Updated: Jan 31, 2019
Many of us are guilty of it, getting into the same groove with our hitters "tee work, front toss, tee work, front toss". As January comes to an end and high school hitters are a month away from the start of practice here in the northeast, it's time to turn up the velocity.
The necessity of creating a routine, and focusing on swing mechanics is paramount in developing a repeatable swing. However at this point in winter training it is important to take hitters out of their comfort zone. While introducing higher velocity batting practice may make hitters uncomfortable, It is not necessary for hitters to be feeling comfortable during this time. It is important though for hitters to evaluate their swings, and make adjustments.
There are often holes in the swing that we can't always see in tee work, front toss, and light batting practice. These holes tend to appear when velocity is introduced to bp. Seeing hitters swing at game speed allows us to evaluate the same swing that they will be using come game time. After all, we are preparing our hitters to compete in these circumstances. That being said, this is also the best time of year to challenge our hitters. Preparing them for plus fastballs, as well as off speed pitches.
Allowing our hitters to experience some failure now, is important. Monitoring their progress and building the swing back up, forces them to adapt and focus on what needs work going forward. Make hitters uncomfortable now, so that when it comes to the game comfort in the batters box is not an issue.