The progression of hitting drills that we’re about to demonstrate are called modified front toss hitting drills. The reason these are important to work on is it closely simulates a live pitcher. Many coaches out there or players may say, “I can’t throw BP.” But today we’re going to show you how you can modify it!
Modified Front Toss Hitting Drills
Hitting Drills Set Up:
Position the thrower a close distance from home plate, and place a safety screen so the front tosser is protected. By doing this, everyone on the team can throw a front toss. The reason that this is valuable is because the hitter can work on their timing of the throw coming out of the leg. The timing will be different every time, just like a live pitcher, because every single release is not always the same.
And what we’re doing is simulating live hitting in a modified setting where the batter’s going to get a high percentage of strikes. At the same time, we have an on-deck batter who is behind the sock net or a safety screen and she’s working on her timing and rhythm in watching the ball come into the zone. So you have two people working off of one pitch. This allows you to get a lot done in a small area and, hopefully, build a more productive hitter.
It’s important to emphasize that that front tosser gets her hands out of the way and she’s far enough away from the net that if the batter hits the ball right back at the net, she won’t get hit by the ball.
This front toss drill is going to work the inside pitch.
You want to ensure your hitter stays balanced in the swing, has the proper contact point out in front because this is a pitch that’s coming to the inside. She’s going to really focus on seeing the ball come out of the pitcher’s hand to simulate live batting practice.
As a batter, you’re doing everything you can to catch the inside side of the ball or the front of the ball. You don’t want to catch the outside part of that ball and hook it foul.
The next front toss drill works on hitting the ball to the opposite field for power. What we’re doing is we’re working our mental routines, working our physical mechanics, whether we’re in the box or we’re on deck behind the sock net.
You want to work on getting the ball deep in the zone. And when she does that she’s got all the power on that outside pitch. For those coaches that have players that have difficulty with this outside pitch, sometimes it helps to have the player not take a full pivot with their back foot. In other words, maybe they don’t snap their hips open as much as they normally would. This will help that player hit the ball to right field. But the number one problem with players that cannot hit to right field is they don’t let the ball get deep enough in the zone.
For more great hitting drills, check out the Softball Inner Circle! It’s full of hitting and pitching drills, plus conditioning exercises and much more – all with video demonstrations! And don’t forget to Like Us on Facebook, where you can discuss these and other great catcher drill ideas with other coaches!