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When it comes to hitting, we live in a world filled with mechanics and drills. While there’s certainly a place for both of these, optimizing swing mechanics is essential. Because of this, drills can be a great way to work on mechanics while getting a large number of repetitions completed in a short period.
The problem with station work and hitting drills is they are often mindlessly programmed, prescribed, and completed.
Often the players have no clue why they are doing the drill, thus leaving no imprint of relevancy in the mind of the player, leading to shallow focus and minimal performance carryover. Moreover, the coach that perpetually plans the same hitting drills over and over again yet lacks a deep understanding on their merits perpetuates this slog, leaving both the player and coaches unfulfilled.
You can program, design, and plan high-level hitting practices that are drill centered, yet relevant. The first step is developing a rapport with your players and establishing a clear line of communication describing what the goal of each hitting practice.
Players today don’t need you to tell them what, they want to know why. When we can demonstrate the 'what' and communicate the 'why', then we’re able to facilitate some buy-in. The first step of this is conveying a clear cut objective for each hitting session.
This hitting practice plan focuses on two precise objectives and contains five hitting drills that are superset with five strength drills that compliment the goal of the hitting drill.
As a coach, your team is your area of expertise. We will lay out the practice plan and drills, explaining to them so you understand the purpose of each drill and have the ability to teach and demonstrate them to your players, as well as to communicate the objective of this hitting practice (load and rotation).
One of the most important aspects of coaching is always continuing to learn. You don't want to be the coach who has 20 years of one year experience. Those coaches get left behind quickly.
If you see a drill you like, don't just throw it onto your practice plan. Find out the 'why' and the 'what' of the drill and then implement it. I see too many practices where hitters are doing mindless, time filling drills that don't get the hitter better.
You can use your established relationship and rapport to differentiate how much of the information you relay to your team or individual players according to their ability to understand, apply, and problem solve.
Each station has a hitting drill (A) and a strength movement that coincides with the goal of the hitting drill (B).
As mentioned before the primary goals of this hitting practice plan are:
Secondary goals include developing stability, core strength, and learning to control deceleration, but those subgoals can be your little secret.
This practice plan is great because it addresses many of the weakness that youth and high school athlete struggle with when it comes to hitting and hitting mechanics, while also incorporating strength and movement exercises that will increase movement efficiency and strength.
|Split Grip Half Turns||Helps the hitter feel how the barrel is supposed to turn behind the body. Helps avoid hand push|
|Paloff Press||Stabilize the core and helps with deceleration of the body|