With the amount of content currently surrounding hitting a baseball, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the countless drills and advice out there for beginner baseball hitters. Launch angles, exit velocity and exit speed are the up and coming metrics that elite baseball players are looking at to improve their hitting and unlocking their power.
As a beginner you don’t need to worry about those metrics. If you’re just getting started playing baseball, you might have more simple questions to ask like how should I grip the bat? Am I standing in the right spot in the batter’s box? How far should I stride? How should I position my body weight? These are all common questions we get from hitters that are just getting started, or looking to take their swing from good to great.
It’s critical to learn good habits and get the core of your swing firing on all cylinders before jumping up to big league hitting drills.
At The Hitting Vault, we break down the swing for beginners in six simple stages. Starting with the simplest question, how do you grip the bat? And what is the proper way to stand at the plate? We refer to it as our SwingBuild program. We’ve found that hitters that develop good habits in these six fundamental stages of the swing position themselves for success as they move up the baseball ranks.
- Stride and Separation
- Swing Path
Hitting Drills for Beginners
Keeping in mind the above core stages of the swing, check out some of our favorite drills here at The Hitting Vault to re-enforce those good habits and movements. For the drills below, all of the equipment needed is a baseball, bat, tee and net. All of the drills you see below are designed to be done using a tee.
K Posture Drill
One of the most common flaws for hitters that are just starting out is they tend to drop their back shoulder in an effort to get on the same plane as the baseball. At The Hitting Vault, we work with all of our hitters on what we call K Posture.
We refer to K Posture as the position we want to be in when we start and progress through our swing. As a hitter that is just starting out, it’s important to start to feel this posture and build muscle memory for maintaining this posture throughout your swing.
To perform this drill, we use a slant board to elevate the hitters back leg when hitting off of a tee. If you don’t have access to a slant board, you can use a cinder block or anything stable that elevates the hitters back foot while he performs the swing.
With the back leg raised off the ground, you’ll notice that the hitter has a hard time collapsing that back side and is forced to maintain that great K Posture throughout the swing. This drill will also help your hitter feel the proper launch position. Often, beginner hitters transfer their weight back in their launch and lose their K Posture and 50/50 balance, this drill will teach the hitter what it feels like to maintain great posture throughout the swing. As your hitter begins to feel more comfortable with this drill, you can reduce the height of the slant board so the hitters back foot is closer to the ground. Eventually, you can remove the slant board all together as long as your hitter is starting to feel the correct posture.
Bat Path Drill
This drill keeps it simple for beginner hitters by breaking the swing progression down into three easy steps. To get started, approach the Tee and get into your stance near the back of the batter’s box.
Get in your stance, and start your swing pausing at the launch position. Here, you’ll want to see your front heel up and off the ground, and your bat should be vertical with the barrel pointing straight up. Be sure that your posture is similar to the hitter below:
Develop a rhythm of the bat falling and your heel falling together. These two moves should happen simultaneously and our hips should begin to open and separate. The key to this drill is rhythm and beginning to feel these movements. Perform the first two progressions three or four times consecutively before jumping to the third progression.
After getting a rhythm and performing the first two progressions a few times, we’ll then want to finish the drill by finishing our swing and driving the ball off the tee into the net.
This drill is a great way to break up the different movements in the swing and begin to feel each one. Being an elite hitter has so much to do with the rhythm and feel of the swing, when we work with beginner hitters we like to spend time breaking the swing down and pausing at each phase to ensure we’re doing the movements correctly. Once we feel comfortable with the movements in these phases, we then complete the drill by driving the baseball into the net. If at any time you feel you are losing your K posture or something doesn’t feel right, slow down your tempo and focus on getting the correct movements at each phase before finishing the swing.
Stride and Separation Drill
Often times beginner hitters develop bad habits in regards to their stride. At The Vault we refer to this phase of the swing as Stride and Separation.
To start the drill, you’ll begin with your feet together and the knob of the bat right at your belly button.
Next, you will focus on striding and getting some separation from your upper body. After completing your stride, you will pause and hold to evaluate your launch position. This movement should feel like a controlled fall with the weight transfer coming from the back to your front knee. Here, you should maintain your K posture and maintain 50/50 balance with your weight. With your front foot, you will want it to be open at 45-60 degrees and your front knee bent slightly.
After completing this step and getting to the proper launch position, you can then return to the starting position with your feet together and repeat. After feeling comfortable with the controlled fall and the proper launch position, you can then finish the swing off the tee from the initial position.
Always remember to feel the movements while doing these drills. For beginner hitters, the feel of these movements is the most critical aspect and by doing these drills you will start to develop the feel for being in the right position.
A very handy tool for hitters that are just starting out is a mirror. If your parents, brother, sister or coach is unavailable to give feedback on your movements, a mirror can be your best friend. Work on getting to the correct launch position and then check yourself out in the mirror. How are my hands? Is my front foot at the 45-60 degree angle that we look for? Am I maintaining my K Posture and keeping my balance at 50/50? These are all great questions to ask yourself when you are a beginner hitter in baseball.
Interested in more drills for beginner hitters? Get started with a Hitting Vault membership today!