The Hitting Vault Coaches Group: Live Q+A

The Hitting Vault Coaches Group: Live Q+A

Here’s an sneak peak into an hour-long Q&A that Coach Lisle hosted on The Hitting Vault’s COACHES ONLY private Facebook page last night. This group is only for our COACH members, but we had such a good time we thought we’d share it with you.

Pop-up Q&A with Coach Lisle

One of the biggest benefits around being a Coach member of The Hitting Vault is our private Facebook Group. This group is specifically for coaches to share ideas, drills and to get exclusive access to Coach Lisle, Alexa, and The Hitting Vault coaching staff.

Question: What are your top 5 favorite hitting drills?

Answer: The top hitting drills that help that specific hitter are my favorite. I really hate to box it into “my favorite hitting drills.”

Having said that, the hitting drills that I use the most with my hitters are:

  • Bat Path Drill
  • Full Turn Drill
  • Separation Drill
  • See Saw Drill
  • Rock the Baby Drill

Those hitting drills are definitely my favorite, but it really depends on the individual hitter’s needs.

Question: What has been the biggest difference between college baseball and Major League Baseball?

Answer: The biggest difference is athleticism. Hitters movements and the kinetic chain sequences are just better at the professional level. Professional baseball and softball players have some tools that the average player doesn’t have. Having said that, I know many Division I hitters that are better than many minor league hitters.

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Question: What is the top drill to generate more power for my 11-year-old daughter?

Answer: Like the question above, the best softball hitting drill for your daughter really depends on what her specific needs are. But in general, I would recommend increasing intent and increasing the speed of her turns with some of the drills listed below:

  • Slow to Fast Drill
  • Full Turns
  • Finish your Swing Drill

Question: Are you familiar with the Back Spin Tee and what are your thoughts about it?

Answer: I like the back spin tee. I wouldn’t go out and say that it is a complete game changer for hitters. But I think its a good tee and can be a great addition to your toolbox as a coach or hitter.

Question: My 13 year old daughter is always being coached to use her lower half. Would the Paint Stick Drill be good for her?

Answer: Yes, this can be a great hitting drill for the lower half. But it wouldn’t be the first hitting drill I think of when it comes to the lower half. I would instead focus on full turns, half turns and the separation drill.

Question: For young baseball players, what sport translates best to baseball?

Answer: Any and all sports will help translate to baseball. Honestly!

Question: Is the Rise-Ball in softball a myth?

Answer: The ball rising is a myth. The release point is low and its thrown up. So it’s a high fastball thrown from a low point with a lower rate of dropping.

Question: What are your thoughts on facemasks for youth softball players? do they create bad habits when learning?

Answer: No. In my opinion, if it helps with safety and confidence, I’m all for it.

Question: My son moves up to live pitching this season. I’ve never had to coach him on pitch selection previously since the coach pitch league would be a majority of strikes. What’s the best way to teach him pitch recognition?

Answer: Great question! At the age of 7-8, I’d rather teach intent and aggressiveness as opposed to pitch selection.  I would also introduce the concept of hitting your favorite pitch. Have him identify the pitch that he hits really well, and focus on that.

Question: What are the best hitting drills for lefty slappers?

Answer: We currently don’t have any hitting drills specifically for slappers in The Hitting Vault. But there are some great resources on YouTube for slappers.

Question: What are your thoughts on swinging heavier wood in the cage? I have my son doing this to increase bat speed and it’s our own version of underload/overload training.

Answer: I’m all for this approach on increasing bat speed. Just make sure the hitters mechanics are not breaking down with the heavier bat.

Question: Hitting instructor question. In business, what do you think has enabled you to be successful? Also, what are the best tools for hitting instructors to stay organized?

Answer: This might be too long of answer for this forum, but I would say the biggest thing is having a growth mindset. Always be learning and finding great people to learn from. colloborate with them and never lose that growth mindset.

Question: What are your thoughts on a slightly open vs closed stance?

Answer: This one is totally up to the hitter. My right eye is very dominant and I don’t see well with my left eye. Having a slightly open stance helps me see the ball better.

Question: Can you explain to me why I explain the see-saw drill to my daughter and she laughs, but when I pay a hitting instructor $45 for a half hour she is intrigued?

Answer: I have five children, and none of them think I’m an expert at anything besides eating. So if you figure it out, please let me know. Haha!

Question: How often do you use a pitching machine? I’ve been hearing that game speed is better than soft toss now.

Answer: I use the pitching machine a lot. I tend to use it more often after we’ve been working on swing movements for a while. I’m not going to crank the pitching machine up on someone while I’m trying to teach them a new swing movement.

Question: What kind of mental approach do you teach your hitters? Be aggressive on the first pitch? Wait until you have a strike?

Answer: It’s a progression and also depends on the hitter. Ultimately, I teach my hitters to only swing at pitches they can do damage on. Obviously if you have two strikes, that changes a little bit, but still the same idea. We want to do damage regardless of the count.

Question: When you were at Mizzou, did you use the GameSense Sports pitch recognition app? What did you think?

Answer: Yes. We used the GameSense App. I loved it. I definitely think it will improve in the future, but it is a great program.

Question: As a high school coach for the past seven years, I’ve thought about trying to break into the college level. Any advice?

Answer: Starting off as a volunteer is the only way, unless you get really lucky or know someone. Approach the local college coach and ask to volunteer. Work your butt off and you’ll reap the rewards.

Question: What level was your first coaching job and how long did it take you to move up?

Answer: It’s been a long journey, but here it is:

  • 2000: 12 year old, Concord (CA) American Little League
  • 2002-2005 high school coach
  • 2006: NAIA coach
  • 2007: high school coach
  • 2008: Division III coach
  • 2009-2012: high school coach
  • 2013: Division I coach
  • 2014: Division II coach
  • 2015: Division I coach
  • 2016: NAIA coach
  • 2017-2018: Division I coach baseball and softball
  • 2019 – current: Major League Baseball


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