Baseball Hitting Drills for Power
At The Hitting Vault, we have over 50 baseball hitting drills specifically focused on creating power. In baseball, people often associate the term “power” with gargantuan sluggers hitting baseballs over the Green Monster at Fenway Park. However, you do not have to be six-foot-six to hit for power. LA Dodgers outfielder and 2018 American League MVP Mookie Betts and Astros second baseman José Altuve are players in baseball that hit for power that lack in size.
As Coach Lisle has said and as we believe here at The Hitting Vault, you do not have to hit the baseball 440 feet to have power. Power is generated from hip rotation, hard turns, and hip and shoulder separation. As mentioned above, Mookie Betts is a great example of lower half rotation, separation, and hard turns. He loads into his back leg, gives his hips a head start on a violent rotation to the ball, and elevates to celebrate. Click here to watch a swing analysis of Mookie, performed by The Hitting Vault Coach Alexa Peterson.
Four Baseball Hitting Drills for Power
The following four drills will set the foundation for you to hit for power, whether you’re playing high school baseball, playing at the collegiate level, or have been lucky enough to make it past college. These drills are designed to activate the lower half and generate power from the ground up, and it makes a difference. Here is a side by side of Oregon State Catcher Adley Rutschman from 2017 to 2018, and his insane jump in numbers.
1) The Flamingo Drill
The flamingo drill is a great start for this set of drills to hit for power because it works three important aspects of the swing: balance, bat control, and lower half rotation.
This baseball hitting drill forces you off your back foot and creates momentum through the baseball. To perform this drill, all you will need is a bat, ball, tee, and net.
Start on your back leg and stride to the tee and hit the ball. It is as simple as that. This drill is so simple, yet so effective for a few reasons. The first of which is it tests your balance and ability to maintain focus on the ball despite a changing eye line. Major League Baseball teams since 2015 have been working on integrating vision training into player development.
When you stride to the tee, you are going to rotate the hips through the pitcher and try to rotate your back so that it faces home plate.
Step One: Start on your back leg with your front leg raised at a 90-degree angle. From this position, you are going to control your stride to the tee while loading your hands and begin the swing.
Step Two: Attack the baseball, lead with the lower half and explode through the baseball.
Step Three: Finish through the ball while rotating your back towards home plate and your back shoulder should be pointed towards the shortstop for a righty, and the second baseman for a lefty.
This baseball hitting drill for power is an effective warm up to the rest of the drills and would be an excellent way to finish off fine-tuning your swing during your time in the cage or off the tee.
2) Full Turns
One of the hardest things to do in sports is hit a baseball, yet the movements that compose an elite swing can be so simple. The Full Turns drill is simple, yet incredibly effective. All you need here is a bat. The purpose of the full turn drill is to activate the core and lower half to produce stronger and more aggressive turns through the swing.
Start in your stance with the bat in your hands extended out in front of you. This position is shown in the picture below, and row the bat across your chest.
There are a few variations to this drill from here, and we suggest to build into all three. Begin with the full turn with hesitation. Here, you will get into your stance, stride like you normally would, and then pause at launch position (when your front heel hits).
Pause here for three seconds and hold it, make sure you feel the shift of balance and the lower half ready to explode.
After the pause, rotate your hips through and finish the swing.
Here, you want to work on getting the knob of the bat to the pitcher and turning your back to “the camera” in this situation. It is important that when the hitter finishes this swing that if you kicked out the hitters back foot they would fall BACK and not forward.
The next step in this sequence is to remove the hesitation. To do this, go full swing and really feel the lower half explode and the body turn through the baseball.
The final step in the full turn drill would be to do a full turn drill with timing. In the full turn drill with timing, the hitter will do the same thing, but it will be timed to front toss from fifteen feet away. The hitter can work the drill while working on timing his load and exploding through the ball. Simple, yet very effective.
3) Lower Body Coil
You will hear throughout The Hitting Vault a term called “Launch Position.” The launch position is the position you are in once your front heel hits, typically after you stride forward. The lower body coil drill works on getting a proper load with the lower half and working into a good launch position. This drill is one of our favorite baseball hitting drills for power, and all that you will need here is a bat.
For the lower body coil drill it is important that when rotating, you want to try to show the catcher your belly button. As a result, you’ll also show the pitcher your back pocket without rotating your shoulders too much. It creates a coil in your lower half and gives the hips a head start in the kinetic chain that produces power through the rest of the swing. If you do not load effectively and land in a proper launch position it is going to be hard to hit the baseball with power.
The drill begins with the hitter in his stance.
From here, you need to load into the back leg, creating that coil effect. In the image below, notice how the hitters back pocket is being shown to the pitcher, and his belly button is pointing to the catcher. This movement builds up potential energy in the lower body that needs to be released through rotating and hitting the baseball from a good launch position.
From this coil, you will stride your normal length and hold. It is important to feel the hips opening up and the separation between hips and shoulders that ultimately creates power.
The lower body coil drill is an excellent drill for creating power. If you need an example of a hitter with great lower body coil, check out Christian Yelich. You will notice that Christian has elite movements and rotates his hips through the baseball. Like Christian, Josh Donaldson is another example of the effective lower body coil. You will notice that Josh loads into his back leg and then begins to release the rest of the swing through his stride.
4) K Posture Drill
The final drill in this set of baseball hitting drills for power, is the K-Posture Drill. For this drill you will need a bat, tee, ball, and a slant board. The k-posture drill will drive muscle memory of what a great launch position should feel like. This drill integrates full turns, timing, and lower body coils- basically everything we have worked on throughout this article.
To start this drill, have the slant board on a steeper angle –around 45 degrees– to have the hitter feel the proper load position. See how the body creates this ‘k’ position. The back leg should be at the top of the board, and the load in this swing should be exerted into the back leg.
This baseball hitting drill produces an absurd amount of power because it’s working a large load into the back leg and then forcing the hitter off that back leg and through the baseball.
Control the stride forwards off the slant board and then attack the baseball with intent. Notice how the hitter’s back foot is off the board below. He is turned into his front side releasing all the tension built up in the load.
More Baseball Hitting Drills for Power
Hitting a baseball with power comes from hip rotation and hip and shoulder separation. Through these four drills that Coach Matt Lisle and The Hitting Vault have shown in this article, you can take these to the cages and put in the work to improve your performance at the plate!
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