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Why is it on a tee they look great

Apr 20, 2018
602
18
SoCal
Timing, timing and timing. Mostly late, emergency arm swing. Hitter must dance with the pitcher not swing faster. When the pitcher starts moving so does the hitter. Not every hitter is the same but its their responsibility to figure it out in the on deck circle or before. Steve Springer says you don't have 3 or 4 ABs per game, you have 25 or 30. Watch the pitcher and mentally prepare your timing.
 

Oct 2, 2011
2,978
48
Florida
I can hit hard off a tee. Big towering hits to the fence and beyond.

I can barely get the bat on the ball off my DD's pitching. I have never got it out of the infield. Also she always throws the first pitch right under my chin because she can and she thinks that it is hilarious.

(Note: While I never played baseball or softball I did play cricket, tennis, field hockey and squash - so I know how to hit a ball with a stick.)
 
Jun 17, 2009
15,129
0
Portland, OR
Last night I had a new hitter. I had the kid warm-up off of a tee. The kid repeatedly rocked the ball to the back of the cage again-and-again. The kid felt good about herself. The dad was pleased and looked proud. That changed quickly. I told the kid point blank, that while she had several solid shots, that the feedback she was receiving was false and that her swing would fail against live pitching.

The dad and kid were in a state of shock and disbelief. How could this be? Didn't I see the results of the swings? Yes ... but I also saw the swing that yielded those results :).

I asked ... why are you here? Those were great shots ... if that swing works against live pitching, then keep it. The answer came back quickly ... "I haven't been hitting during games and have sunk to the bottom of the line-up." I repeated my comment that while the shots off of the tee were solid, that her particular swing wouldn't work against live pitching.

My point is ... hitting well off of a tee is without merit if the swing you are using won't work well off of a live arm.

I've seen teams work all winter performing primarily tee work ... and then wonder why they couldn't hit worth a lick once the season started.

Tee results can be deceiving. Tees are great for warming up. Tees are also great for introducing a hitter to new concepts & movement patterns. Beyond that, tees are fairly useless. Get off the tee and learn to hit a ball coming towards you.

Tees represent "block training". Hitting off of a live arm represents "random training". Random training beats block training.

Let's take two groups.

Teach the same points-of-emphasis, from a well qualified coach, to each group.

For 8 weeks Group-A focuses on the same concepts, but works only on tees.

For 8 weeks Group-B focuses on the same concepts, but works primarily on front-toss and live pitching.

After those 8 weeks, Group-A will give better results if judged by only the outcome of their tee swings. Group-B however, while not having superior tee swing results, will have retained more of what was instructed and will perform better during competition.

There are actual studies on this. Look them up.
 
Aug 20, 2017
119
18
Tees are part of the progression and I think very necessary to isolate certain movements and feels that hitters may struggle with. I always have girls hit off tees prior to on-field BP. When working specific patterns on tees you must follow those up with front Toss and reinforce those feels you were working on with tees. I’ll break sequence during dry drills to work on the stride to teach hitters what we want to occur during the stride. I have them repeat these movements and hold and check themselves. Most hitters don’t have clue what we are talking about most of the time but dry strides help develop a language for hitting
 
May 24, 2013
9,255
48
So Cal
Last night I had a new hitter. I had the kid warm-up off of a tee. The kid repeatedly rocked the ball to the back of the cage again-and-again. The kid felt good about herself. The dad was pleased and looked proud. That changed quickly. I told the kid point blank, that while she had several solid shots, that the feedback she was receiving was false and that her swing would fail against live pitching.

The dad and kid were in a state of shock and disbelief. How could this be? Didn't I see the results of the swings? Yes ... but I also saw the swing that yielded those results :).
I think it was Cannonball who mentioned a clinic or presentation he saw by Gerry Glasco a while back. Glasco talked about the value of tee hitting without a ball - just hit the top of the tee. As you discussed with your hitter, using the flight of the ball off a tee as your evaluation for swing quality can give you a false positive. Removing the ball flight from the equation puts the focus on evaluating just the hitter's mechanics.
 
Last edited:
May 12, 2016
1,186
38
Mentality and approach is key IMO. I've seen kids practice more with live than tee and still struggle. When practicing off a tee the hitter knows they will be swinging. With live pitching the hitter has a decision to make, swing or not swing. However, the hitter must treat every pitch like a strike during live hitting and game play. This will likely ensure mechanics will not break down. Start your process on every swing and then decide during that process if a ball or strike... this will lead to more success off live pitching. If deciding if ball or strike and then starting process, this will lead to passive and arm only swings or being way late.
 
May 12, 2016
1,186
38
Tee results can be deceiving. Tees are great for warming up. Tees are also great for introducing a hitter to new concepts & movement patterns. Beyond that, tees are fairly useless. Get off the tee and learn to hit a ball coming towards you.
My DD and I use to rely on the tee way too much, simply because it's all we had available to us in the limited workout area. We've moved on from that and only use the tee in situations you mentioned above. We spend 90% of the time hitting live and front toss and eliminated hitting off a machine period. The machines we had available us gave the hitter no indication of when the ball would be pitched, which led to very bad mechanics.
 
Apr 28, 2014
1,089
38
Same reason girls pitch great in warmups and girls hit great during soft toss.
Get them in a game and it falls apart.
Practice needs to match or exceed the pace and intensity of the game. Find an organization that makes that happen and you will find winners.
 

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