Youth Baseball Hitting Drills – Get Hits
As coaches, we are always looking for something that will make our players better. We need the magic bullet. What is the one thing that will take their game to the next level? I am going to be the one that tells you the answer to that burning question. The answer is hard work. It is the only thing that will make a player better. These youth baseball hitting drills will help them on their way.
Now that you know the answer what can you do with it?
You have to give them one tool at a time that will make them better. These tools are practiced over and over again by doing drills. When it comes to hitting there are quite a few drills that will produce the desired effect. Choosing the right youth baseball hitting drill depends on the hitter.
Timing is one of the hardest things to teach any hitter. Young players have a really hard TIME with timing. You have that player who swings as soon as they see the ball. Then there is the one who swings when they hear the ball hit the catcher’s mitt. How can you get these players on time? You use the “Load and react” youth baseball hitting drill.
Load and React
Load and react is a great drill for all players even if they don’t seem to have timing issues. As players get older pitcher will learn to change speed. All players need to learn how to adjust their timing to be able to hit what they see.
This drill will start with a player ready to hit. I usually have another player in a safe area off to the side working the same drill with dry swings. Dry swings are when a player is practicing their swing without hitting a ball.
The coach will stand in front or off to the side to flip the ball. This will be an underhand front toss or side toss drill.
- The coach will start with their arm extended out in front of them showing the batter the ball. The coach will then bring their arm back as if to start flipping the ball.
- When the coach is bringing their arm back the player will start the load / prepare part of the swing.
- The coach will then bring their arm forward to imitate tossing the ball.
- As the coach is doing this the player will get to toe touch.
- The coach will repeat this drill two or three times ( keep it random ).
- Every time the ball is not tossed the player will go back to the stance position and get ready to do it again.
- Finally, the coach will actually toss the ball.
- The player will swing and try to hit the ball. The player should be able to hit the ball with maximum power if they are doing the drill correctly.
While doing this drill you will be watching to make sure the batter is maintaining their balance. You are also watching to make sure the batter keeps their head back. If the batter’s head moves forward the player is losing power and won’t be able to hit the ball hard if they are early. You will also be looking to make sure that the batter does not move their hands. The hands will be fired by the hips and in this drill, the hips should not engage until the ball is tossed.
Be sure to read the Hitting page on Hitting With Wood so that you have a clear understanding of the different phases of the swing as I see it.
Side toss is a good drill to work with hitters when you are short on space. It is also a good drill to give the coach a different angle to watch hitters from. It does have some negative side effects if you do it too much.
Side toss will start out with a batter ready to hit. There will be a net or fence in front of them about 10 to 15 feet. The coach will be kneeling down facing the batter from the side. As the coach, you are going to want to make sure you give good tosses. The toss should float up slightly above the player’s waist. You will also want to make sure that the ball is in the hitting zone, usually right in front of the batter over the middle of the plate.
- The tosser will start with their arm extended out in front of them
- Then the tosser will drop their arm down
- When the tosser’s arm drops the player will load/prepare
- The tosser will toss the ball into the hitting zone
- The hitter will progress through the launch and swing attempting to hit the ball
- Repeat as many times as needed.
You will be watching the swing mechanics during this youth baseball hitting drill. Often it is better if you can get another player to do the flips while you watch. If you are coaching younger players this might not be possible.
This technique can cause some problems if the tosses are not good. Make sure the ball is in the hitting zone. Another problem that can occur is if the batter starts to watch the ball off to the side of them. Make sure the batter always starts the drill looking out at an imaginary pitcher. They can turn their head to the ball after they see the tosser’s arm start to move.
2 Ball Drill
The 2 ball drill is a variation of the side toss drill. This youth baseball hitting drill helps develop a batter’s focus on the target.
To do this drill you will need a few baseball that is colored differently. I usually just color a few balls with a marker.
In this drill, the tosser will have two baseballs in their hand. One regular and one colored. Both balls will be tossed at the same time. The tosser will call out which ball to hit. Most of my balls are colored blue so I tell the hitter to hit or blue. The batter will then hit whichever ball has been called.
During this drill, you will want to watch for the batter’s ability to pick out the correct ball and focus on making good contact with it.
See Ball Drill
This is a youth baseball hitting drill to help batter pick up the baseball when it is pitched. Seeing the ball as early as possible will help a batter with deciding if a pitch is a ball or a strike before it is too late to stop swinging.
This drill is done during live batting practice. The drill is simple: call “Ball” as soon as the hitter sees the baseball.
The coach will throw the ball normally from a batting practice distance. The player will yell, “Ball,” as soon as they see the baseball either in the coaches wind up or shortly after the ball is released. The player will then continue to try to hit the ball as they would in normal batting practice.
Watch the players, make sure they are looking for the pitcher’s release point. Make sure the batter is calling “ball” in the first third of the distance between the pitcher and home plate.
With these drills, your hitters will be on time and more focused on the ball. If these drills don’t make your hitters better check with me and I will review what the problems your hitters are facing are and give you specific drills that will help them.