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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tips For a Great Batting Practice

By Mike Posey

Batting practice is an important ingredient to every practice, but it can also be a time waster. Many players at a young age accomplish little during an ineffective BP session. Here are a few tips to help every coach run a quick paced, exciting, BP session.

Batting Practices that Rock!

Stay in Small Groups.
Divide your team into groups of 4 or 5. One group can hit BP, one can be in the field shagging balls, and one group can be with another coach in the batting cages working on tee drills or toss drills.

Good Batting Practice Pitchers Throw Strikes.
A good BP pitcher must throw a lot of strikes and keep the pace moving. We also use a hack-attack pitching machine twice a week to supplement our pitching. Use coaches to throw BP when possible and let the players throw in scrimmages.

Take Quick Short Rounds
Hit in quick short rounds of no more than eight (8) swings. Keep the hitters moving in and out. Usually hit 3-5 rounds.

Have a Goal for Each Round
Each round must have a purpose. First round can be to the opposite field, second round can be hit and run, third round can be moving runners over from second, etc.

Use a Lightning Round at the End.
Lightning rounds can be fun as the last round. The concept of a lightning round is every hitter gets one pitch, if he hits a line drive then he gets a second pitch. Every line drive will result in another chance. If they miss, then the next player jumps in. Keep them moving in and out.

Use a Roll On Batting Tunnel
A portable roll on tunnel will help BP move much faster. Every league should invest in a good roll on to use every day at practice.

make sure everyone is busy and hustles when changing groups. Group in the field can rotate to the cages, the cage group rotates to the field BP, and the BP hitters go to the field. Use a stop watch or field timer if needed (you can even use an air horn when its time to change groups, train them to hustle)

Running the Bases
If you have enough players for a fourth group, then add a base running group. If not, you can have groups of four or five, with two base runners while the others hit. But plan to practice base running at times during BP.

Take Ground Balls
If possible, have fielders rotate into short and second. A coach (or volunteer) can hit fungo ground balls in between BP pitches.

Situational Hitting
Some BP sessions can include a round of situational hitting. The coach calls out the situation for the hitter to execute (if you have runners on base, put them in a situation). For example, runners on third with no outs. (hit a ground ball in the infield or outfield fly ball) Runner at second base with no outs (hit behind the runner to move him up to third base)

Batting practice should be fun. Keep them moving and throw strikes.

Mike Posey "CP"
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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick