Friday, December 16, 2005

Linear Hitting on your Own!

Self Toss:  A Way to Measure Success

To improve linear hitting, players will use their momentum while improving eye hand coordination through self toss.  

The hitter will possess a ball in their top hand.  With their lead arm, the hitter will hold the bat handle and rest the bat’s barrel against their shoulder.  The hitter will take two hard shuffle steps towards the net or screen they are hitting into.  On the second shuffle step, the hitter will flip the ball out in front of them with their top hand.  After the flip, the hitter will grab the bat with the top hand and carry out the swing, helping the lead arm that was already on the bat.  During the swing, the hitter will try to get their back leg off the ground and rotated behind their lead leg.  To get these results, the hitter must try and generate strong straight line momentum with their two hard shuffle steps.  The hitter should be encouraged to forcefully push with their rear leg during the shuffle.  Also, on the flip, the hitter must toss the ball out in front of their body.  When the ball is flipped in front of the body, the hitter can practice using momentum to fire through the pitch.  If the flip is not out front, the hitter cannot use the force generated by the two shuffle steps.        

This really has been challenging for our young hitters.  The drill really makes the hitter concentrate on staying focused on the ball.  The hitter must stay down on the flip and accelerated through contact.  The hitter should try and pull their back foot off the ground through rear leg generated momentum.  Sometimes, this goes against the hitter's old teachings of keeping their weight back.  In this drill, the hitter should forcefully drive their weight forward, while keeping their hands back to get lead arm extension.  Furthermore, the beauty of this drill is that hitters can perform it without the use of a partner.  After completing the drill, the hitter should stop on their follow through and check to see if all their weight has shifted from the back to a firm front side.           

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