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Precision Tee Work is Imperative

  • by Coach Ross
  • 2 min read
Nothing disappoints coaches more than seeing their athletes go through drills halfheartedly. But, the reality of the situation is that it happens. Coaches are always outnumbered by their players (though the ratio varies with age and skill level) and that can be a recipe for disaster.

That is why it's so important for a coach to establish team discipline from the outset of a season. If the players hold themselves accountable and work hard, they will improve on a daily basis. However, if the athletes go through their drills at half-speed, they will develop bad habits and their skills will deteriorate.

One thing to keep in mind - the drills in which a player is most likely to "lollygag" are often predictable. For example, it's reasonable to believe that an athlete will put forth more effort while taking live batting practice than if they are doing tee drills. This is where team discipline comes into play - separating the pretenders from the contenders.

In order for a ballplayer to get the most out of their tee work, it is essential that a system is in place. First the athlete must find a consistent "home" in the batter's box. This allows a hitter to develop a feel for the strike zone and be true to themselves (only swing at their pitch). Here is a video where Coach Layson shows an easy way to start your stance in a consistent spot.

Once a batter establishes his residence in the box, he can begin to focus on altering pitch locations during tee drills. In order to become a "complete" hitter it is imperative that an athlete rotates the pitch location equally and systematically. It's crucial that a hitter prepares for all portions of the strike zone - inside and out, front and back of the plate and up/down in the zone. Keep a log of pitch locations you are are working on, if using our Pitch Zone Locator you can identify each spot with a letter and a number, for example D5, similar to the game of battleship you played as a child. Also notice you have 50+ locations to work, the biggest mistake many hitters make is tee work in only one or three (inside/middle/outside) locations.

With proper training a hitter will be capable of producing a quality swing in every pitch location. The development of this muscle memory prevents the undesirable result of a player's mechanics breaking down and allows a batter to hit the ball where its pitched. This "hit it where it's pitched" approach is the purest form of batting and will inevitably lead to better results for the player and their team.