By Chase Glaum, Driveline Academy Assistant Coordinator
Throughout youth baseball, groups use quite a lot of hitting implements to get able to play a recreation (or six) over a weekend. The important thing options of a hitting warm-up software are as follows:
- Gained’t harm buildings or harm individuals
- Is ready to face up to a youth swing
- Is throwable
- Won’t journey too far
All these options are necessary, however solely a number of varieties of hitting implements get a batted ball consequence that offers a hitter visible and bodily suggestions on their swing—in different phrases, they’ll each see and really feel how they did.
Prior to now six months, the 2 mostly used hitting implements are wiffle balls and a few type of a plyo ball. I’ve but to see a youth workforce use our mini plyos earlier than a recreation up right here within the Pacific Northwest.
Let’s do some comparisons between the three and see which can be proper in your workforce.
Wiffle balls are warm-up software as a result of coaches and gamers can throw them at a spread speeds with out worrying about hurting the hitter. Wiffles additionally don’t journey very far, which helps when taking part in tournaments which have restricted warm-up house. However not like plyos, wiffle balls don’t give the hitter correct or viable suggestions on bat to ball collision.
Here’s a swing of a 12U participant hitting a wiffle ball, which at first seems to be squared up primarily based on the speed and trajectory of the ball. That is nice for confidence boosts (which is necessary for youth hitters) earlier than the sport. Nonetheless, getting really feel for the place your barrel is at contact and having the ability to see the way you’re putting the ball is much more necessary.
So let’s decelerate the video…
After we decelerate the video, we will now see that the hitter is a bit of bit early and hits the ball on the tip of the bat. That may not seem to be an enormous situation, however not figuring out in case you missed the barrel could possibly be detrimental going right into a recreation, particularly if the results of the capped ball appears to be like like a line drive to the hitter.
A spherical of 6-8 swings like this may increasingly go away the hitter pondering their swing is on level, when in actuality we simply despatched the hitter into the sport capping balls. You may end up saying, “However it was a line drive, that may play within the recreation.”
However let’s zoom in on contact…
This ball is a routine floor ball again to the pitcher, or—if the child is robust sufficient—a routine floor ball to shortstop. We need to put together our hitters for video games and get them feeling good about their swings, however we additionally need to ensure that the implement we use offers them trustworthy suggestions.
(I’ll additionally be aware that wiffles could be a full catastrophe when utilizing them within the Midwest with 25+ mph winds.)
Different Plyos on the Market
There are many hitting plyos available on the market proper now that produce some kind of bat to ball collision suggestions for hitters. I’ve seen a bunch of groups hit plyos pre-game. The commonest ones I’ve seen are TCB plyos and a few Amazon ones which can be pink.
Each of those plyos are fairly heavy, wherever from 12-16 ounces. Now, now we have 12 ounce hitting plyos, however even our strongest hitters aren’t enormous followers of hitting them.
So it doesn’t make a complete lot of sense to have youth gamers hit 12 ounce (or heavier) hitting plyos, apart from the truth that it checks among the bins from above: is not going to harm buildings or harm individuals, should have the ability to face up to a youth swing, have to be throwable (although your arm may be sore after throwing a number of rounds of those to 12+ hitters), and won’t journey too far (if wherever).
Here’s a hitter hitting certainly one of these different plyos (16 ounces) completely sq.. As you possibly can see, the ball has a low ball flight, not true to contact, and barely makes it previous the L-screen that’s about 25 toes away.
Once more, we would like trustworthy suggestions for our hitters, particularly proper earlier than recreation time.
Additionally, in case you look carefully on the barrel you will notice the plyo ball really dictating and manipulating bat path at contact. The ball basically slows down and redirects the bat. We don’t need to practice hitters to anticipate this kind of bat to ball collision response.
Driveline Mini Hitting Plyos
Measurement: Set of 6
Driveline Mini Hitting Plyos
Within the Driveline Academy we use mini hitting plyos pre-game and at observe. Not solely do these examine the 4 bins above, however in addition they go far and past different hitting implements for getting ready youth hitters.
As you possibly can see, this participant hits half of the ball, slicing the underside half and inflicting it to go three yards. When our coaches see this kind of consequence off the bat, they attempt to replicate the identical toss so the hitter has an opportunity to appropriate their bat path.
Having a participant self-correct primarily based on poor contact trains them to unravel these varieties of issues in actual time when they’re within the field in a recreation.
This participant hits the ball flush; as you possibly can see, the ball doesn’t seem like a pancake coming off the bat. The texture of the plyo hitting the bat and the trajectory of the plyo leaving the bat makes it simpler for the participant to attempt to replicate that bat path on the subsequent pitch.
Much like coaches repeating a pitch on dangerous contact, coaches will change areas on good contact to present the hitter a brand new downside to unravel.
Evaluating flush contact
Youth hitters are going to mishit extra pitches than they sq. up earlier than a recreation. There are many hitting implements for youth gamers to make use of, however as coaches we need to ensure that we will put together them for the sport as finest as we will by giving them good, trustworthy suggestions of what their swing is doing and the place the ball goes off their bat.
Discovering methods to proceed to develop hitters even throughout tournaments will each assist your workforce put together and expedite particular person growth. Mini plyos let you step away from fixed cueing and let the mini plyos “do the speaking.”
Working them right into a pre-game hitting routine and making them a staple in your observe plans will assist, however it may be exhausting to know methods to begin. We’ve acquired you coated with this free, six-week mini hitting plyo program.
Free Six-Week Mini Hitting Plyo Program
I like to recommend that you just begin utilizing this program and alter the place you are feeling it’s mandatory based on your hitters’ ages and talent ranges. You’ll be able to email me or DM me on Twitter.
I might love that can assist you out with any questions round implementing mini hitting plyos into pre-game routines inside your group and to share what we do right here on the Academy.