For this post I’m going to focus on 4 drills that I use with my hitting students. They can be done using a batting tee or in front toss drills.
After I’ve described these 4 drills, I’m going to run through the 6 drills that I designed for the 3S Hitting System, and how they help take your swing to the next level.
Ready? Here are the first 4:
1) Mirror work
This one is as simple as it gets. All you need is a mirror big enough to see your whole swing, from your feet to your head. If you don’t have one, a sliding glass door will do the trick (Do not swing the bat inside your house). No balls or tee are needed for this.
When you’re doing mirror work, your focus is on learning how to get your swing starts by practicing going from your stance to getting into the correct position we want to swing from.
Try to keep these things in mind:
1. Practicing getting your weight back so that you can stride. “Loading up”
2. Make sure your hands are going back and up and getting into a “launch position” as you stride forward
3. When you have finished striding have you landed in an athletic position? Do you have good balance?
4. We are using the mirror as a video camera, this allows us to see in real time what we are feeling.
5. When you think you are doing it well, close your eyes and perform the steps listed above. When finished open your eyes and see what you look like. Feel what you are doing.
2) Hands Drill
With this drill we’re working on how to keep our hands inside the baseball, and staying short to the ball. You can do this with a Tee or with side or front toss.
Instead of facing the pitcher, open your stance slightly by planting your front leg about a foot further to the side of home plate than normal, and spread your feet apart. Place the Tee 3-4 inches out in front of your front foot in the middle of the plate. Now swing, try to hit the ball right back at the pitchers mound.
This drill isolates how our hands and bat approach the hitting zone and stay through that zone.
3) Walk Through Drill
This one’s my favorite, because it really hammers home how similar a baseball swing is to walking. It hammers home the importance of the front leg providing stability and how our back hip travels to the ball.
I’m going to describe this drill for a right-handed swing. To start, set up a tee with a ball on it. Then, walk up to the tee and hit the ball all in one motion. You want to time it so that your left foot lands where it would if you had taken a normal swing. However, you’re not done yet. You want to finish the motion by taking on extra step with your right foot.
We do this because we want to over exaggerate bringing our backside through the ball. Practice this drill as many times as it takes to start feeling comfortable. Once you get the hang of it try it with front toss.
4) Extension Drill
This drill works on keeping the barrel in the zone when you extend to the outside of the plate. Here we’re using a normal stance. Set the Tee so the ball’s on the outer half of the plate about 4-5 inches forward.
You want to then try to hit the up the middle instead of hitting it the other way. The resulting swing forces you to stay on top of the ball and through the ball. It teaches you to keep the barrel in the zone, and to do so for as long as possible.
5) Fungo Drill
The last drill I call the “Fungo Drill.” The Fungo Drill works on hand eye coordination. It also teaches you what good contact feels like.
First, toss the ball with your front hand, about head high out in front by your front foot. Then, pick a spot on the field and hit it there. Maybe aim for between 1st and second. Then switch it up and aim for where the shortstop would be. Then aim for down each of the foul lines.
Keep switching it up until you’re consistently hitting where you’re aiming. Remember that each time you are tossing the ball with your front hand, then putting both hands on the bat and swinging.
After you’ve hit 15-20 balls tossing with your front hand, switch to tossing with your back hand. The rest of the drill is the same as the first part.
The 3S Drills
I designed the 3S Hitting System because I felt that hitter’s had too many options. You shouldn’t need 5 different tools to work on your swing. One kit that covered everything, that was my goal.
Here are the 6 drills that I’ve developed that get the most out of the 3S. Next to the drill is which component you use (Swing Blaster or Swing Stabilizer). Once you have your own, you’re welcome to see if you can come up with others. I’d love to hear about them if you do!
1) The Extension Drill (The Swing Blaster)
This drill works differently from the extension drill I described above. For this one you won’t need a tee.
The Extension drill allows you to get a feel for the proper “Bat Path,” or “Slot,” for an optimal swing. For this drill you should be in your normal stance.
You first take your swing, stop at full extension (right after where you would make contact), and hold for 3 seconds. Then we are going to allow the tube to bring the barrel and our hands back. Make sure to do this slowly and deliberately, in the beginning to get a feel for it, then you can increase the speed as you get a feel for having resistance on the barrel of your bat.
1. This action is part of the drill and strengthens your muscles
2. It helps avoid any snapback action from the resistance tubing
Do this 10 – 15 times.
2) Rapid Fire Drill (Swing Blaster)
In this drill you’re working on hand speed, hand strength, and what it feels like to stay in the slot and take a proper swing.
You’re going to set up again in a normal stance. Take a swing, but instead of holding like the extension drill, continue to work your hands back and forth, maintaining control of the barrel in the slot.
Try to get at least 10-12 back and forth motions in. Take a 60 second break and start again. Do this 3 times
3) Blasting Drill
This is essentially the first two drills combined into one. Get in position, step into the swing, and hold at extension for 2 seconds. Then begin working the barrel through the slot the same way you did in the rapid fire drill. Stop and rest after 10-15 back and forth motions. Repeat 3 times.
4) The Pepper Drill
If you’re forearms, hands and wrists aren’t burning yet, they will be after this drill.
The most important difference between this drill and the Rapid Fire drill is your stance. With the first 3 drills, you set up the same as a normal swing. With the Pepper Drill, open up your stance by moving your front foot about a foot off to the side. It’s the same stance as the “Hands Drill” above.
After you’re set up, start swinging through the slot, but keep the contact point the same as for the other drills.
5) Resistance Drill (The Swing Stabilizer)
The Swing Stabilizer works by providing resistance or assistance to your swing. You gain awareness of how to maintain your balance, and how your hips should rotate through your swing. Plus you strengthen your core.
To set up the Swing Stabilizer for resistance training, stretch it out on the ground. Then pick it up with your back hand and place the cushioned part around your back shoulder. Spin to your left (right handed hitter) 360 degrees.
From here, get in a good stance and take your normal practice swing. You can do this with or without a tee, but if you have one handy, there’s no reason not to use it.
Take 10 swings and take a break. Repeat 3 times.
6) Overspeed Drill (The Swing Stabilizer)
To me, the Overspeed Drill sets the 3S apart from other training tools, because it actually trains you how to move faster., and your hips need to properly rotate to generate power and speed up your bat. To do this, you need something that will actually pull you through the motion. What better than resistance tubing?
To set this up, you do everything the same as the Resistance Drill, but you spin to your right (again, right handed hitters).
Once you’re in position, take 10 practice swings and take a break. You guessed it: Repeat 3 times.
So that’s it! Thanks for taking the time to get to this point. If you like what you see here, I’d love to share more tips, experiences and stories of my career with you. Please sign up for our newsletter for weekly updates!