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Arbutus Little League - Since 1953, Everyday a Hit!

Batting, Sliding, Baserunning Drills

It's all about the batter controlling the bat.  Use the right bat !!  Not a bat that's too long or heavy.
Teach your players to do the following from the feet up. The basics are bolded in red:

1 - Spread the feet shoulders-width apart - This prevents from falling over when swinging.  To get the proper width, jump up.  The feet will land shoulder-width apart.

2 - Get Lined Up by standing close to the plate:

  • Stand back from the plate about the length of the foot from the edge of the plate.
  • A swinging bat needs to extend to the outside edge of the plate to get the outside pitches.
  • Umpires tend to have a big strike zone to avoid a lot of walks.
  • The ball will travel where the tips of the feet are pointing. After the swing, place a bat on the tips of the toes on the front and back feet. It will align to the where the ball traveled.

3 - Fingers Set - Line-up the knuckles (the ones you bang on a door). This helps them swing the bat more level on the same plane as the ball.

4 - Bend, Twist and Load:

  • Bend the knees - Helps them swing more easily
  • Twist the hips backwards - Uncoil like a spring, swinging with the hips, shoulders, and arms to add power.
  • Load the swing by leaning back on their back leg and push forward on the swing (like the Happy Gilmore golf swing) - This adds power to their swing.

5 - Hands Up and Relaxed - This prevents late swings:

  • Hand raised back and high off the shoulder and no higher than the shoulders, with the bat tilting down at a 45 degree and the hilt pointing down at the catcher. Facing the pitcher, the batter should be able to tap the bat to the back of their helmet. Hands NOT in the right position is the major cause of swinging late
  • Arms relaxed in an inverted "V" - Elbows are down. Elbows up means the swing will be off.

6 - Head down and over the plate - The batter needs to bend over the plate to see that the ball is in the strike zone. This also shifts the balance onto their toes and creates muscle tension on their thighs.

7 - Eyes on the ball and watch the bat hit the ball - Or it's like trying to hit a nail with a hammer without looking.

8 - And Swing-batter-batter:

  • Step towards the pitcher pushing from the back leg and uncoiling the hips. This allows the ball to be hit straight-up-the-middle meaning a better chance of getting-on-base. With a hittable ball, the ball will travel where the tips of the feet are pointing (meaning after the swing, place a bat on the tips of the toes on the front and back feet. The bat will point towards where a hittable ball will travel)
  •  Aim the hands, not the bat, at the ball – Otherwise the bat will control the swing, with the bat swinging all-over-the-place
  •  Ground the back foot - Lifting the back foot during the swing means the batter will be thrown off balance.

Teaching Kids to Hit

Sliding - Excercise #1 (2:49) and Excercise #2 (1:29)

Baserunning and Leading Exercise #1 (7:24) and Excercise #2 (2:43).

Advanced Tips for Older Players

  • Bite the Shirt Drill:
  • This will add power to the swing by keeping the head stable and eyes down after the swing. Have them hold the front shoulder of the t-shirt in their mouth at about the point where it crosses their front collarbone
  • Practice with a white rag stuffed in the Tee and make sure they can see the white rag at contact. In a pitching machine, place a ball on the floor by the outside corner of the plate and make sure they are looking at it at after contact and not watching where they hit the ball. Them ask the batter “Are you stronger with your head down or up?”

Arbutus Little League

5525 Shelbourne Rd 
Arbutus, Maryland 21227
Email : [email protected]
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