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Monday, September 26, 2011

Don't Forget Your (Batting) Tee Time!

Don't Forget Your (Batting) Tee Time!
By guest author: Olan Suddeth

Most experienced coaches are already quite familiar with the advice I am about to give. In their case, please forgive my restating of what might be obvious, and browse some of the other articles on this site. The new baseball coach, however, would do well to pay attention.

I am about to reveal to you the single most useful tool for improving the hitting skills of your batters. Please, take a seat. I don't want the shock to overcome you. Are you ready?

I present to you: the batting tee!

That's correct. The tee is the single most useful tool for improving the hitting skills of your batters. You may bellieve that your players are too old to benefit from a tee... and you could not be further from the truth. Did you know that major league hitters practice by hitting off of a tee every single day? Are you suggesting that your eight (or ten or twelve) year olds know more about hitting than Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Derek Lee, or other big league stars?

Now that I hopefully have your attention, I will explain why this is. Understand, there is no substitute for live pitching - tee drills cannot help with your batter's sense of timing, or his ability to pick up on or identify pitch location, pitch type, velocity, etc. But unless you have Greg Maddux pitching your batting pracice sessions, there is no way you can hope to put the ball in the same place every time, which allows you to analyze the batter's swing. With a tee, you can really watch what your hitter is doing, make suggestions, and get many, many repititions in in a reltively short period of time. This is the reason that, if you were to take your player to pretty much any professional hitting coach in the country, the first thing the coach would do would be to drag out a tee.

If your player has a hitch in his swing, you can identify it with a tee. If he needs to work on the inside pitch (or the low pitch, or the outside pitch), you can simply move the tee and give him extra repititions. If he has a loop or dip in his swing, you can place a second tee behind the one holding the ball and force him to adapt a correct swing path. With a tee, you can build the all-important muscle memory needed for a good, consistent swing.

I cannot emphasize this enough - very few practices should ever go by without your players hitting off of a tee. This is an absolutely ideal station activity, is easy to place, and if you happen to also own a net, can be done in even the smallest of spaces.

The bottom line: if you do not own a tee, and you coach a youth baseball team, go and drop a few bucks on one today. You will not regret the investment in the best hitting tool ever made.

Olan Suddeth is a little league baseball coach in the Birmingham, Alabama area. His website, Youth Baseball Info (http://www.youthbaseballinfo.com) offers free drills, articles, and tips for youth baseball coches, parents, and fans.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Olan_Suddeth

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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