A simple, yet clever, drill to develop power

Monday, Dec. 31st 2012

Because our discussion of Baseball Express’ Weighted Ball Set looked at how to improve throwing power through the use of a training aid, I thought that this week’s discussion on training drills should look at how to improve hitting power through the use of unconventional methods. Like the weighted ball set’s use of unconventional methods, this training method, that seeks to improve power a hitters power, may seem rather odd to individuals, but works!

In high school our team had a car tire that was suspended vertically by a wooden post. Players were supposed to hit the tire with a normal swing, and through repetition you would develop greater power by hitting through a heavier object than a baseball—i.e. the tire. While the basic principle of practicing hitting with a heavier target than a baseball is a great idea, hitting a tire does not enable you to judge the quality of your contact with what you are hitting. You hit the tire. The tire doesn’t go anywhere. However, the hitting drill that I found on BaseballCorner.com, while simultaneously building your hitting power, enables you to judge your quality of contact.

Because BaseballCorner.com’s Power Bat Drill has a short explanation, and it would be an injustice to whoever wrote the description in the first place, they do a good job, I have decided to post the drill verbatim:

The purpose of the Power Bat Drill for a baseball player is much the same as a boxer using a heavy bag to train with. Boxers learn how to develop power in their punch by trying to power through the heavy bag. Baseball players learn to develop power in their swing by hitting through a heavier object than a normal baseball. The result is the same for both athletes… increased power through the point of contact!

  • What you will need:
    • A batting tee
    • A plunger
    • A flat soccer ball or basketball
    • A hitting net (or wall)
    • A bat
  • How the drill works:
    • Slide the plunger handle into the batting tee.
    • Place the flat soccer ball or basketball onto the plunger cup top.
    • Execute your normal swing repeatedly.

The goal is for the hitter to strike the much heavier ball without having the bat decelerate at the impact point. This takes proper technique and explosion at the point of impact to achieve. What you will see is that with the first few swings, the barrel of the bat will “stutter” through the impact zone, meaning that it will decelerate at the point of impact for a fraction of a second before resuming its speed to the finishing position. Concentrate on the proper mechanics, not with launching the ball. Proper mechanics will accelerate the bat head sufficiently to power through the heavier ball. The flight path of the ball should be level (around chest high) into the hitting net (or wall). Power is all about bat speed at impact, not the size of the player. This drill will increase the power at impact if it is used on a regular basis. Remember to always use a flat ball for this drill.

The Power Bat Drill combines power with contact to make a better hitter. The nice aspect of the drill is that it is relatively inexpensive and requires objects that most people have at their home—a plunger and an old basketball. Power and mechanics will be at the forefront of youth hitting with the implementation of new BBCOR bats. Because of the new aluminum bats that restrict the trampoline affect that old BESR bats allowed, dills like The Power Bat Drill will enable hitters to work towards a competitive advantage against pitchers.

Free Video Training Series: Better Hitting in 30 Days!
16 Video lessons Including, the cheat method for tee work, 6 common swing flaws & 7 drills to fix them.
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