The tee is one of the best ways to hone your swing as a hitter. Sometimes there is a stigma from t-ball that says you should outgrow it, but that’s not the case. Big league hitters work off the tee regularly to keep their mechanics clean and crisp. One thing to remember in order to reap the benefits off of the tee is placement.
To start, get into your stance in the same place you would in the game in relation to home plate. Once set, you can then position the tee in the right spot for where you would make contact with the pitch.
For pitches down the middle, you should put the tee in front of the plate and just off where your stride foot will land. You should be able to hit it back up the middle between the right-and left-center field gaps. If you position the tee in the wrong place, you can create bad habits. So, you can either change your swing to make good contact, or take your normal swing and not hit the ball on the barrel.
For an inside pitch, you want to hit it farther out in front of home plate. The tee should be on the inner half of the plate and 6″-12″ in front of home plate or where your front stride foot will land when taking your swing. This is where you want to make contact in order to hit the ball hard and keep it in fair territory.
For an outside pitch, put the tee on the outer part of the plate, and even with your belt buckle or belly button. By letting the ball travel deeper in the zone, you can take your normal stride and swing to make good contact and drive the ball to the opposite field.
One drill you can work on with the tee is to simulate your eyes tracking the pitch. Get in your normal stance and act as though you are looking out at the pitcher. Let your eyes travel as if they are following the pitch in, and then lock onto the ball as you complete the swing and make contact off the tee. This is a great way to help fine-tune your swing and work on making it a consistent motion.