The Top 5 Drills to Translate Baseball Hitting Drills from Practice to Games

Kyle Nelson CCA

Guest Post from Coach Kyle Nelson


The biggest failure of many batting practice and hitting sessions is the lack of cognitive interference for hitters. Many coaches and players just get in the cage or on a tee and take swings with no specific focus.

Most baseball hitting drills focus on one skill, and don’t require a the player to make a decision prior to performing that skill. This type of “blocked practice” is necessary for initial skill devel-opment, but to help players translate their skills into games, coaches need to force players to make a decision prior to swinging. Coaches and players can then critique the decision and the mechanics used.

The following baseball hitting drills and tactical games will work on both mechanics (particularly getting into a proper hitting position) and provide some amount of cognitive interference so ath-letes learn to make a decision, then perform an appropriate action.


1.) Set up a tee down the middle and a net to hit into.
2.) The hitter assumes their normal stance.
3.) The hitter begins their normal loading sequence.
4.) When the coach or partner sees the hitter make their first movement they will say either “hit” or “take.”
5.) If the coach says “hit,” the hitter hits the ball off the tee.
6.) If the coach says “take,” the hitter simulates taking a pitch by stopping in hitting po-sition.
7.) Coaches and/or players will check hitting position on “take.”

Babe Ruth with Hit/Take

1.) Set up a tee down the middle and a net to hit into.
2.) The player starts in “Babe Ruth” position (see video).
3.) The hitter strides out slowly to their normal landing length.
4.) As they are striding, their hands will load into hitting position.
5.) The coach will say “hit” or “take” right before their stride foot hits the ground.
6.) The rest of the drill is performed like the hit/take drill.

Inside/Outside with Hit/Take

1.) Set up one tee on the outside corner toward the middle of the hitter’s body, and one tee on the inside corner in front of the hitters front foot.
2.) As the hitter strides, the coach will say either “inside,” “outside,” or “take.”
3.) The hitter either hits the appropriate ball to the appropriate field, or freezes in hitting position.

Underhand front toss with L-Screen stop

1.) Set up an L-sreen or flat screen about 30 feet in front of the hitter.
2.) The coach will toss balls firmly underhanded for the player to hit.
3.) The hitter will use pitch selection to determine if they should swing or not.
4.) Occasionally, the coach will purposefully toss the ball into the screen so that it doesn’t get to the hitter.
5.) When this happens, the hitter will freeze in hitting position.
6.) Focus on good pitch selection, hitting the ball where it is pitched (inside/outside), and good hitting position (on L-screen stop).

Random Count Drill

1.) Set up an L-screen about 40 feet away (closer for younger players) for overhand front toss.
2.) Explain your hitting philosophy in each count (the Generating Offense and Hitting ebook has explanation of hitting philosophy by count)
3.) Prior to each pitch, give the player a count. Mixing up counts after each pitch will help players process their philosophy and focus on each count.
4.) Deliver the pitch. At advanced levels, coaches should try to locate and throw off speed pitches.
5.) After the pitch, have the player verbally critique their decision to swing or not. Make sure they explain why their decision was good or bad.
6.) More advanced players might also include a conversation about their mechanics along with their swing decision.

Cornerstone Coaching Academy

These drills are just a small taste of what is available to Cornerstone Website members. There are over 30 hitting drills and tactical games alone, all with the focus on not only developing skills, but also being able to translate those skills effectively into game.

Not to mention additional online courses in outfield play, advanced coaching methods, infield play, conditioning, weekly tips,

To see all that is included in Cornerstone’s full site membership and to see how you can become part of our community, visit

Coach Kyle Nelson
Founder at Cornerstone Coaching Academy

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.

Mark Adam says:

Thanks Coach love to get new drills to use with my baseball teams. I am always poking for new ways to instruct the players. To keep practices interesting.

CoachK says:

Thanks for the comment Mark! As coaches, we tend to get so mechanical when working with our hitters. It’s great to practice more “game-like” repetitions as well.