Cal Ripken, one of the greatest baseball players in Major League history, knew the key to perfecting his hitting mechanics. He was always a big proponent of spending as much time as possible hitting off a batting tee. Ripken knew that hitting off a tee was the best way to work on each component of his swing.
Here is a batting tee workout that I developed for my hitters:
- Begin each session by just loosening up. Hit 10 balls at less than full speed.
- Next- Concentrate on individual components of the swing. Hit 10-15 balls (each) focusing on the following:
- Front foot/leg lift and slight hip turn (slow and powerful) https://torque-hitting.com/2013/07/02/is-your-hitting-stuck-in-the-mud/
- Upper body/lower body conflict (try to keep your upper body still and your bat back as long as possible as your lower body powerfully rotates) https://torque-hitting.com/2013/07/04/independence-day-hitting-key/
- Half extensions https://torque-hitting.com/2013/06/16/how-to-put-lightning-into-your-baseballsoftball-swing/
- 2/3 extensions https://torque-hitting.com/2013/06/16/how-to-put-lightning-into-your-baseballsoftball-swing/
- Full finish (focus on letting the bat finish naturally, without any intervention on the hitter’s part) https://torque-hitting.com/2013/08/06/finish-strong/
- Next- Put it all together for another 10-15 swings (or more if you are feeling strong)
- Next-Practice hitting to all fields (10-15 swings to the right side, up the middle, and the left side)
- Final Swings- As powerfully as possible (by really exaggerating the individual components of the swing)
It would also be helpful if you vary the height of the tee throughout the session to better simulate pitch height varieties you will see in a game. You can also stand closer and farther away from the tee to simulate inside and outside pitches.
I would also limit tee sessions to 15-20 minutes. If you feel your technique suffering because of fatigue, then it is time to stop. Finally, have some fun, especially if you are working out with another hitter. Play hitting games by asking your body to hit certain targets or count consecutive line drives or home runs.
Tee work is an invaluable tool for all hitters during the season and in the offseason, so work hard at it.