When a batter steps up to the plate in a game, they should have a clear mind and only consider the task at hand - making solid contact with the ball. The previous at-bat, any miscues in the field and particularly a player’s mechanics should be put to rest.
Does this mean that an athlete should never think about their mechanics while facing live pitching? Absolutely not, that is a misconception. There is great value in working on fundamentals during live batting practice.
When a hitter is working on their craft, whether it be while practicing off the tee, during soft toss drills, hitting off a MaxBP or against live batting practice - that is the ideal time for a player to tinker with their mechanics and fine tune their fundamentals.
These practice sessions are instrumental to an athlete constructing their swing, and while doing so off the tee and during soft toss is also beneficial, putting those adjustments to the test, during live batting practice, presents the most realistic challenge.
The most challenging task for most developing athletes is they don’t get enough practice time, and fail to garner the necessary repetition to excel. No matter the craft, sports or otherwise, logging consistent developmental time is the most "sure fire" way to excel.
Hitters looking to improve their technique must develop a routine that is consistent. It doesn’t do an athlete any good to work really hard for a couple of days or even a week, before burning out and taking the next month off.
Develop a realistic plan that coincides with long term success, while also implementing short term goals in the process. Depending on a hitter’s age and aspirations, the routine should feature a variety of drills that cover physical, mental and visual training. These exercises should be organized and performed on a regular basis, and done so with a sense of purpose and urgency. Remember, there is always somebody out there working harder and longer than you are. With that being said, it’s also important for an athlete to set aside some necessary recovery time.
Athletes should implement their physical aspect of their training early in the morning or later in the day, so it isn’t detrimental to their hitting session. When it is time to pick up the bat, working off a tee is a great way for a player to begin their session. This allows a hitter to slow things down during the initial stages of their workout.
Soft toss drills are also a good stepping stone, as an athlete gets a feel for their swing and works on technique. When these drills have been completed an athlete should then increase the intensity and begin hitting off a MaxBP, while continuing to focus on the same respective fundamentals. When given the opportunity to take live batting practice, implement those same thoughts into BP.
For athletes who don’t have the ability to take live batting practice or go to the batting cages on a regular basis, the MaxBP serves as a convenient and affordable practice tool. Using golf ball sized wiffle balls capable of simulating 90+ MPH pitching, along with a variety of breaking pitches (cutter, curveball, slider), a player hitting off a MaxBP is presented with the opportunity to take challenging batting practice that resembles a live hitting experience.
In a 30 minute session with the MaxBP a hitter is capable of taking a couple hundred swings. If a player practices five days a week - that is 1,000 swings a week! Imagine if a player practiced for an hour or two, five days a week - were looking at thousands of swings every week! The endless reps, paired with MaxBP’s small ball training techniques, provides a hitter with a unique opportunity to improve their vision, hand-eye coordination and bat speed. Can a hitter work on their mechanics while hitting off a MaxBP? Absolutely!
Life gets busy - but with MaxBP get your work in whenever time permits - in the early morning, after school or in the evenings. Countless opportunities to work on your mechanics in the comfort of your own home, and at the luxury of your own schedule. What separates a mediocre high school player from someone who earns a college scholarship? Often times it’s time and effort. Get organized, make a routine and get to work. That is how a player separates themselves from the competition.