When practicing for a sport it is always important to apply a physical, mental and visual training regimen. One particular drill that covers all three bases is hitting with multi-color balls or as we call it at MaxBP “The Jelly Bean Experience.”
Using your MaxBP and white wiffles, mix in a number of wiffles of different color. While taking batting practice the athlete can alternate between swinging and taking pitches depending on the color of the wiffle ball that it’s pitched. You can vary the ratio of colored balls, vary the color, or amount of color on each ball. Hitters should also be encouraged to alter the rules from one round to the next. Get creative - it usually leads to athletes being more engaged.
If time is not an issue and a player has the opportunity to take multiple rounds of batting practice, I would recommend using the multi-colored balls for early recognition and detection while simply taking the pitch. If you work until you can't stand, sit on a chair and take pitches for recognition. Look for colors, strikes and non-strikes - train those eyes.
This a great drill for athletes age 13 and older, and is fantastic at focusing on the relationship between the mind, eyes and body. In order for a hitter to perform this drill they will need a MaxBP Machine, white wiffle balls, colored or “Jelly Bean” wiffle balls, a flat plate and preferably a BetterBat Skinny Barrel Training Bat.
The beauty of this particular training method, is that it is not just one drill. This method of practice is limited only to the imagination of the players and coaches involved, and has infinite possibilities. A hitter can use dots, colors, numbers, symbols, more than one color - anything to train the eyes to focus and pick up on things they previously could not. This drill is instrumental in an athlete’s ability to pick up the rotation on a breaking ball and to have “an eye” at the plate. If a hitter is able to recognize different pitches early and often, they are setting themselves up for success in the batter’s box.