitter's needs. This requires a level of openness and honesty between the instructor and the hitter.
For a middle school kid, this may be their first taste of playing on a bigger field. The days of the 220ft bombs are now over and those hits are directly to an outfielder. They must learn to adjust their turn to hit the ball lower and harder to give themselves the best chance for success.
Middle School Off-Season Transition