It's important to have a good game plan when beginning with your preseason baseball hitting training.
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Here are things to avoid:
1. Not taking a long enough break away from last season. I want players itching to get back to work and not feeling like, "This again" or "The season is still so far away." Consult with your players to find their state of mind and desire to get back to hitting practice!
2. Going straight to pitching machine or just live batting practice. It's OK to throw the batter a few initial batting practice swings to gauge where they are with their swing, but make sure it's only a few pitches at first. Then, get going with the beginning class suggestions and build day by day. The more players have been through the drills the easier they become and the more they will show with a great swing. Trust the process!
3. Having the batter face fast speeds the first few times back hitting. It takes time to get a batter's eye ready for speed, not to mention their timing and bat speed. Set up a plan to start with slow speeds at first and gradually increase speeds each subsequent session. When players can wait for the ball properly, then start adding a little at a time. Staying back is crucial!
4. Do not overdo the number of swings in the first few practices. Too much can lead to blisters, injury or bored kids. Remember twenty five focused swings are better than seventy five lackluster ones. It's a long season and tiring kids early will backfire. Two a days are better than an extended practices, it the players really want to keep going!
5. Set the stage for the long season ahead by showing enthusiasm and exceptional patience. Remember, you the coach are the difference!
6. As always, location of the pitch determines where batters hit the ball, not the speed of pitch.