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Practice a Balanced Turn on the Tee

  • by Coach Ross
  • 2 min read

We’ve all witnessed a long, impressive foul ball, and although it may draw some “oohs and aahs” from the crowd, in the end - it’s nothing more than a loud strike. The more impressive feat is keeping that same pitch fair and helping your team put a crooked number on the scoreboard.

To help a hitter develop the ability to keep an inside pitch fair, the player must develop a muscle memory of balance and patience. A great place to start this development is on the tee with the “Practice a Balanced Turn” drill.

In this drill, the athlete will settle into their comfortable and sound batting stance. Relative to the plate and using the tee, set up a belt high, inside pitch.. Practice staying calm and collected, despite the fact that the pitch is located in the hitter’s wheel house. Using a balanced and mechanically sound swing, turn those hips and drive that pitch with the bat head (barrel). The ball will be set in the location closest to the pitcher in relation to every other pitch in the strike zone. In order to get the bat head on the ball, the hitter must make contact with this particular pitch out in front of the plate. Stay balanced! Turning on a pitch doesn't excuse a hitter from staying sturdy throughout their swing.

This is an excellent drill for hitters 11 years of age or older. To exercise this drill an athlete will need a tee, game bat, balls, a fixed plate and a target (fair/foul line).

To drive the belt high, inside pitch, it requires the earliest contact and the greatest amount of torque. The hands have a difficult time instinctively knowing where to go, because the location forces such a drastic turn by the body. In other words, you can hit almost every other strike between left-center and right-center field; however, the belt high, inside pitch, should undoubtedly be pulled by a hitter. The term "keeping the ball fair" right down the line was derived from turning on a belt high inside pitch. Don't forget to keep your eyes down and focused on the target like any other hitting drill.

It’s important to understand the feeling of those quick, relaxed hands and violent hip action leading to a frozen rope or a tape measure home run. But, it’s imperative for a hitter to realize that the foundation of the swing remains the same, no matter the pitch type or location. In any given ballgame a hitter only gets so many pitches to “do some serious damage with.” Don’t blow an opportunity by being over aggressive - stay calm, collected and balanced.