Few things can throw a hitter off their game like an off-speed pitch. Being ready for whatever the opposing pitcher may throw your way is a skill that can take you from being a good hitter to a great hitter.
“A key part to hitting is being on time,” CJ Browder, a former collegiate softball player, says. “A good drill to help us practice off-speed pitches is the tennis ball bounce drill.”
Using drills like the tennis ball bounce drill can help you up your game at the plate.
HOW TO PRACTICE THE TENNIS BALL BOUNCE DRILL
For the tennis ball bounce drill, you’ll need a partner, a pitcher’s screen and tennis balls. To begin, set up the pitcher’s screen 15 feet away from the plate.
Next, your partner will begin front tossing balls. However, unlike traditional hitting drills, the ball should bounce. When the front tosser bounces tennis balls into the hitting zone, it forces the hitter to wait on the tennis ball.
Once the tennis ball enters the hitting zone, you can begin your swing. This simulates the arrival of an off-speed pitch.
“The objective for the hitter is to hit a low line drive back to the middle of the field, maintaining balance and drive through the ball,” Browder says.
The tennis ball bounce drill can help you practice patience and help develop timing at the plate.