MaxBP Reaction Training Drill – “Accuracy Tracking” [VIDEO]
Improved reaction timing is established with the use of the MaxBP pitching machine. It will improve overall hand-eye coordination as well as increase pitch recognition in the batter’s box through quicker adjustments to off-speed pitches.
What the Accuracy Tracking drill focuses on?
In this video, Ryan Harrison with Slow The Game Down demonstrates the value of using the MaxBP wiffle ball pitching machine for the “Accuracy Tracking” training drill. Professional baseball player, Tyler Heineman, joins Harrison for the drill exhibiting major league talent. Notice Heineman’s appropriate batting stance throughout the drill.
Specifically, the Accuracy Tracking training drill combines the “Track & Catch” skill with visual accuracy ability by using the Pitch Zone Locator. The Pitch Zone Locator is a rubric that can measure inside, central, and outside pitches according to the hitter’s ball contact zone. The locator must be placed on home plate horizontally and measures on a one to seven (1-7) scale with “1” and “7” toggled to the outside edges of the strike zone. During the drill, the hitter calls out the number where the ball is caught according to the Pitch Zone Locator.
Why is this accuracy tracking drill effective?
The Accuracy Tracking training drill is similar to Harrison’s “visual inhale drill” which trains a hitter to focus on pitch and entertain location awareness. As with the Track & Catch training drill, this drill is only completed correctly when (1) the hitter catches the ball with his bare hand, (2) while deep in the zone, and (3) with the hitter correctly recognizing the ball in the catch location by the Pitch Zone Locator. The Accuracy Tracking training drill is effective because it assists a hitter to develop his hand-eye coordination, patience, and discipline at the plate. Completed properly, the drill also ensures that the hitter moves as one with his hand and eyes, with little to no movement elsewhere.
How can coaches implement this drill with their teams?
Unlike several other MaxBP Training Drills where an assistant can be voluntary (meaning a player can practice on his own with a net or wall behind him), the Accuracy Tracking training drill is most efficient when a coach or catcher is behind the hitter confirming the hitter’s Pitch Zone Locator estimates match up to the number scale. As an extra benefit, the lack of whiffle balls and bats for this specific drill lower the risk for injury.
What are the different variations of this technique?
A hitter may easily modify the Pitch Zone Locator from its horizontal place on the plate to a vertical one. This change measures the up-and-back aspects of when a hitter catches the ball in the zone according to the “1-7” scale.
Furthermore, a hitter or coach could hang the Pitch Zone Locator vertically on the opposite side of the hitter using a simple pole and string measuring the high, central, and low areas where the hitter catches the ball in the strike zone. Technically, a pitcher may easily operate the Pitch Zone Locator as to help with the pitching location in both a vertical and horizontal fashion.
Why is small ball training with a MaxBP machine important?
Utilizing the small whiffle ball and Pitch Zone Locator combined with the hand-eye coordination required through the Track & Catch training drill, Accuracy Tracking will further drive home the hitter’s ability to recognize pitches, while increasing his patience and discipline at the plate.