There are a lot of questions surrounding how to approach your off-season and in-season hitting training. Should your focus be the same in-season versus off-season? Should a hitter do tee work, then start working off a live pitcher? Is tee work even necessary? Coach Lisle explains what he did as a college coach and recommends what the best way to approach practice is! Click on the video below…
For me, as a college coach, I would tell you that in the fall we spend a lot of time on the tee and front toss early on. We’re developing swing patterns. We’re really working on swing things.
And as quickly as possible, I need to get to live. Because what happens a lot is that we have hitters who do a great job off the tee or front toss. As soon as live happens, everything breaks down.
The two reasons that happens is, one, their swing movements have not been ingrained yet. That’s one of the reasons. Two is that we haven’t practiced on it. We haven’t practiced at that competitive, hard level. So if we go front toss, tee, every day for a month, and then we play a game, we’re getting eaten alive. Because we haven’t seen any live pitching. We haven’t seen anything competitive, anything tough, anything high pressure.
So we’ve got to figure out, how quickly can we get there without losing the foundation that we’re building?
I would just say it’s different for every group. I would definitely say in my mindset as a parent and a teacher, I have that mindset of like, the tee is kindergarten. We’re going to build some foundation there. Then we’re going to graduate to front toss. And then we’re going to graduate to overhand BP, and then live, and the machine work that we’re doing. So we’re progressing into that.
But I will tell you that we need to get to that live, high-pressure situation as soon as possible, because that’s really where a lot of the learning is happening, at that high level, and we’re having success. Because what happens is, again, we have a lot of success right here at the tee or front toss. And it doesn’t translate, because we never got to that high-pressure situation.
So it just depends on the season. I would tell you that when the spring comes and we’re playing games, it’s tee and front toss to feel good, and everything else is live and machine and really as game-like as possible. Because we’ve spent a lot of time already building the swings. And there might be things that we’re continuing to work on on our swing.
I can tell you that some of the Major League players that I still work with, I’m still getting text messages about how my front is open, closed, my backside pulling through, and they have a game tonight, they have a game tomorrow, and they’re still working on swing movement stuff. But for the most part, they’ve got to work it out, because live pitching is tough.
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