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Being able to practice and improve your baseball skills at home is a great way to keep your mind focused and your body limber, but not everyone has a backyard large enough to run through batting drills at home. There are drills that you can work on alone in your yard, and others that you can try out at the park with a partner. Here are a couple baseball hitting drills that will help you practice some basic batting techniques.
1. Swinging at Fences: Working on the Inside Swing
Grab your bat and stand in front of a fence, far enough back that you can swing, but close enough that you can’t fully extend your arm. Keep your hands close to your body and take a few easy, slow swings to get used to the distance. As you get a feel for your swing and stopping before hitting the fence, gradually increase your speed, practicing a few swings at each new interval. Eventually, you want to be swinging at full speed. Practice this several times per week.
2. Swinging From the Knees: Working on a Level Swing
This is another great drill that you can practice on your own in a small space, or you can try it out with a friend. If you're on your own, just practice air swings. If you’ve got a teammate or partner to work with, take turns pitching to each other. The purpose of this drill is to improve your upper body and arm technique. Kneel down on both your knees and practice your swing (either batting balls or just swinging). As you swing, pay attention to keeping the bat level, and make a note if you’ve got any sort of uppercut. To mix it up a little, practice swinging from a seated position on a chair. Switch up the pitcher and batter after every 15 to 20 swings.
3. Whacking Wiffle Balls: Being Able to Determine Speed
It may seem a bit odd to use wiffle balls for baseball hitting drills, but it’s actually a great way to practice hitting balls that are going different speeds, and getting used to determining the speed of the ball and adjusting your swing accordingly. You will need a friend or partner for this drill, so it might be a better practice for the park, or a weekend drill if mom or dad can help out. If you and a friend or teammate are practicing together, you can take turns hitting and pitching.
Depending on your skill level, stand between 20 to 35 feet away from your partner. When it’s your turn to pitch, you will throw the wiffle ball, using underhand tosses, to your partner. To make it even more difficult, aim for different areas, like the inside and outside corners. When you’re up to bat, your partner will toss you the wiffle ball, and you’ll go through your full swing to hit the ball. The wiffle ball is going to act differently from a regular baseball, will travel at different speeds, and will be carried by the wind more easily, so it will take some time to get used to it. Switch up who’s hitting and who’s pitching after 10 to 20 turns.
Baseball hitting drills don’t have to be dull, so if you can get a few friends together in the yard or at the park, see if you can make a game of the drills that includes everyone, and gives you all the opportunity to work on your batting.