Why use a Batting Tee, The Value of Hitting Off a Simple Training Aid

https://colonialbaseballinstruction.com/baseball-gear/product-category/tanner-tees-2It’s that time of year where the weather is cold and you may be stuck in your garage finding a way to practice hitting. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll have the opportunity to head off to a local indoor baseball facility to take some swings in a batting cage. But even then, you may not have someone to throw you batting practice or the coin-op machines are just too expensive and unreliable. So why use a batting tee?

The benefits of having a batting tee?

  • You can take a lot of swings in a confined space.
  • You could practice perfecting your swing by keeping the ball at a consistent spot.   The baseball swing is so complex.  If you can take a major variable out of the process, you are better able to focus on the mechanics and creating positive muscle memory.
  • If you get yourself a good batting tee, it will be portable and it will not take up much space so that you can take it into your garage,  your backyard and the field.
  • You can do a ton of batting drills to focus on certain parts of your swing and hitting.  For example, if you have an issue with the low outside pitch you can set your tee to the proper height and practice hitting at that particular contact point.
  • Keep the drills fresh and use drills that will translate to in game situations. Check out some of these drills HERE

Check out the best batting tee (see above)…the Tanner Tee

What are the drawbacks of hitting off the batting tee?

If you don’t know how to use the batting tee properly, players tend to practice hitting by “getting their swings in”.

  • Players and coaches set the tee up too high and never work on the knee high pitch. This is partly because of the type of tea that most coaches use that will not adjust to a knee high-pitched.   If you’ve been playing baseball or a fan of baseball, you know that pitchers mainly throw knee-high strikes.
  • Most often, when players do their tee work, they tend to leave the tee in one spot. This is great if you’re trying to work on refining your mechanics, but at some point you need to work on all of your contact points.

What are the contact points?

There are nine contact points. I like to drill these when giving a private lesson or in our hitting camps.
Outside low, Outside middle, Outside high
Middle low, Middle middle, Middle high
Inside low, Inside middle, Inside high
I refer to these as the O.M.I.s

At the beginning of each hitting camp in each lesson I take our players through the contact point T drill. This drill will inshore you that you have adequate repetition of swinging at the nine different contact points. That is a great drill to use as or to use at the end of your warm-up. Whenever I do a lesson or a hitting camp I have a routine that I take each player through to get their heart rate up, to stretch and get the Upper and lower body synced. Then I complete the warm up with the contact point drill. See video variations below.

Contact Point Drills

Depending on time and the skill level and strength of the player add more or less swings to the this drill.

If you take 5 swings at each contact point before you even know it you have taken 45 quality swings each with a purpose.

I would suggest if you were in 2nd-6th grade, stick with three swings at each contact points which will give you a total of 27 swings which is a great overall warm-up.

There are a ton of batting drills than you can do just using a tee and a confined space. Check out some favorite batting tee drills from our drill video page.

In conclusion I’ve heard a lot of players and some new coaches that do not believe in the value of hitting practicing heading off of the batting tee. I can write tons of articles on “why use a batting tee”.

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.