Game to make batting practice more interesting

Batting practice can get boring sometimes. Ok, a lot of the time, especially when you’re working on a specific skill. But the other day I came up with an idea to make it a bit more interesting.

I was working with a hitter on generating a sacrifice fly with a runner on third. The idea was she had to hit an outfield fly ball no matter where the ball was pitched. We did it for a while, then we got serious.

Every time she hit a fly ball as required, she received a plus one. Every time she produced a popup or a weak ground ball, she received a minus one. A line drive or hard grounder was a “push” — neither plus nor minus. I could’ve made them minuses, but since they’d probably accomplish the goal of scoring the runner I decided to make them neutral.

You can set the game to any number you want. I selected five to keep things moving, and so the game was on. The object was to get to plus five before the hitter reached minus five.

Another variation would be to name two teams, such as the hitter’s first name v. her last name. The first name gets the pluses and the last name gets the minuses.

It’s fun, and it definitely puts some pressure on to perform. Next time you’re working on a specific hitting skill, give this game a try.

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About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on July 15, 2010, in Coaching, Hitting. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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