How to Coach: Hitting #2 is the second in DC’s series designed to assist the coach in teaching hitting. While Part #1 focused on the LEGS, this segment focuses on the ARMS. Note: Part #3 will work to put the two of these together. In building a solid hitting base, instruction begins with the legs, then moves up to the big movements of the hands / arms. Part #3 will work to put the two of these together before instruction gets more focused on the swing. Coaching Note: Be careful that you don’t get too technical. If you do, do so individually and only as appropriate. Teaching hitting will take time, so be consistent and break instruction up to present over several sessions or practices.
EXECUTION / DRILL STATION & SET UP – When teaching an individual, the station and set-up isn’t as relevant. In a team environment, however, station and structure is a huge part of creating athlete focus! Use six cones to mark initial staging area and group instruction. Then, use a batting cage or catch net to set up the ‘live’ hitting station. Tee work is best to teach early hitting, as the focus is on swing fundamentals rather than the challenge of hitting soft-toss, front-toss, or live pitching.
- Group – Start the drill by having each group member take their hitting stance at a cone. Place six cones in a semi-circle, with ample room for each to practice their swing. Stand in front of the group and explain the way the drill will be conducted… and then get into instruction (movement of the hands, see below). Next, move inside the cage or over to the catch net for individual swings.
- Individual / Broken Swings – Each athlete rotates through the ‘live’ hitting area individually for 5-8 swings. Initially, athletes are to execute proper fundamentals using freezes and holds to see, feel, and experience the correct technique. Adjust number of swings depending on the size of the group.
- Individual / Live Swings – Continuing to rotate through individually, athletes are to apply instruction to live swings.
EXECUTION / INSTRUCTION – HTC Hitting #2 utilizes broken movements early. This means, freezing after taking a stride/load (position #1 in DC’s hitting system). The focus of this drill is moving the hands to the proper launch position. Coach Malec refers to this as the “punch position.”
- Start – Begin movements with the feet at the wide, “athletic-base” position from session #1 (after taking the stride). The hands should start directly in front of the face.
- Hands Load – Hands move from in front of face… to a position in front of the back shoulder. Like a slingshot loading away from the head.
- Head Still – Head needs to stay still. Want hands to separate from front shoulder and head.
Goal: Starting with a wide base and the hands in front of the face… want to feel the hands load to the punch position… swing like heck… and hold the finish. Strength and balance throughout the swing.
- Strength – Start by taking hand to strongest knockout position… to learn where that “LAUNCH” position is (just outside shoulder).
- Head Still – Avoid the body sway. If needbe, place a hand on a helmet hold the head… while the hands move.
- Barrel Over Head (advanced) – At the proper launch position, the barrel of the bat actually points up and over the hitter’s head. Front elbow also stays bent & close to body.
- Assign Homework – Use MyClipboard’s Homework tool to get athletes to work at home. Dry swings, tee work, balance beam drill… ANYTHING!!
- WIDE BASE, HANDS @ FACE
- LOAD TO KNOCKOUT POSITION
- BROKEN SWINGS, THEN LIVE
- STRONG HANDS
- HEAD STILL
- BARREL OVER HANDS
- ASSIGN HOMEWORK
- Baseball Buckets1
- Catch Net1
- Batting Tee1