The Step-Back Hitting Drill is a favorite of mine, because it addresses so many aspects of the swing. Incorporate it into your training to reinforce your weight shift, keep your shoulders level, control your stride length and shore up overall timing. The beauty of this drill is that it can be effective regardless of your stance, hand placement or swing idiosyncrasies. Work through the drill with a tee, in soft or front toss or in batting practice.
Step-Back Hitting Drill
- Start in normal hitting stance
- Before taking a swing, bring back foot toward your front foot so the two are side-by-side
- Take a slow, controlled step back with your back foot and plant it in its original position
- Keep shoulders level to prevent an uppercut
- Take stride toward pitcher with controlled tempo
- Keep weight and hands back to keep good power position before contact (if the step is too long or short, you could throw off your balance and timing. It's better to put your foot down earlier than later)
- After stride foot lands, continue through swing
Use the first set to get your timing and tempo down. In the second set, feel free to mix in some pauses or fake tosses (i.e., the pitcher fakes making a toss, forcing you to react and stop your forward motion before you swing). A fake toss is handy because without a ball to hit, you'll be able to check your balance when your stride foot hits the ground. You should be able to stop your swing and maintain balance.
This baseball hitting drill is a good tool for self-correction, because it provides immediate feedback on tempo, stride length, level shoulders, weight shift and timing. Use it before games and practices to make sure you're maintaining proper swing mechanics. Check out more hitting drills to take your swing to the next level.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock