Often, hitting instruction is targeted to the high school or older level athlete. Mike Stith demonstrates drills for the Under 10 group and shows how to add progressions to them as players develop their posture, speed and strength over time.
Beginning with basic tee drills, Coach Stith runs a hitting workout that gradually builds up into the ultimate challenge of hitting, batting off a live pitcher. Stith drills emphasize good balance and posture, which are key to successful hitting. Learning those skills must start at the Under 10 group and carry right through to the college level.
Knob, Knuckles, Barrel:
Following the order of knob, knuckles, barrel will create a good path to the ball. Coach Stith emphasizes that is not how hard you swing or how fast you swing, but how long the hands stay on the path of the ball. All the drills in this video focus on this philosophy of technique.For each drill, Coach Stith explains the method and purpose of the drill while showing athletes of various ages perform it.
Top Hand Drills:
This area focuses on increasing the time of the bat head in the hitting zone by using your top hand to drive the knob of the bat through the hitting zone. By following the palm up, palm down philosophy you will keep the hands in a better position to drive the ball. Progressions in this drill include isolating the bottom hand and also several drills done from the knee.
Machine and Live Pitch Drills:
Coach Stith starts with 8 year olds hitting off a machine and progresses through high school seniors explaining that both good machine and live pitch drills can be tools when modified throughout an entire career. One point of emphasis at any age is on the landing angle of the front foot. Landing with the front toe open allows the hips to clear better and protect the hip joint. Coach Stith demonstrates a live hitting drill on the field that incorporates a full field with groups of 5 or 6 hitters, base runners and defensive players to make efficient use of time and keep all players busy.
Coach Stith will show you how to run effective quality hitting drills, and how to adapt them for each age group, that will produce hitters who strike fear into opposing pitchers.
Mike Stith is founder of Team Mizuno and is the organization's Director of Player Development and College Recruitment; Head Coach for Team Mizuno's 16U Travel Team; 3x ASA National Championship Coach.
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