We were having troubles with our girls “loading-up”, “going-negative”, etc. at the plate.   We put them on the pitching machine every day trying to get them to work on their per-swing timing.   These [tag]softball hitting drills[/tag] really improved the girls “load-up” during their pre-hit which in turn greatly improved their contact percentages.

Here is the drill we came up with:
When using a pitching machine during practice (indoor or outdoor) have the person loading the balls make a “ptiching arm swing” timed with the release of the [tag]softball[/tag] into the machine.   The speed of the arm swing is not that important.   It’s more important to get the release of the ball into the machine correct.
Here is another qick tip.   If your pitching machine is adjustable leave the head a little (just a very little) loose.   This will allow a little wiggle in the head and in turn send pitches to the batter more like a live pitcher. This does require more effort from the person loading the balls.   They have to watch the pitches and regularly adjust the aim to keep them in, or near, the strike zone.

Combining these to tips really helped us out this year both in giving the batters realistic batting practice.