Coaching Baseball: How To Throw Batting Practice Part2

I’m pretty decent at throwing Batting Practice, how do my players get the most out of it?

The last thing you want to do is throw a whole bucket of balls to one hitter while the rest of the team is “shagging” in the outfield. When thinking of the question, “How to throw batting practice” there are many things you can do to keep BP (batting practice) upbeat, meaningful and game like.

First, break your team into groups of three or four…so if you have a team of 12 you can have 3 groups of 4 or 4 groups of 3.

Each group has a responsibility; group 1 will hit live, group 2, fielding live balls off the bats of the hitters, group 3 runs the bases and group 4 hits off tees and soft toss in the batting cage.

Let’s concentrate on the live hitting group:

Coach Mike Kuebler

Coach Mike Kuebler

You should try to avoid having the hitter swing live for more than 7-8 pitches in a row.

The hitter gets tired and starts to practice poor habits. So, break up your live BP into rounds of 6 swings or so (give or take a couple).

When I am asked; how to throw batting practice, here is a list of the types of rounds that I use in my live BP, pick 3-4 of these:

  1. Bunt round: 2 sac bunts to 1B, 2 sac bunts to 3B, safety squeeze, suicide squeeze
  2. Oppo round: 6-8 swings to opposite field. This round really keeps the hitter’s front shoulder closed and sets up the following rounds.
  3. Hit ‘n’ run, get’em over, get’em in: This is great if you have a base running group. Hit and run is a ground ball to the opposite field while the base runner steals. You must swing in this play to protect the runner. Get him over refers to a runner on 2B with no outs and you are trying to hit behind the runner to get him over to 3B. “Get him in” refers to a runner on 3B with less than 2 outs. The hitter should look for something up in the zone to hit into the outfield for a sac fly or single.
  4. Line drive round: set up a competition and point system for players to stay within themselves to hit low line drives instead of swinging freely and hitting fly balls that are outs. For example, a line drive that lands on the infield dirt is 2 points and a fly ball to the outfield is -1 point.
  5. Curveball round
  6. Fast ball change up round: just mix up speeds. The player will have to make adjustments.
  7. 2 strike round:  Player stays in and swings till he misses.  This is a real motivation to make contact because lets face it, have you ever seen a kid that wants to get out of the batters box?

If you keep each round to 6 pitches or so, the players keep moving and do not get stagnant. Players in the field, get live reads off live hits instead of just standing around picking up balls.

Stay on plane…

About CoachK

Owner and head instructor at Colonial Baseball Instruction. CBI serves Southern VA with baseball camps and private lessons. CBI also developed My Coach: Baseball App and sells a variety of baseball training aids.