SOFT TOSS HITTING
Soft toss hitting is a good batting drill to work on pulling the ball and learning to hit the ball to the opposite field. The first step in soft toss is to ensure the person tossing the ball is in a safe distance from the hitter. The person tossing the ball will try to lob a ball to the batter in a location were the batter will hit the ball into a fence or screen. The batter will try to concentrate on hitting the ball on the "sweet spot" part of the bat. The "sweet spot" on the bat is the location approximately five inches from the end of the bat where the bat is the largest diameter. Repetition is the key to this drill; the batter wants to try to hit the ball in the same location on the bat each time and hit the ball to the same spot on the screen.
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When working on soft toss hitting, try pulling the ball. The toss is lobbed slightly closer to the batter's body. The batter will work to clear the hips through the hitting zone before striking the ball. Clearing the hips will allow the batter to position the bat to hit the ball on the "sweet spot" part of the bat. The batter should concentrate on hitting the ball out in front of the body with his or her weight slightly on the back foot. Also, make sure the hitter's head is down watching the ball on contact.
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Hitting the ball to the opposite field requires the toss to be in a position where the batter slightly reaches for the ball. The batter should keep the hips more closed then when trying to hit the ball the other way and weight slightly on the front foot. The batter should visualize a spot on the screen that is slightly away from the body and try to hit this spot every time. A good trick when hitting the ball the other way is to bring the hands through first with the end of the bat slightly behind the hands, stepping to the ball, on contact. This will allow the hitter to make contact with the "sweet spot" of the bat hitting the ball the other way.
Remember, as a batter the most important part of hitting is to see the ball. This requires bringing the head down in a position to see the bat strike the ball. In addition, an important aspect to soft toss is repetition, so a hitter should work on hitting the ball on the "sweet spot" part of the bat and hitting the ball to the same location on the screen many times. For the best results, work on pulling the ball twenty times and hitting the ball to the opposite field twenty times and then switching with the person tossing the ball. Continue to do this drill in sets of five to tens times so a batter is getting at least 100 swings.
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