Re: tee practice routine
>This is kind of long but it these drill are great to do in order because they break down the swing well.
The first drill in the progression is walk up top hand only on the tee. The hitter will hold the bat with their top hand only, may coaches use half bats for one-handed drills but I personally feel if they use their elbows correctly most can and should use a full size bats. The hitter will be one step back from the tee (right handers) and step with the right foot (Negative Move) to were you would hit from. Then step with the left foot (Positive Move), and when the hitter gets to heel lock, she will throw the back elbow at the inside of ball. (As coaches we have all said, “Throw your hands at the ball.” But we really want the hitter to throw her back elbow at the ball.) She should strike the inside portion of the softball with the bat. Her palm should be up until about two feet after contact. This ensures that she does not have the rollover type follow through. Really watch as the hitter is walking up that the bat stays in a strong position.
The second drill in the progression is bottom hand only off the tee, this not a walk up drill. The hitter will get into their stance and then let go with the top hand. Again I have my hitters use their normal bats, some of them do choke up a little on them. The hitter will go through their negative and positive movements and then after heel lock they will lead the swing with their front elbow. This movement is very similar to throwing a frisbee. The hitter should strike the ball on the inside portion of the ball. If the hitter is hitting outside of the ball there is a good chance that they are leading with the front shoulder and not the elbow. The follow through of the swing should be big because the top hand is not there to crack the bat over.
The third drill is reverse top grip off the tee. This is one drill that hitters always think is weird, but after they get the hang of it they really start to enjoy it. The will hitter will get into their normal stance, when they are set they will flip their top hand over. The top hand will have the thumb on the bottom. Have them place the bat in their fingertips. The way this drill works is they pull with the lead elbow and throw the back elbow, their top hand will let go of the bat. This drill really shows what they are doing wrong in their swings. To the ball well on this drill things have to be done correctly. This drill is building on the two previous drills, of using the elbows.
The fourth drill is two handed walk up. This drill is like the top hand only walk up but now we are adding the other hand. At this point in the progression they have a good idea of what each body part should be doing in their swing. Now it is time for them to put it all together. Really make sure they are not rushing through the walk-up, but taking their time and feeling themselves getting into negative and positive moves. Also, make sure that their hands are staying in a good position while walking up. Hitters that have long swings, have a tendency to drop their hands as they walk up.
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