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Offseason Hitting Drills

Offseason hitting drills

The offseason is where the work gets done to prepare us for game play. Once the grass starts to green up in Minnesota, we know that baseball season is just around the corner. In order to get ready for opening day, us northerners use a variety of offseason hitting drills to prepare. These drills can be done on our own, or with a teammate or two.  You can also seek specialized coaching from one of MN’s great training facilities. Let’s focus today on some drills that you can do on your own, with limited space, and that require limited resources.

Tee Work

As we all know, baseball is a game of repetition. The best hitters in the game didn’t get that way over night or by watching a “how-to video”. At its purest form, baseball is one of the most mechanical and fundamental sports. The more repetition, the more success you may find. A Batting Tee is a small tool that applies to all abilities of players. There is benefit for your “tee ball” players up to your Major Leaguer.  A batting tee allows you to breakdown your swing to the most miniscule of details. It focuses on areas of weakness, and allows you to get many swings in a short amount of time. A tee is portable! You can do it in your basement when it is 20 below zero. Also works fine in your garage with a small net! The ideal spot would be a batting cage, as it allows for instant feedback letting you know exactly where you hit the ball and if you hit it properly.  Check out the Tanner Tee, best in the business.  Tee work is one of the best offseason hitting drills you can do!

Basics- Ball placement on the Batting Tee

 Try and place the ball on the batting tee with purpose. The saying “keep your eye on the ball” is an important focus of tee work. Hitting different spots on the baseball will create different outcomes.

Figure 1. Hitting downward on the top seam will create backspin that will make the ball go further.

Figure 2. Hitting the inside seam (right hand hitter) will create a better path to the baseball while also creating backspin to drive the ball further.

Hitting downward on the top seam will create backspin that will make the ball go further.Hitting the inside seam (right hand hitter) will create a better path to the baseball while also creating backspin to drive the ball further.

Basic Batting Tee Work

Basic Batting Tee work consists of moving the tee around the plate to focus on hitting pitches in different locations. Keep your typical batting stance and set-up when attacking these locations. By hitting the outside pitch, it allows for the ball to travel deeper through the hitting zone with the same swing. Up the middle contact should be somewhere between your stomach and your front foot after stride. Attacking the inside pitch, you will want to make contact earlier and out front so your wood bat barrel can make contact without compromising your hands or your stride.

Tee placement for ideal contact

Top Hand/Bottom Hand Drills

 The purpose of one hand drills is to isolate weaknesses in your swing, discovering limitations by being dominate with your top or bottom hand, and creating balance. By isolating one hand, it will help to create power as well as finding your ideal swing path.

Top Hand only- by letting the elbow lead through the zone, it will help by getting the wood bat barrel on plane with the pitch more quickly while developing bat control and balance.

Bottom Hand only- the bottom hand, even though most will be top hand dominant, will truly help you understand your swing path as a whole. Your lead hand will start the motion of pulling towards the baseball. Once you can control hitting line drives with one hand, the easier it will be with two. A couple training aids most popularly used are our one-handed trainer and the Hammer!

High Batting Tee Drill

We all have been in that funk where we start popping balls up and dropping our back shoulder. Here is a solution that will help you by driving down on the ball and generating that backspin with more line drives. By elevating the batting tee to somewhere between your eyes and your chest, it will create a bat path forcing you to stay on top of the ball through the zone while not allowing you to drop your backside shoulder. By setting your batting tee on a chair or bucket, it will allow you to achieve that ideal height for the tee. The ideal location to hit the ball is right back up the middle at head height. The focus is to square up the ball, where our Hand/Eye Trainer is ideal for hitting that sweet spot with immediate feedback.

Step Through Drill

Bat speed and Launch Angle are commonplace terminology within baseball and its developing at younger ages. This drill focuses on that as well as using our legs to generate power. The Step Through will also aid in keeping your hands back while we stride and get our front foot down first. While doing this you need to keep the bat back in the zone longer to swing at better pitches. The set-up will include starting at the back of the batter’s box facing straight towards the pitcher. The first step is taken with your right foot if you are a right-handed hitter towards the tee set-up in the front-middle portion of the plate. The left leg follows through as your stride leg into your hitting position.  After the swing the step through is the back leg finishing off on the ground or on your back toe. This is all controlled movement as to prevent “squashing the bug” as we are looking to generate back spin and more power!

Why Train with a wood bat?

Offseason hitting drills pared with a wood bat will really help you improve your game.  Swinging a wood bat has many benefits for the young player.  Wood bats give instant feedback. You will feel it if you don’t square one up on the barrel. If you hit one off the end or off the handle, the hands will feel the vibration off the bat. Simply swinging a wood bat can really help hitters develop faster. First off, wooden bats tend to be weighted differently than aluminum / metal bats.  This doesn’t always mean that a wood bat is heavier.  It means that because the barrel of wood bat is solid (instead of hollow like an aluminum bat), the weight distribution is going to be/feel different. This difference alone helps hitters develop the muscles they use to swing.  It really builds bat speed faster than just working with aluminum. Plate discipline and learning to swing at better quality pitches will essentially make you focus on hitting the sweet spot of the wood barrel and make your wood bat last longer. Wood is the bat for players looking to play at the next level!

Categories: Baseball Bats, Baseball Training, Bat Swing Speed, Wood Baseball Bats, Wood Bat, Wood bat company, Wood Bats

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Not Just a Wood Bat Company

The MaxBat name has claimed it’s fame by producing the finest wood baseball bats to ever grace the field.  We do offer all kinds of accessories though, so any item that wields our name is made to very high quality standards.   Whether its a bat or bag, or gloves you can rest assured knowing it’s a quality item.  This post will focus on the three different bat bags we produce.

Ultimate Gear Bag

Ultimately this could be the best bat bag you will ever own.  Constructed of high strength 600 Denier Nylon, this bag is as tough as it is functional.  Featuring massive gear storage with room enough for all your gameday bats and gear.  The ultimate gear bag is big enough to fit a full set of catchers gear.  The durable in-line wheels with a wide base, plus removable shoulder strap and sturdy fence clips provide easy mobility and access on gameday.  There is plenty of room for wood bats, metal bats, gloves, catchers gear, cleats and every other baseball necessity.  This bag has a total of 15 pockets, so we’ve got you covered at any level of play.   Dimensions: 39″ L X 15″ W (21″ with cleat cage pockets filled) X 13″ H.

https://www.maxbats.com/shop/accessory/ultimate-gear-bag/89

Preview Ultimate Gear Bag

 

Team Bat Bag

Constructed of 600 Denier polyester, the MaxBat team bat bag provides excellent wood bat storage and protection.  Fully padded throughout, this bag holds up to 15 wood bats utilizing an easy access top panel with circular opening.  Also offering a large zippered side accessory pocket and ID holder, this is a great bat bag for a team or individual player.  This is the best team bat bag on the market!  https://www.maxbats.com/shop/accessory/team-bat-bag/123

Preview Team Bat Bag

BackPack

MaxBat quality and attention to detail shines through again with our backpack. Compact, and yet spacious enough to hold all of your equipment in an easy to carry backpack-style bag. Stylish and durable with plenty of pockets, sturdy all-metal fence hooks, and all-access zippers. This bag is built with heavy-duty 600 denier and tactical honeycomb Dolby nylon.  This bat bag has the same durable material as our Ultimate Gear Bag. Featuring a large expandable bottom with mesh ventilation for cleat storage to keep all your gear separate and clean. https://www.maxbats.com/shop/accessory/backpack/119

Preview Backpack

Categories: bat bag

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Why you should train with a batting tee, especially with wood bats.

Why you should train with a batting teeIf you are training with a wood bat, the batting tee is perhaps the single best training aid a baseball player can use, and here are few reasons why:

1. Repetition is a key to greatness in baseball
The best hitters repeat a good baseball swing thousands of times until the correct fundamentals happen without thinking about them. Using a batting tee is one of the best ways to achieve this career-long process. This is why so many Major League baseball players still use the batting tee before games and during off-season – it’s not just for young players. The batting tee is a tool players should use from the youth leagues to the Major Leagues.

2. It cuts down on obstacles and distractions
This is the most important reason to use a tee. Using a batting tee allows you to isolate the aspect of your swing that you want to work on. A tee allows you to swing at 20% or 100%. You are in total control of your swing, which is important for working on weaknesses that make hitting off a live pitcher difficult. You can work on hitting a pitch in a specific location. You can also take a large number of swings in a relatively short amount of time.

It’s also going to help you find the sweet spot of your wood bat, especially if it’s a brand new custom model that you’ve just received. Swinging a brand new wood bat is going to feel different with each previous wood bat that you’ve used.  They’re all going to be balanced slightly different, and the weight will vary.  Tee work is essential to get used to that brand new wood bat, before taking soft toss or facing pitches from a coach or machine.

3. It allows you to practice on your own time, without a partner or coach
Being a team game, baseball can be difficult to practice without other people around. Of course, it’s great for a coach to watch and critique as you hit off the tee, or to have someone reload the tee for you as you swing, but then you can also go to a cage and practice on your own. It’s a beautiful thing. Since baseball is a game of repetition, using a batting tee will help you achieve your perfect swing through hard work and quality repetition. It also enables you to groove your swing without needing someone throwing you batting practice.

4. A batting tee is portable
Most batting tees will fit in your equipment bag or the trunk of your car. Since it’s easy to bring with you to the baseball field, batting cage, or backyard net, you will have more opportunities to practice and perfect your game.

 

 

Categories: Baseball Bats, Baseball Training, Custom baseball bat, Wood Bat, Wood Bats

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