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Staged Soft Toss for Stride Development

  • by Coach Ross
  • 2 min read

It’s important for a hitter to remember that the stride and swing are two completely separate actions. These different aspects of the swing should be broken down accordingly. An effective drill to accentuate each respective fundamental is the staged soft toss drill.

In this particular exercise, an athlete should set up their MaxBP Reaction Training machine on the soft toss speed at the slowest feeder interval. For athletes who don’t have access to a MaxBP, performing this drill with a practice partner is another option. At some point before the indicator light goes on, the hitter should take their stride. To ensure they are practicing proper mechanics, the hitter should focus on being in the most athletic position possible and while making sure their hand launching position is directly over their back foot. With practice and repetition, the stride should be the same as the one they take in a game - consistent and fundamentally sound.

Following the stride, the hitter should wait on the ball as long as possible, before exploding through the hitting zone with their quick hips and generated torque. It’s also important for an athlete to stick their balance. In order to be in the most advantageous athletic position, a hitter should be solid, comfortable and balanced throughout the entire swing. This will give them the best opportunity to read and react to multiple pitches types at varied locations.

This is an effective drill for athletes 11 years old and above. In order to perform this exercise an athlete will need a game bat or BetterBat Skinny Barrel Training Bat, wiffle balls and a MaxBP machine (or practice partner).

As your performing this drill it’s important to remember that the stride and swing are two separate parts of the hitting process. Once an athlete is equally comfortable in every stage of the exercise, they are becoming one with their muscle memory and fundamentals.