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Live hitting struggles

Aug 20, 2018
65
8
So my team is struggling with hitting live pitching so far this year. Off a tee, they look great. Mechanics are solid (for the most part) but when I put them in the box vs one of our pitchers, the wheels fall off. I do have a Louisville Slugger Blue Flame pitching machine that I've used in the past, but some of the girls complain about being able to time up their loads, strides and swings with the machine. I like using it because it throws strikes that aren't always perfect down the middle.

So basically, does anyone have any tips to help my team find their rhythm when facing live pitching.
 
Oct 2, 2017
882
43
I would say more
So my team is struggling with hitting live pitching so far this year. Off a tee, they look great. Mechanics are solid (for the most part) but when I put them in the box vs one of our pitchers, the wheels fall off. I do have a Louisville Slugger Blue Flame pitching machine that I've used in the past, but some of the girls complain about being able to time up their loads, strides and swings with the machine. I like using it because it throws strikes that aren't always perfect down the middle.

So basically, does anyone have any tips to help my team find their rhythm when facing live pitching.
I would say less tee work. Not saying NO tee work, just less. More front toss. Also, when are they starting their gather when hitting off of live pitching?
 
Aug 20, 2018
65
8
I would say more


I would say less tee work. Not saying NO tee work, just less. More front toss. Also, when are they starting their gather when hitting off of live pitching?
The girls are 14u. Brand new team, just moved up from 12u so most are 13. Really young, which I know is part of the problem. I would put them at a B/C team right now. They have moments that can go either way.

I try to have the girls begin their gather as the pitcher begins her motion towards the plate so that as the ball is released they should be starting their forward move as the pitcher releases the ball. This is the plan, doesn't always work that way of course.

As for front toss. One thing I've never been able to figure out is how hard do you toss and from what distance is best?
 
Jun 11, 2013
2,082
63
What are the struggling with? Are they just getting blown away by the pitching by the speed, are they just missing,etc? I like to front toss at around 20 feet with a screen. If you have good pitchers work some of that in. Tee work is great, but they need to develop the timing and ability the ability to hit in all area of the zones.
 
Sep 29, 2010
1,050
63
Knoxville, TN
The proper distance for 14U is whatever distance you can get the ball to the plate around .4-.5 seconds. Pretty close to avg-above avg reaction time in 14U.
 
May 24, 2013
10,571
113
So Cal
The girls are 14u. Brand new team, just moved up from 12u so most are 13. Really young, which I know is part of the problem. I would put them at a B/C team right now. They have moments that can go either way.

I try to have the girls begin their gather as the pitcher begins her motion towards the plate so that as the ball is released they should be starting their forward move as the pitcher releases the ball. This is the plan, doesn't always work that way of course.

As for front toss. One thing I've never been able to figure out is how hard do you toss and from what distance is best?
I would guess the experience and/or skill level of the players is more of a factor here (based on your description) than age.

For productive BP, front toss from a distance that approximates the reaction time of live pitching is often a better use of time...and your pitcher's arm. Front toss from 15-20' is more likely to provide pitch locations they can hit on a consistent basis.
 
Oct 2, 2017
882
43
When think front toss. I'm tossing from half the distance between the pitcher and hope plate. Reason being and there is some data out there that good hitters get their stride foot down about the the half way mark give or take a tad.
 
May 24, 2013
10,571
113
So Cal
When think front toss. I'm tossing from half the distance between the pitcher and hope plate. Reason being and there is some data out there that good hitters get their stride foot down about the the half way mark give or take a tad.
If you're tossing at a distance and speed that gives you a comparable reaction time (ball in the air time), it would still be the halfway mark between the pitcher and the batter, by your method.

Personally, I prefer to use pitch release as a general marker for when to start the stride. Foot lands at the right time for the pitch.
 
Feb 3, 2016
268
28
Timing sucks for hitters off of a machine.
I would hold the ball up call out "One" and on "Two" I'd feed a ball through the machine.
The audible sound helps with the machine timing for hitters to load in time but doesn't help in a game because the pitchers aren't yelling to help with timing. Pitchers job is disrupt the hitters timing.

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