The Barrier Tee Drill

Instant Feedback With The Barrier Tee Drill

Everyone can agree that to become a great hitter you have to practice.  Although hitting off a tee a lot can cause some issues with your swing and create bad habits.  The barrier tee drill is great for practice on your own.  It is simply effective and will help you train smarter.

The main purpose of this drill is to engrain habits that will help you perform better in the game.  Gaining an understanding of swing direction, proper bat path, and extension through the ball are all things you need to become the hitter you want to become.

3 Things this Drill Will Help You Improve

1. Contact point- When hitting the outside pitch often youngers hitters tend to hook around the ball.  As a result, this can turn many pitches that are thrown on the outside corner into rollovers aka outs.  With the placement of the screen, it will force hitters to adjust there contact point on the ball closer to the inner half as opposed to the outer half. For the pitches down the middle and inside your contact point will be more out front.

2. Swing Direction- Probably the most important thin this drill will help with is the direction of your swing.  Many hitters lack the ability to get their bodies moving through the direction of the ball.  Sure you load and stride the same every time but in regards to the pitch height and pitch depth that solely comes from the direction and tilt of your body.  Doing this incorrectly will result in hitting the screen and a possible ricochet of your face! Check out this other drill for swing direction to get your swing moving in the right path.

3. Delivering the Barrel- Often times kids will have a difficult time getting the barrel properly to the ball.  Especially on the outside pitch.  They will push their hands forward resulting in the barrel to lag too far behind and creating a mis-hit ball to the opposite field.  The goal is to deliver the barrel flush and square.  If you are not hitting the ball hard you may be "attacking contact vs attacking bat path"

Contact Point Outside Pitch
Outside Pitch Tee Drill

Above you can the hitter demonstrating the three things to look for when hitting an outside pitch.  His shoulders are rotated at the correct degree when hitting this pitch.  This will also allow him to stay on the baseball driving it to the right-center gap. Notice where his barrel is hitting the ball.  Slightly on the inside part of the ball, this is hitting the ball square on this outside pitch.

Contact point middle pitch
Middle Pitch Tee Drill

Here you can see what it should look like at contact for a pitch down the middle.  The shoulders have rotated slightly further but as you can see his direction is through the middle of the field.  Hitters may try and push their hands too far forward to avoid hitting the screen.  If you do this properly you will not hit the screen and it will be a hard line drive up the middle.

Contact Point Inside Pitch
Inside Pitch Tee Drill

Lastly, we are making contact on the outside pitch.  The hitter has rotated his shoulders slightly further again to help him meet that pitch out front.  Notice though he is still not coming or hooking around the outside part of the ball.  The goal here is to drive the ball are with a true spin through the left side of the cage.  No hooking just hard consistent contact.

One Thing to Lookout For

The Barrier Tee drill will give you instant feedback from swing to swing.  The thing that will inhibit your hitters from getting better is changing where you stand in the box.  In the videos below I explain that you must remain consistent.  The only thing that will move around is the tee depending on what part of the field you're trying to hit too.

The pictures above also give a great indicator of where you need where the tee needs to be set up.  Pay attention to where you stand in the box and move the tee around accordingly.

Barrier Tee Drill Backside and Pullside

Barrier Tee Drill Up the Middle

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Increase Strength and Flexibility In Hitting

We have used the Rebel’s Rack, power bands and the rack bat attachment in many videos.  This drill combines all three creating a drill that will benefit almost all hitters. Whether you’re a young little leaguer or a Division-1 athlete you have yo be able to side-bend

Getting hitters to feel a certain movement is crucial for them to learn it. Having them increase strength and flexibility while practicing hitting is rare. Thankfully we have tools and drills such as this one to accomplish that. Not only will hitters get into side-bend better they will also get stronger due to the resistance the bands create.

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The Biggest Benefits for Hitter's From this Drill

Feeling The Transition From Hip Hinge to Side Bend

Many Hitters struggle with this the most especially on low and in pitches. Often times hitter think they have to clear their upper body out of the way to reach low pitches.  This results in top spun balls to the hitter’s pull side. Getting hitters to feel the transition from hinge to side bend will allow them to crush those lower pitches just by improving their posture.

Gaining better body control and Awareness

Since the bands are attached low and the increased length of the rack bat it will force hitters to have to control their “Turn”  much more. Again if we can get hitters to feel where their body needs to be and how it needs to move. Only then we will get hitters to do what we want.  Creating a difficult movement like this will enforce good posture and overall body control.

Core strength and Range of Motion Through the Spine

A Lot of young hitters lack core strength and stability.  With the bands it will force them to get stronger or else they will be falling all over the place.  This will also help hitters gain more range of motion due to the fact they have to hold their side bend throughout the turn.  By going faster while doing this drill properly it will make them stronger with the correct posture.

Don't be a Hero

We need the bands to create some resistance but too much resistance will cause some bad habits.  If your hitter is young and small then using just one black band will be enough resistance.  After the hitter gains more control, technique and speed then you should add more resistance. Therefore don't try and do too much to soon, master the movement and feel the side-bend then load the movement even more.

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Help Your Swing By Striding Forward

In regards to tempo and timing, the Long Stride Drill is great when done correctly.  Hitters who feel that they are spinning off the ball are probably caught on their backside.  Being able to move forward during your stride is key to getting the most out of a hitters swing. 

This is for hitters to gain a better understanding of how early they start to load, the tempo they move at, and overall body control.  

What Are We Trying to Correct with this Drill?

  1. Tempo: I am very big on how fast and how smooth my hitter’s stride in lessons.  When hitters are forced to start in a more narrow stance they have to start earlier to time the pitch.  The early preparation gives them time to set up their body with a good hinge at the hips and a slight turn in with their upper body. Moving smoothly while staying controlled is key here. 

2. Swing Direction: Since we are striding farther the hitter's body will move forward more than normal.  When hitters keep there head back as they move forward this helps set their body up in power positions.  The forward motion will help their swing go where it needs to go. Since the ball comes from the middle of the field (pitcher) we need our body to stride that way properly so we can react to the pitch with the correct swing direction. 

3. Getting off of Your Backside-  As I mentioned before, hitters who have a tendency to get stuck back and spin-off the ball have minimal forward movement. Feeling the longer stride, in my opinion, will help free up the hitter's movement patterns and get them comfortable with starting early and moving the hips forward. 

Keep in Mind

Hitter's, especially young ones, will have a tendency to drive their head forward during this drill. This is extremely detrimental to hitters and put's them in terrible positions that hinder their success.

If we have the hitters focus on striding with their hips and moving them out farther, then we are creating the proper angles needed to drive the ball into the outfield.

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The Barrier Tee Drill

The Barrier Tee Drill

Start driving balls to all fields and improve your bat path on all pitch locations with the Barrier Tee drill series from Garrett Gordon.

Increasing Strength & Flexibility

Increasing Strength & Flexibility During Hitting Practice

Check out one tool to help your hitter’s increase strength and flexibility while they practice working on their swing. Check out the video & apply it today.

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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Understanding Tempo in the Swing

The Flow of Timing

Everyone these days is looking for drills to just magically fix their swing. Whether it's trying to eliminate bat drag or gaining more power from better hip and shoulder separation.  The list goes on and on. But one thing that most people overlook is their tempo in the swing and timing with their load.

The side toss tempo drill will help hitters gain a better understanding of why starting their load slower and earlier will lead to more hard-hit balls.

Tempo Side Toss Drill

3 Ways this Helps with Tempo in the Swing

Body Control

This drill will help hitters have more flow and tempo by controlling their bodies.  Moving slower and earlier will challenge your hitter to pay attention to when they have to start their load.  Executing this drill correctly is important if you want to gain better control of your body.  

 

Timing

Hitters of all ages have always asked the question of “how do I get better with timing the pitch”.  In my opinion, timing is very focused based. Meaning if you're late pitch after pitch you're not focusing enough to get ready on time.  With this drill you will have to get in sync with the side tosser or else you will fail to achieve the rhythm and flow of what timing a pitch really means.

Swing Direction

Since we are flipping from the side hitters will be forced to maintain their swing direction.  If at any point their upper body leaks away from the ball chances are it will result in a mis-hit. Keeping proper swing direction all starts with the load and the initial start of the swing.

 

One Thing to Avoid

When performing this drill you have to have a side tosser who is competent at flipping the ball.  If your flipper is moving too fast then this defeats the purpose of the drill.  Your motion when you flip should be slow and fluid giving the hitter a chance to time up the flip.

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Understanding how to increase movement quality in hitters is paramount for their success. Learn how to identify and correct key movement deficiencies.

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Deliver More Force In Your Swing

When hitters come to us here at Baseball Rebellion they want to hit the ball harder, farther, and most do both those things more consistently. Understanding the sequence of the swing and where power comes is crucial to becoming a better hitter.

We all know we have to turn our hips to start the swing.  Often times hitters will yank their back foot with their hip too soon causing issues.  If you want to deliver more force into your swing, then the Anchored Band Drill may be what you need!

Anchored Band Drill

3 Things The Anchored Band Drill Will Help

Understanding The Sequence:  The hips must fire first as the upper body resists during the initial part of the swing.  If the back foot immediately comes off the ground then the force may somewhat be lost and two its will sometimes cause the direction of the force of the swing to get above the plane of the pitch.  The goal here is to understand that the back hip can fire and turn without the back foot jumping off the ground.  After the hips fire and stop that's when the back foot may turn and even pull forward.

Less Top Spun Balls: Hitters will feel strong and fast in their sewing and then start making contact above the equator of the ball.  We know that we need to slightly hit the bottom of the ball working up.  If you immediately jump off your backside. This will cause your bat path to rise above the correct path of the ball resulting in rollovers pull-side and weak contact.

Swing Direction:  The direction of the swing starts with the back hip firing correctly.  If we have that jump spinning motion we never really get the force of the turn to go where we want it.  The key is to feel the hips direct the swing path from the start.  While maintaining a connection to the ground it will give hitters the best chance to make hard contact.

One Thing to Lookout For

Make sure you pay attention to what your back heel does.  We want to make sure that when we turn our hips the back heel is pulled with it.  This will result in a more organic and natural move then try to force the back foot through the turn. You need to pay attention to where I place the band as well.  It's not under the midfoot or the heel.

The band should be placed under the ball of the front foot. The goal is to get the hips to turn while keeping the front of the foot planted as the back heel is pulled up and forward with the back hip.

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Proper Swing Direction with the Angled Tee Drill

In this day and age, there is a huge argument about "Feel vs Real". Understanding the difference is crucial for your development as a hitter. Doing drills that you feel and that will give you actual real results is something hitters obviously need.

With the angled tee drill below, you will see how it will help hitters feel proper swing direction, deceleration of the hips and prevent over-rotation on inside pitches. All of these things are incredibly important if you want to hit line drives more consistently as well as hit for more power.

Angled Tee Drill

After you watch the drill scroll below for more information!

3 Things This Drill Will Help

  1. Swing Direction: The Inside pitch for most hitters when hit properly will result in the hardest and farthest hit balls.  When hitting off the tee traditionally hitters may have a problem hooking that inside pitch.  Angling your body the way I'm showing you with this drill will help hitters feel the proper path through contact pon this inside pitch.
  2. Over-Rotation:  As I explained earlier we have to be able to stop the hips to maximize your swing.  When angled in hitters can't rotate as far and if they do they will hit the ball poorly.  The goal here is to feel the stop of the hips while maintaining direction through the ball resulting in more line drives.
  3. Contact Point: For many hitters, they struggle to hit the ball out front with proper swing direction.  This drill forces hitters to hit it out front simulating an inside pitch.  If your swing direction is on point, up and through the ball then you will crush this drill and gain a better understanding of how and where you need to hit the inside pitch.

Why Your Hips Need To Decelerate

Many hitters lack the understanding that the hips have to decelerate for the upper body to release through the zone properly.  Of course, we have to start our swing with our hips accelerating fast but the abrupt stopping of the hips is where you get the juice. Think about when you slam on the brakes in the car. If you're going at enough speed your body will fly forward only to be stopped by the seat belt.

Often times hitters will be over-rotating to try and create more power.  There may be times where they can over-rotate and run into that middle to inside pitch.  But this will not be repeatable in the cage and chances are they will not be able to adjust to pitches in games.

Check out this old school video breakdown of Manny Ramirez launching an inside pitch.  You will see how the hips start and then abruptly stop giving him the power to crush this Homerun.

One Thing To Look Out For

When you see the drills we post here you have to make sure you are setting the drill up and performing it correctly.  If you don't set it up correctly, you will wonder why you're not understanding or feeling what the drill has to offer.  The goal of this Angled Tee Drill is to feel the hips stop.  Don't confuse that for angling your body farther in.  The angle is no more than 45 degrees and places the ball on the tee parallel to where your front foot would land.

If you're looking for another angled drill to do as well check out Angled Medicine Ball Throws as well.

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The Barrier Tee Drill

The Barrier Tee Drill

Start driving balls to all fields and improve your bat path on all pitch locations with the Barrier Tee drill series from Garrett Gordon.

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What Motivates You?

As a player, ask yourself why you play the game.  As a parent ask yourself why your kid plays the game, do they play because you make them? Is their goal to someday play in the big leagues one day? Or just wants to play once or twice a week because their friends do?  The bottom line is taking ownership.

Find what motivates you and then plan your goals accordingly. If you don’t want to put in the extra time then you’re not allowed to be upset about your poor performance.  If your goal is to have fun, I can assure you that if you practice and get better you will have more fun.

The Initial Work

Let’s say you’re trying to take your game to the next level by learning our movements, getting in-person lessons, online lessons, or maybe you’re just out on your own trying to turn better.  

When hitters get introduced to the Rebel's Rack for the first time, there usually is slight hesitation. "How can a red bar teach me how to hit?" I'm sure is the first thought that crosses their mind. But once they buy-in and learn the movement progression, something awesome happens. 

Immediately you start hitting the ball better, this makes you happy. Being the newest hitting instructor here I have seen this time and time again over the past 5 months.  I have seen the drastic jumps in exit velocity and distance. This is really cool to see and gives me AND the hitter reassurance that what we teach is beneficial.

The Honeymoon Phase

The "honeymoon phase" always eventually wears off. Hitters think that because they have improved once by working on the movements, they will improve every time. Even if they don't work as hard as they did in between the next few lessons as they did between the first two.

Usually, the first thing we ask as instructors is “have you been doing your turns?”  roughly 75% may be more of the time the answer is “no” or the kid says “yes” and then the parent in the background is shaking their head “no”.

This is very frustrating and makes us all here at Baseball/Softball Rebellion disappointed and annoyed.  No, we don’t get mad nor take it personally but we do know that if you don’t practice your movements you will never be as good as you can be. You must take ownership of your practice. 

You Invest Your Money, But Do You Invest In Yourself?

The checklist goes like this: do you have a rebel’s rack? Yes. Do you get lessons either in person or online” Yes. Do you play on a team? Yes. Ok, so you commit to all those things and then still don’t take the time to do your turns?  Your parents have invested money in you so that you can get better. Quite frankly it is disrespectful to them when you don’t practice on your own. What you lack is dedication, and that’s not ok. But guess what now you can fix it. As a player at any age, you have to be real with how much time you dedicate to getting better.

3 ways to relate the game to life
The Classroom

Now this section has nothing to do with school but it has everything to do with the process of getting better.  Getting lessons, going to clinics or camps is the equivalent to a classroom. This is the time where you gain knowledge that needs to be remembered. 

If you’re in a one on one lesson you have to be fully present and be in that exact moment. 100% focus throughout the whole time you’re getting instruction is key for your development.  You have to be willing to change and learn. If you’re not willing to do that then guess what your performance will suffer.

The Homework
The Test

How You Can Become The Best Version of You

Find your Best stride

When it comes to finding your best stride there are movements your body has to do to create a solid turn.  The length of your stride is something that needs to be considered. Often times hitters shorten their stride without ever really noticing that they are doing them.  Therefore you need to pay attention to what you are doing. The width of your stride is also something that can’t be neglected. If you feel off-balance when you stride and then turn it could be because the width of your stride is too narrow.  Check out the video below for more information.

Find your Best turn

After making sure your stride is locked in, your head and chest position are good.  Now it’s time to find your best turn. Your best turn should feel fast and effortless.  You should be able to maintain balance throughout the whole turn. I understand not every turn will be perfect but over time you can get it pretty close.  The more you repeat your best turn the more often it will come out in games. Watch the video below on why you need to find your best turn.

Final Thoughts

After reading this article I hope you don’t feel like I am personally attacking anyone.  As an instructor, I want the best for any athlete I get to work with. I know from my own experience that if you put in the hard work and develop your skills, you can get pretty close to what you want. 

Figure out what you want when it comes to playing baseball or softball. If your goal is to play in college and get a scholarship, then you better be working your tail off to get that. Take ownership of your career and how far it can go. 

You never want to look back and think “I could have done more” I have had that same feeling and let me tell you what, it does not feel good.  But I didn't know the things back then that I do know now! So here I am urging to get better, try a lot bit more, focus on what you need to fix and this will make you better!

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The 3 Tee Drill: Drive the Ball to All Fields

When you hit off the tee correctly you can help yourself create better movement patterns, especially if you are trying to work on something new. The 3 tee drill may seem excessive but when done properly it can help you develop a more consistent bat path through the ball.  Understanding the different angles your body has to create to hit different pitch locations is crucial if you want to hit well.

How these Tee Drills Help Bat Angle and Contact Point

In the three videos below you will see three different MLB players hitting the ball three different places. From outside to inside and from up to down you will notice how it changes a hitter's shoulder angles.  As the pitch gets lower it requires the hitter to side bend further.  Creating a more vertical bat angle.  Don't panic about your vertical bat angle score if you are using Blast Motion.  The vertical bat angle is solely depending on the height of the pitch.  The contact point also needs to be discussed here, the goal is to hit the ball out front.  For outside pitches hitting it deeper can be ideal for maximizing contact on more pitches.  Middle and inside pitches must be hit even more out front for the ball to be driven properly.

Opposite Field Homer
howie kendrick gif
  • Pitch Location: Low and away
  • Contact Point: Deep, contact between back hip and front knee
  • Bat Angle: More Vertical
Dead Center Bomb
pete alonso gif
  • Pitch Location: Middle thigh high
  • Contact Point: Out front, contact between front knee and front foot
  • Bat Angle: Less vertical
Pull-Side Moonshot
bo bichete gif
  • Pitch Location: High and inside
  • Contact Point: Furthest out front, contact made at front foot or further
  • Bat Angle: Least Vertical

3 Benefits to the 3 Tee Drill

  1. Deliberate Practice- This drill will force you to practice with more focus.  If your bat path is inconsistent you will notice it immediately.  Challenge yourself with this drill and spice up your tee work.
  2. Immediate Feedback- The best part about the three tee drill is that it will give you immediate feedback if your bat path is off. For example, if I don't stay through the outside pitch properly I will most likely pull across and hit the middle ball. The goal is to drive every ball off the tee hard making solid contact.
  3. Reinforces Correct Posture- Problems are caused when the chest and shoulders pull away from the ball.  For this drill, you must maintain chest and shoulder position correctly to truly get the most out of your tee work.  Check out the video below for further explanation.

3 Tee Drill

Be Careful

Often times when hitters are hitting off the tee they tend to change their stance, stride, and overall position at the plate.  Wherever you want to stand is fine.  You will have to adjust the tee's accordingly depending on your position in the box.  The goal here is to stay consistent and mimic what would happen in the game. Practice better and you will become better.

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The Barrier Tee Drill

The Barrier Tee Drill

Start driving balls to all fields and improve your bat path on all pitch locations with the Barrier Tee drill series from Garrett Gordon.

10 tee drills for power

Tee Drill Progression: How to Use a Launch Angle Tee

Frequently, Baseball Rebellion is emailed with questions about the Launch Angle Tee, one of our products.  Many times, these emails have questions about the tee or adapter top itself.  However,…

Feeling the Initial Start of the Swing

We have talked about this before about the Initial start of the swing.  It is crucial for a hitter to understand that if they want to hit the ball harder and farther they have to get their sequence right.  Understanding the first initial moves and why you need to get your barrel slotted is crucial for success at the plate.

What is the Slot?

After reading the article that I tagged in the paragraph above we know that the swing starts with the hips.  After that, the torso and the back knee and elbow begin to move as well.  This is what will allow hitters to have the proper sequence in their swing. Getting the bat connected to a hitters turn is mandatory and if not done properly the hitter will not succeed even less.  One of the most important aspects of the swing that this helps is swing direction.  Direction starts with the proper sequence. Check out the video below for further information.

The Slot Simplifies

After hitters gain a better understanding of how to slot the barrel it will make decision making better.  When hitters get to this "Slotted" position if makes them have to worry about things.  Contact point and side bend are what will help hitter get to and through the ball much more efficiently.  Contact point gets ditched by your timing and whether the pitch inside, outside or middle. The height of the pitch will determine how much a hitter will have to side bend.  The higher the pitch the less side bend.  The lower the pitch the hitter will have to side bend more.  With the proper slot and sequence of the swing this is how hitters will be able to keep it simple and effective.

3 Things this Drill will Help

  1. Sequence- many hitters often times turn the hips, torso, and shoulder together.  This will cause an improper bat path.  As a result the barrel will come in and out of the zone.  Therefore you must pay close attention to how I do this drill so you can reap the benefits of getting your sequence right.
  2. Early Connection-  Another important part of the swing is getting the barrel connected to the hitters to turn.  This drill done properly will help hitters feel the initial start of the swing and also get their bat slotted properly. Get slotted and get connected.
  3. Swing Direction- My favorite thing to get hitters to understand better is swing direction.  It starts with the sequence but without proper slotting of the bat with the back knee and back elbow, swing direction will suffer.

The Main Thing to Avoid

This drill is simple to gain an understanding of how to find your slot in your swing. The move itself is subtle and you shouldn't try to overdo it.  The front shoulder shouldn't drastically rotate away from home plate when learning this move. The goal is to get the hips turned then letting the knee and elbow move together.  The front shoulder should move upward instead of outward.

Banded Slot Drill

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The Barrier Tee Drill

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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...

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