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How To Hit Off A Tee

Establishing a base

Oftentimes with younger hitters who are just learning to swing a bat, they are never really set up for success, even from the beginning.  Their feet are too narrow or too wide or pointing out like a duck or uneven, their hands are in a bad position, the list goes on and on.  The first video below explains how to get your child in a better starting position so they can have more success off the tee or in games!

The hinge and go drill is a simple drill that can be applied to any hitter that has decent balance and body awareness.  Some younger players may be able to do this drill but it focuses on loading the hips properly and teaching the hitter to move forward to balance when they stride. This can be done with young hitters, but do not do this drill with players who can't stride straight nor know how to hinge at the hips.  It can be done when hitters move athletically and can control their body.

From a very young age, players begin having practices at least once a week. This is a great chance to make improvements, but oftentimes, they are just being taught things that are going to hold them back. This happens when little league dads scramble home from work to throw on their athletic clothes just to throw batting practice and hit off a tee.  Instead of just letting players get away with poor mechanics when hitting off the tee, all you need to do is pay attention, and look for some of the things I point out in these videos! Take the time to actually help your hitter turn correctly with their head back and they will succeed and develop much faster

Use a High Tee to Teach a Proper Turn

Dropping your hands in your swing is a very common flaw for youth hitters due to nearly any bat being heavy because of their lack of physical development. Therefore, players often drop their hands early and immediately get disconnected, resulting in a poor bat path. This will only frustrate and aggravate them because they won’t make solid contact. Using a high tee teaches them to keep their hands up and have a more connected swing. They might struggle at first, but those reps where they miss under the ball will only encourage them to make the change even at the tee ball level!

Understanding the turn as early as tee ball is extremely important for early development. Being able to rotate properly at a young age can fix a lot of problems in the swing. Getting into a stronger base, striding correctly, and turning while keeping the head back are all key to a great swing, Even if your player is under 10 years old! At Baseball Rebellion, we use the Rebel’s Rack to teach our hitters to do everything I just mentioned and more, so you may want to consider looking into it as well as the Rebel’s Rack Certification. Teaching the turn in the swing is much better with the bat being out of your hand in the beginning stages.  Learn the turn and you will succeed!

How You Can Practice Using Your Whole Body to Swing

Often times it is hard for hitters to feel their backside working to the ball.  With this front arm constraint drill, the hitter only has one way to turn, behind the ball.

This drill specifically forces hitters to turn efficiently due to their front arm being held still. 

This will make hitters feel how they have to initially work behind the ball. While also promoting more power and a quality bat path.

Benefits of the Front Arm Constraint Drill

1.Front Side Flying Open

When hitters fly open with their front side it is often due to a pull forward with their front arm.  Causing the front shoulder to yank, making the hitters spin off the ball.

Since we are holding onto the pad or a net with our front arm the hitter will feel their front shoulder pull causing them to pull away from the net or pad.  Then they will have to make adjustment correctly to turn from their backside and crush the pad or net correctly

2. Avoid Top Spun Groundballs

Everyone hates top spun grounders, this is mostly because the hotter pulls with their front side causing their bat path to swipe across to the pull side. 

Swing direction starts from where you start you swing from. With this front arm constraint drill, this will help hitters create a better move behind the ball making them drive ball versus top spun grounders.

3. Quality of Contact

 If you are having a lot of mishits and not squaring up the ball, this drill is for you. Mishits come from lack of timing and poor bat path. 

If your timing is good and you're still not crushing the ball, try this drill to help feel the proper sequence of the swing.

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Many hitters seem to hit well in the cage but not in games. It comes down to how the hitter trains their pitch selection and most importantly their adjustability. By simply doing front toss with a twist you can change how a hitter adjusts from pitch to pitch.

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One Tool To Stop Roll Over Groundballs

One of the biggest frustrations as a hit and parent is roll over groundballs. Recently, we found one tool to stop roll over groundballs, and we love it.

The Half bat has been around since as long as I can remember but I never understood why a hitter should use this.  Since introducing this into my lessons hitters have made great strides in regards to understanding how to move their body and bat correctly. 

From rollovers to weak pop-ups these three flat bat variations will help cure them all.

Why the Half Bat?

The Bonsail Bat Company and Trey Hannam customized some really cool flat bats for us and since then we haven't looked back.  Although they are cool looking they serve a great purpose, helping our hitters achieve the swing they need.

Three Things the Half Bat Will Help Correct

Drill Videos to Help Stop Roll Over Groundballs

Level 1- Regular Side Toss

Level 2- Angled Side Toss

Level 3- Drop Down Toss

Want to Purchase a Half Bat?

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Youth Practices Fun

3 Hitting Drills To Make Youth Practice Fun!

One of the biggest problems when trying to create a good practice environment for youth players is keeping them focused for the entirety of the practice time. One of the best ways to help keep your youth players interested and focused is to implement some fun and basic drills. We’ll take a look at three drills youth players can do to help their bat path, rhythm, and power at the plate, while having fun and staying focused.

My Post (1)

How To Hit Off A Tee

Many little league coaches and parents love coaching and working with kids, but don’t have a ton of experience teaching hitting. This article points out the key points that will help your young players who are beginning their journey in baseball or softball. It is super important that every player has a solid base and a good turn so that they can develop properly and have more fun in the sport!

Oftentimes hitters load their back leg versus loading the hip. Loading the back leg can cause many issues when hitting the ball.

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Quality over Quantity

We have all heard that statement before, but baseball and softball training seem to have not listened. Yes, one of the main ways to get better at hitting a baseball or softball we have to hit.  But does that mean the more reps we take the better? Although this may be true, you have to ask yourself how many quality reps are you actually getting. Check out how to train smarter and hit the ball harder more consistently. 

For EXAMPLE

It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes non-members can rent a cage and throw BP to their son or daughter. We shouldn’t be but are shocked at what we most see from these sessions. Without warming up or without getting their bodies ready they begin to hit.  The parent flips the ball and the kid hit it, the prrent flips the ball and the kid hits it and on this goes. At this point, after maybe 15-20 mindless swings the kid finally wears out and takes a break. Then they pick back up and continue. The video below is exactly what I’m talking about.

be honest, is this you?

How many of you reading this feel that this is what you do or have done? I know that in my career I have done this day in and day out.  But guess what at that time I didn’t know any better and I think most of you don’t know either. Hence why Baseball Rebellion exists and why I’m here now about to tell you how to hit on your own more efficiently.

Deliberate Practice

Success has to do with deliberate practice. Practice must be focused, determined, and in an environment where there’s feedback. 

Malcolm Gladwell

Identify what you need to work on

As a player, if you are really trying to turn your game around and become a better hitter you have to first understand what needs to be fixed.  Often times players at young ages have major flaws in their swings but can get away with it due to the poor competition. Furthermore, getting ahead of the game and laying down the foundation of good mechanics will set you up for success long term.

what if i don’t know what i need to work on?

For starters, a good place to start is to evaluate your statistics.  If you are striking out a lot, not making solid contact or not hitting the ball harder this should be a good indicator that you’ve got some issues. Secondly, get a hitting evaluation done either in person or online.  Here is an example of an online hitting evaluation. 


By getting a professional opinion by one of our instructors you will know exactly what you need to do. You can also check out our other hitting articles available here on our website. 

Have a plan

First things first having a plan is key to not only getting better but also preparing your body and mind for the session ahead.  After you know what you need to work on this is where you put it into action. In order to keep getting better, you have to practice with a purpose.  As I have mentioned before taking mindless swings just to get reps will lead to creating bad habits. This will also give you a false sense of actually getting better. Furthermore taking more reps does not necessarily mean you are getting better. I’ll say it again, quality over quantity needs to be the most important thought in hitting training. 

Step one – Rack turns

No matter how far along you are in your training, step one should always start with the Rebel’s Rack. Ideally doing your turns in front of a mirror will give you the most feedback.  The importance of getting your body in the correct position is much more important than taking 100 mindless swings. The best way to develop a proper and explosive movement pattern is to train to go faster and hit the ball harder

Key Points when doing rack turns
  • Pay attention to where you are striding, IF YOU DON’T STRIDE STRAIGHT YOU WON’T HIT GREAT!
  • Do not just go through the motions
  • Make sure you keep your head and chest back
  • Do not rush to get a million turns in, reset after every turn
  • TURN AS FAST AS POSSIBLE!
step two – Tee work

The Launch Angle Tee is a great tool to help you get a feel for the proper swing path before you start taking batting practice. Check out our 10 Tee Drills for Power to improve your tee training today. Although using a tee is great, do not take all your swings off it. Because at the end of the day, you have to be able to hit a moving ball!

Key points when hitting off the tee
  • Do not hit off the tee just to get loose
  • Move the tee around and adjust the height
  • Make sure you are turning fast
  • You shouldn’t be hitting the tee
  • Get your work in off the tee then move to front toss or overhand batting practice
step three – Front toss or overhand batting  practice

When moving onto front toss or overhand batting practice you need to know what you are going to be working on.  The first round you are trying to get find timing and rhythm. Your body is still trying to get loose, really focus on squaring up the ball as much as possible.  Take no more than eight swings your first round. After that, it’s time to take shorter rounds of around five to six swings turning as fast as possible focusing on what you need to work on. If you find yourself needing more out of front toss or overhand batting practice change the speed of the ball thrown.

Key points when hitting front toss or Overhand batting practice
  • Take shorter rounds focusing on what you are working on
  • Turn fast hitting the ball hard and in the air
  • Make adjustments, focusing on not making the same mistake over and over again
  • If you are struggling, step out and figure out why
final thoughts

At the end of the day if you want to be good at anything you must practice.  But it is not how much you practice it is how well you practice.  The goal of getting better should be “work smarter, not harder”.  When learning how to hit with proper mechanics this is crucial for your son or daughter’s development as a hitter.  I really hope this article gives you a different perspective on how to look and approach practicing.  Understand that they must keep improving your skills if they want to perform better on the field.  Take the time to do things right, do the drills that are specific to your son or daughter’s swing and most importantly don’t just hit to hit. Have them practice with purpose and they will find themselves in the line-up performing well in games.

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Hitting for Power and for Average We can all agree that Baseball is a numbers game.  With the technology that is available today, it makes it easier for us to decipher where the hits are.  Having a high batting average will keep you in the game for a long time. Since we are going into...

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If you are tired of seeing inconsistent contact at the plate check out this drill to help prevent your hips from sliding forward and turn with more power.

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Get A Better Launch Position With This Drill

Prime Examples

Below is a comparison of two softball players who load and move very differently from each other.  The one on the left has been training at Baseball Rebellion for years and the other girl just sent the video in for an online evaluation.  The goal is to show you how we teach our hitters to get in the right positions with the drills we use from our Rebel's Rack Movement Progression and other drills like the one you'll see in this article.

Ride The Band And Feel The Hinge

The goal with these drills is to get hitters in positions where they must do what you are teaching them.  I know, groundbreaking, right? Simple setups like this drill will allow you to perform the drill at a moment's notice.  You could use a rope instead of the band and you could also try and do this up against a net.  I like the band because the hitter will really feel themselves push back and feel the band stretching.

3 Benefits From This Drill

Plate Coverage - If your hitter is doing this drill properly they will find that they are able to drive different parts of the zone much better.  This is because they are now in a better hitting position which will allow for more adjustability throughout the swing.  Being able to crush the ball in your sweet spot is one thing, but being able to make solid contact on pitches low and away or up and in is what makes you a real hitter.  

Direction - Since the hitter is now able to get their hips back and in a hinged position there, being able to stay through the ball will be much better.  Hitters with tall posture have a tendency to pull and spin off the ball.  With the chest over it allows for the bat path to stay in line with the pitcher, making the hitter have a better chance of crushing the ball.  

Hard Hit Balls - getting in this hip hinged position truly sets the hitter up to crush the ball.  Without this posture, the hitter is not loaded properly and won't get the most out of their swing.  The lower half is now fully loaded from this position and when a hitter decides to swing they will hit the ball much harder than before.

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Youth Practices Fun

3 Hitting Drills To Make Youth Practice Fun!

One of the biggest problems when trying to create a good practice environment for youth players is keeping them focused for the entirety of the practice time. One of the best ways to help keep your youth players interested and focused is to implement some fun and basic drills. We’ll take a look at three drills youth players can do to help their bat path, rhythm, and power at the plate, while having fun and staying focused.

My Post (1)

How To Hit Off A Tee

Many little league coaches and parents love coaching and working with kids, but don’t have a ton of experience teaching hitting. This article points out the key points that will help your young players who are beginning their journey in baseball or softball. It is super important that every player has a solid base and a good turn so that they can develop properly and have more fun in the sport!

How The Squat And Deadlift Can Improve Your Swing

How the Squat and Deadlift Matches launch Position in the Swing

Every great hitter since the beginning of time has some sort of hip hinge either in their starting stance or as they load and stride out.  The knees are slightly bent, the hips are back, and the chest is forward a bit.  This also happens during the squat and deadlift.  Getting athletes to understand and become aware of the hip hinge as they load and stride forward is key for posterior chain and lower half engagement.  Hitters who have never deadlifted or squatted before have a tough time hinging at the hips and creating solid posture at landing.

IMG_1065

Posture At Contact

So much power and explosiveness can be gained by maintaining correct posture throughout your swing.  Athletes who lack strength in the lower half and posterior chain tend to have bad posture at contact due to the fact that they cannot keep their ribs down and core braced.  This leaves hitters in a weak position in the video below. By getting stronger at the squat and deadlift you can improve strength of course but also your posture so you can transfer more force into the ball as safely as possible!

Hitting is a Rotational Hip Thrust

We all know we have to turn and rotate to hit the ball hard.  Hitters who have trouble getting good hip extensions and glute activation most likely just spin on their backside.  Therefore, power is being lost to their pull-side and swing direction truly suffers.  Tying in the quality movement of the squat and deadlift and translating it to the swing can be tough.  Hence why I want you to get under and pick up a barbell this winter! You will be doing yourself a huge favor!

Good Squat vs. Bad Squat

Good Deadlift v.s. Bad Deadlift

Final Thought

If you're looking to take your game to the next level then getting in the weight room this off-season is what you need to do.  Don't be afraid of compound lifts like the squat, bench, and deadlift. And most importantly don't be afraid to push some heavier weight after you have your technique dialed in.  Just because you play baseball or softball doesn't mean you shouldn't lift heavy for what is relative to you.  To be an athlete you have to train like one, and picking up a barbell is a great way to get stronger and have fun!

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Youth Practices Fun

3 Hitting Drills To Make Youth Practice Fun!

One of the biggest problems when trying to create a good practice environment for youth players is keeping them focused for the entirety of the practice time. One of the best ways to help keep your youth players interested and focused is to implement some fun and basic drills. We’ll take a look at three drills youth players can do to help their bat path, rhythm, and power at the plate, while having fun and staying focused.

My Post (1)

How To Hit Off A Tee

Many little league coaches and parents love coaching and working with kids, but don’t have a ton of experience teaching hitting. This article points out the key points that will help your young players who are beginning their journey in baseball or softball. It is super important that every player has a solid base and a good turn so that they can develop properly and have more fun in the sport!

Stop Leaking Power In Your Swing

When hitting, It is important that we stay connected to the ground as ultimately, that is where power comes from. When our back heel comes off the ground we lose some of that power. Below, I discuss this issue and how to stop leaking power in your swing.

What To Look For

The back knee caving in as you will see in the video breakdown below is something that I see a lot of hitters struggle with.  It is a power leaking move and will have hitters very inconsistent with their timing due to lack of back hip and glute engagement.  Hitters will also lose some swing direction as well because the upper body will have to take over which usually results in pulling off the ball.

Banded Knee Drill

The point of the band is to make sure you are keeping it tight as you stride and get to your launch position.  All really good hitters get to this position that I want you to get in!  This will help you fully engage your hips and glutes at foot strike.  The goal is to hold and maintain as much power in the lower half as possible.  If this drill is done correctly like explained in the video then you will stop leaking power in your swing and make some serious gains!

Rebel's Rack Turns

At Baseball Rebellion, we are big on movement work especially with our Rebel's Rack.  It allows hitters to get the bat out of their hand and to truly practice correct posture and movement that translates into making a good swing.  With the band attached it will reinforce the proper position the lower half needs to be in.  The goal is to be explosive with your turns without that knee caving in too early.

3 Benefits Of This Drill

Power - Gaining more power is something every hitter can benefit from. Now that the body is in the correct position, hitters can start to reach their full potential.  Being able to use the lower half correctly makes hitters hit the ball harder.  This will help them get more hits due to the fact that you don't leak power in your swing and can hit the ball farther. 

Adjustability -  Something that every hitter needs is the ability to adjust to different speeds and locations.  With the hitter now being in a more loaded and athletic position, they can make decisions a little bit later, therefore being more accurate with their bat.  

Swing Direction - The direction of the swing truly starts with the lower half.  If the lower half is leaking open the hitter has to compensate with their shoulders.  This results in a lot of pulling off the ball and spinning away from the strike zone.  Learning how to keep the lower half in the right position is key and will help hitters get the bat on the ball and hit it hard!

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Youth Practices Fun

3 Hitting Drills To Make Youth Practice Fun!

One of the biggest problems when trying to create a good practice environment for youth players is keeping them focused for the entirety of the practice time. One of the best ways to help keep your youth players interested and focused is to implement some fun and basic drills. We’ll take a look at three drills youth players can do to help their bat path, rhythm, and power at the plate, while having fun and staying focused.

My Post (1)

How To Hit Off A Tee

Many little league coaches and parents love coaching and working with kids, but don’t have a ton of experience teaching hitting. This article points out the key points that will help your young players who are beginning their journey in baseball or softball. It is super important that every player has a solid base and a good turn so that they can develop properly and have more fun in the sport!

Stop Swaying Back In Your Swing For More Power

Many times when a hitter sways back they think they are loading but in reality, they are not.  Hitters who have a tendency to swing back also spin off the ball, have a steep bat path, and inconsistent weight transfer in their swing.  Along with all that their perception of the ball will also be compromised.  This simple constraint drill makes the hitter accountable when they load.

Eliminate Sway Back Drill

  • I use the term “fake loading” to describe this as well because that is exactly what happens when a hitter sways back excessively. 
  • Hitters feel their weight sway back and they get very quad dominant into their back leg. 
  • This can cause hitters to jump forward, get caught on their backside and so much more. 
  • Below is a video of one of my hitters who was doing this same move that we ended up fixing.  Since then he has been doing so much better and practicing more efficiently!

 

Sway Back Constraint Drill

Making hitters feel something new and holding them accountable to do the right moves is how you create an environment for change.  The drill below is easy to set up and gives hitters instant feedback. 

3 Drill Benefits

 Pay attention to how I set everything up and then practice! There are other ways that this can be accomplished without even hitting. But since we always have to hit the ball this is a drill that allows you to do both!

Swing Direction

  • Since the hitter is no longer stuck on their backside now they are in a much more athletic position. 
  • This is free’s up the hitter allowing them to have a better swing through all pitches. 
  • Better swing direction allows for better adjustability in games.

Weight Transfer – 

  • Although we want to keep weight in our back hip we still have to transfer some of that weight forward into the front leg. 
  • This allows for better deceleration in the swing instead of hitters sitting back and spinning off. 
  • As long as your hitter isn’t lunging at the ball they need to get comfortable with that forward move the right way.

Bat Path

  • Since your hitter is no longer sitting back and spinning off their bat path will now stay through the zone longer and towards the pitcher versus yanking to the pull-side. 
  • This will increase chances for more hard-hit balls and even more power in games!

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Stop the Front Shoulder From Pulling Off

Stop The Front Shoulder From Pulling Off

Eric reviews one drill that he likes to use to cure a hitter from pulling off the ball. Pulling off the ball is one of the most common swing mistakes and usually comes from a hitter’s aggression. When coaching this flaw it is important not to eliminate the aggression, however, teach the hitter where the aggression needs to be.

Having Trouble Elevating the Ball_ This Could be Why

Having Trouble Elevating the Ball? This Could be Why

If you are having trouble elevating the ball, you could have a number of issues but one that can really hinder that ability is a forward landing and/or a forward pulling of the upper body.