How To get the most out of practicing off a Batting Tee.  Where do I place the batting tee? Move the Tee around by putting it where you have trouble with hitting a specific location of a pitch.  Work on your weaknesses.

First Mistake – Where do I place the batting Tee

The very first mistake I see a lot of players make is poor tee placement. The thing that I see is kids setting the tee way too far out in front. If you place the tee way too far in front you are going to end up taking a longer step towards the pitcher then you usually would. I think this comes from the idea of players assuming that extension happens at the point of contact.

This is not the way the professional players hit, look at their point of contact. They will always have a slight “L” shape bend with their back arm. With the tee too far out in front, you’re more likely to get out over your front foot, your chest over that front foot causing a lunging motion.

Where do I place the batting tee

Where do I place the batting tee

Second Mistake – Where do I place the batting Tee

Putting the tee right in the middle of your stance. This is usually learned from tee ball. A lot of volunteers that don’t know a ton about the game of baseball will position the kid in the batters’ box, and then they’ll put the tee right in the middle of his stance.

Proper Placement – Proper Point of Contact

Now get to the point of contact. No professional hitter hits like this right. After taking your stride, you are trying to hit the ball that ends up being slightly behind you. This is not powerful at all, so don’t to train yourself to try to have to swing like this with the tee in the middle of my stance.

So what we want to do is, on a pitch right over the middle of the plate. We want to make contact with that pitch even with our front foot, maybe a little bit further out in front. I like to place the tee even with the front foot. I think that’s a perfect position. That allows you to get into a situation that you see all the pros do.

Third Mistake – Where do I place the batting Tee

This mistake I see is regarding the tee placement. Are players not adjusting to different contact points? I just talked about this is where you’d hit a middle pitch, now let’s talk about an inside pitch. You don’t hit an inside pitch at the same spot you hit a middle pitch.

Inside Pitch

The batter will have to hit an inside pitch a little bit further out in front, so we need to adjust the tee a little bit forward and inside so that the pitch would resemble an inside pitch. On an inside pitch, what I’m going to do is, I’m going to recognize this inside pitch. I’m going to pull my hands in, and boom hit that ball a little bit further out in front, so that’s an inside pitch.

Outside Pitch

Working the outside pitch.  Now we’re going to move the tee on the back half of home plate. The reason for this placement is we are going to simulate an outside pitch. We are going to let the ball travel just a little bit more and try to take that ball to the opposite field. Alright so make sure you’re adjusting depending on what area of the strike zone you’re working.

Lack of Making Adjustments with the Batting Tee

This brings me to my next point, which is a lot of players don’t do what I just described above. Young players today don’t move the ball around and work on different contact points. What most hitters do, most average hitters, is they place the tee right in the middle of the plate. These hitters work on a high belt fastball that’s right down the middle of the pipe so they can crush this pitch. Since this is the only location they work on they struggle at the plate when a pitcher throws them inside or outside or up or down.

Where do I place the batting tee

Where do I place the batting tee

Make those Adjustments with the Batting Tee

I encourage you to show equal love to every area of the strike zone. If that means work on the inside pitches and not just belt high, then adjust your tee to work on inside pitches. Raise your tee to the top of the strike zone, lower it to the bottom of the strike zone, work inside part of the plate, middle region, and outside portion of the plate. Making adjustments with the Tee and working these areas will help make you a better hitter.

Do Not Rush when Practicing on the Batting Tee

The next thing is not taking enough time in between swings. Unfortunately at the high school level and below time is an issue and trying to get every player some swings on the field is difficult to do.  Coaches tend to rush hitters in and out so that everyone can get the same amount of swings off of live pitching.  This is not the case for station hitting off the field.

It’s Not Rapid Fire

I see this all the time. This is a common problem young athletes they swing at as many pitches as possible. So what happens is they swing, and then they set up again they put another ball on the tee and then they’re right back to swing again.  Rapid fire is not a real game situation. Players don’t go to the plate and swing 30 times in 30 seconds.

Quality is better than Quantity

You take a swing and let’s say you swung and missed or you miss-hit the ball, let’s say you even hit a good line drive to the back of the net. You need to get in a routine just like a game routine where you should step out of the box gather yourself, think about what you did, and then prepare yourself to take another swing. This doesn’t mean you take 30 seconds between each swing, take enough time to get quality swings and by slowing yourself, you are better to recognize if you are doing something wrong.

Fourth Mistake – Where do I place the batting Tee

Another big mistake that I see and this doesn’t have to do with batting tee placement. It has to do with the distance the ball carries after contact is made from swinging. Players are hitting off of a tee that is placed too close to a fence or a net. Understand that this might be the only way to get these swings in.  Lot’s of schools or practice facilities don’t have the real estate, and so you do with what you are given.

Hitting on the Field to See Results

If you have plenty of room to work with I recommend hitting as often as you can on the baseball field or at least hit in a batting cage where you stand at one end of the cage and can see the ball traveling to the other side of the cage. We’re going for low screaming line drives here.

Where do I place the batting tee

Where do I place the batting tee

Hitting on the field gives you instant feedback.  When the fence or the net is one or two feet in front of you sometimes you think that you’re really squaring the ball up and in reality, you’re just rolling over, or you’re popping up or hitting fly balls. When on the field or batting cage, you can see the balls flight trajectory which will help you out.

Fifth Mistake – Where do I place the batting Tee

The last mistake I see when they’re hitting off of a tee is not tracking their results. There are many ways that you can track your results and have real tangible evidence of whether or not what you’re doing is working. One of those ways is getting something like a pocket radar ball coach.

I started using this last year, and it has without a doubt help the players with their hitting.  They love it because they can see instant results and helps them understand what I am trying to teach, especially when our talks are about bat speed.

I would highly recommend this little pocket radar. It’s small, accurate within one mph, and there’s a mode where you can do it by yourself. The capability to get readings without the help of a partner is a plus.

Pocket Radar

The Pocket Radar allows you to do a lot. People think the radar is just for pitching velocity, but you can track your exit velocity. The readings will let you know with positive results or not, and with this, you can track your exit velocity. You can see with real-time evidence what you just did staying connected that boosted your exit velocity.

I would highly recommend to get your swing on video and go back and do slow-motion. Compare yourself to some old videos or a big leaguer and see what you are doing mechanically in your swing. It’s always best to let the hitter see what their swing looks like and what you are trying to fix. Visual learning plays a big part in baseball. We have language barriers from having players all over the world, it is the best way of teaching.