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Pre-Game Batting Warmup - Machine.....

Mar 2, 2009
Suffolk, VA
Marc D recently published a good article discussing why machine pitched balls are not good for game prep of hitting a pitcher. We do use alot of Front-Toss golf-size wiffle balls and softball size wiffle balls and also front toss softballs in the cage. We used to use alot of machine, but are getting away from that, SAME as if we were at an AWAY game.........

Anyone have an argument for using the machine before games?

Care to provide your favorite batting prep for games?
Apr 20, 2009
As what the article said using a pitching machine omits simulating actual pitching motion during the game which doesn't train your batters to adjust to variable speed, location or movements. It's good to practice your brain as well as your body prior to game. Having someone to pitch live balls as warm-up is a good pre-game practice

We usually have a coach to pitch balls in front of the batter and have other players spread across the field to get the balls. While one is hitting live pitches others are at stations hitting tossed balls by the net and (i don't know if it's practice here) we use worn out shuttlecocks. They are tossed to a batter around 3 ft. in front of the tosser, the shuttlecocks are given underhand and the batter swings. This helps with tracking

Pre-Game Softball Hitting Warm-Up | Softball Performance Blog
Mar 2, 2009
Suffolk, VA
Coach Lia: thanks much. I like the front toss pitching also and only recently heard about using the shuttlecocks for batting. I really like that idea and will go by a bunch as I think the idea of tracking these in the air is a great idea! Thank you
Jan 15, 2009
I've done front toss with plastic container lids (must be soft plastic that doesn't shatter) the advantages are

The lids a small profile target that they have to really track into the bat
They can be thrown at a pretty good rate of speed
You can throw a wicked curve :)
When they make contact the lids deform and tend to go about 3 ft end over end so you don't have to have a screen.

I've done front toss with wiffles without a screen before and I won't do it anymore, it can be painful :)
Aug 4, 2008
Again if using a pitching machine use the Barry Bonds drill. Ever time you hit a ball take one step forward, till you strike out. This gives you different speeds and plans. After you strike out take a step back and start the process in reverse. We also have our kids move in and out to hit inside and outside pitches. If you allow kids to stand in one place in hit off a machine then you are not doing them any good.

Coffee can lids are cheap and they work great.
Dec 28, 2008
I like to use a Thunderstick and toss marsmallows, macaroni and cheese, gummie bears or other small objects. The Thunderstick has the right size handle, a reasonable weight but thin 'barrel' so it forces great eye contact. A marshmallow won't fly very far unless they attack it with a lot of speed. I also like it because it is very portable, can be done anywhere and can increase the effor of practice because it is instantly a competition for who hits the most out of 10 and who hits the furthest etc. I introduce the drill with regular sized marshmallows but then move on during the year to the mini ones that are colored. Then I can toss 2 in the air and I call out the color I want them to hit when I toss it. I use things like Sponge Bob mac and cheese or other (varieties) when I think the team needs a boost of "fun." Who wouldn't like to shatter squidbert?

I also liked (prior to blowing arm out) to use Juggs Lite-Flight balls and throw them overhanded. Unlike even wiffle balls they really don't hurt if they come back at you, and you can adjust the speed and location. You can simulate incredible speed by simply moving closer to the target.

Just some other ideas ...

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