by: Larry Cicchiello

Do yourself a favor and never underestimate the importance of working off the batting tee. Let’s just make sure we use it properly. The batting tee is very versatile and can be set up almost anywhere and by no means is a baseball field even required. During bad weather for example, you can hang an old piece of carpeting against the garage wall, set up your tee, and start hacking. I would highly recommend that anyone who is serious about their baseball hitting should own a batting tee. (And no, I don’t sell them nor am I affiliated with anyone who sells them either.)

Sometimes it takes many, many repetitions to break a bad habit and the proper use of the batting tee can speed up the entire process. Instead of getting just 10 swings in practice, you can get an additional 100 off a batting tee. If a player is struggling at the plate, life will be made much easier if he can get back on the right track in a week or so compared to a month or so.

Some Things Necessary For Getting the Maximum Benefit From the Batting Tee:

1. That it’s set up properly.

2. That you take the same swing that you would normally take in a live game. If you are willing to spend your time, you are certainly entitled to reap the benefits.

3. Position yourself and the ball on the tee so it is at the point where you would normally be making contact with a live pitch in a game. A good starting point is to place the ball across from your front striding foot, before the stride is taken.

4. You can change this as you see fit because you are the one doing the baseball hitting. Waist high is a good height when working on your overall swing but you can vary the height of the batting tee if you want to practice at a specific height.

5. Feel free to position the tee so you can practice hitting both inside and outside pitches as well.

As a rule, youngsters are not a big fan of the batting tee and quite often feel it’s boring. To motivate them, remind them that many outstanding professional hitters take as many as 500 swings a day off the tee. Always take your work off the batting tee very seriously and you must swing like you are swinging at a live pitch in a ball game! It is one of the best baseball coaching drills for a coach to use with his players. What can possibly be better than speeding up the process if one of your players has “lost” their stroke? Or to maintain your swing if you are in a good groove?

If you have developed a bad habit at the plate, it may take 300 repetitions for your muscle memory to take over. If doing this on a ball field, it will take quite a long time. On the other hand, you can hit 100 balls off a batting tee in no time at all. Why should a player struggle for a couple of weeks if he can get back on track in two or three days? Remember, practice doesn’t make perfect but perfect practice makes perfect. If you’re working off the batting tee, obviously you are willing to put in the time so don’t cheat yourself and make sure you get the full benefit that you deserve and use your regular “game” swing.

Larry Cicchiello is the successful author of “Excellent Baseball Coaching: 30 Seconds Away.” His VERY user friendly eBooks and CD’s cover 320 topics on playing very good baseball. ALL players, coaches or baseball parents who want to help their child will be fully equipped! Larry.s site offers some FREE baseball tips on hitting and FREE baseball pitching tips. Click Here http://var/web/site/

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