Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine by SKLZ
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The Hurricane Machine Batting Drills
The Hurricane Machine uses specially designed powerbands to return the ball after each swing. The machines action is a “wrapping and unwrapping” process. The batter must allow the machine to unwind between swings to allow the tension on the bands to release. If the batter hits the ball without allowing the machine to “unwrap” the powerbands will stretch too tight, fatigue, and break. Powerbands should last at least one year.
Drill: Hurricane “BP”
The most common and frequently used drill
The batter assumes a position with the ball-rod directed at the middle of the batters body. The batter starts the drill by hitting the ball the first time from the “still” position.
After the first swing the batter will step one step to the right or left. Right-handers move right and left-handers move left. This puts the batter in a position to insure proper contact is made with the ball component.
The batter continues to hit the ball as it comes by every third pass.
The batter must take the time to reset after each swing to insure proper hitting mechanics and fundamentals are being practiced.
When the ball is hit hard with a level swing, the ball will return level at a good speed.
If the ball is missed or miss-hit, the ball will “bounce or bobble” up and down.
When the ball is bouncing, the batter may wish to stop and start the drill over. The batter may choose to hit the ball as it bounces. This is a difficult and challenging task.
Drill: “Streak Drill”
Build skill and entertains at the same time.
The STREAK DRILL is a competitive drill that allows a batter to compete against the best previous score or against other batters.
The object of the drill is to hit the ball as many times as possible, in succession, without a clean miss. The number of times the batter makes contact with the ball, without a clean miss, is the batters STREAK NUMBER for the competition.
If the batter cleanly misses, the batters “time to hit” is over. It is now time for another batter to hit.
When two batters compete, the players take turns batting and competing to see who can build the longest hitting streak. Any bat contact with the ball keeps the “batters streak” alive.
If a batter touches the ball with a hand, a non-swung bat, or stops the ball in any other way, the batters streak is stopped. It is now the next batters turn to hit.
The batter should make sure to make contact with the ball component and not the shaft.
7. The batter must allow the machine to unwind between swings to allow the tension on the bands to release. If the batter hits the ball without allowing the machine to “unwrap” the powerbands will stretch to tight, fatigue, and break.
Hurricane Specialty Drills
“One-handed drill builds strength and skill.”
Objective: The “Top-Hand” drill builds and develops arm strength in the wrist, forearms and biceps. The drill is used to improve hand-eye coordination of the top hand.
Procedure: The batter will hit the ball using only the batters top hand. The batter may “step into the ball” and use the lower body, hips and legs to help generate more power with these one-handed swings.
Recommended Number of Swings: Beginners should begin with 10 swings. Each week the batter should add 10 more swings until the batter can take 60 swings with a bat of normal weight. Advanced hitters may wish to use a weighted bat and increase the number of swings taken.
Coaching Point: The bat will always go where the top-hand takes it with the power generated by the bottom-hand. Players perform the “Top-Hand” drill with the top hand in its normal position on the bat grip. There should be an effort made to take a short, compact, and deliberate swing that perfectly hits the “bulb” of the ball. This drill can be performed with a still or moving ball. The batter may wish to kneel and perform this drill on one knee to make the arms muscle work above the shoulder thus building more strength.
“One-handed drill improves bat speed and power.”
Objective: To build and develop wrist, forearm, and muscle strength in the batters “bottom or pull hand.” The bottom hand generates most of the swings power and bat speed.
Procedure: The batter will hit the ball using the batters bottom hand on the bat grip. The batter may “step into the ball” and use the lower body, hips and legs to generate a more powerful swing.
Recommended Number of Swings: Beginners should begin with 10 swings. Each week the batter should add 10 more swings until the batter can take 60 swings with a bat of normal weight. Advanced hitters may with to use a weighted bat and increase the number of swings taken.
Coaching Point: The batter should perform this drill with “pull or bottom hand” in its normal position on the bats grip. There should be an effort made to take a short, compact, and deliberate swing that perfectly hit the “bulb” of the ball. This drill can be performed with a still or moving ball. It is recommended that this drill be performed with the ball set at its highest level possible to make the ball utilize the muscles of the arm rather than using gravity to move the bat.
The ball must be chest high to the batter to maximize the benefits received.
Very tall batters may have to kneel on a knee to perform the drill.
Drill: “Switch Hitting”
“Develops a batters ability to switch hit from both sides of the plate.”
Objective: The batter practices batting from both sides of the plate without having to stop, reset, or adjust the machine. This repetitive practice helps develop a solid swing from both sides of the plate.
Procedure: The batter assumes the regular contact position. The batter takes 5 swings right-handed and then takes 5 swings left-handed. The batter can practice hitting a still or moving ball.
Recommended Number of Swings: Beginners: 3 sets of 5 swings from each side allowing 15 swings from both sides (30 swings total). Advanced players should double or triple this workout as their strength and skill improves.
Coaching Point: The batter must allow the ball to stop and reverse directions when the batter switches sides. “Front-side Closure” and “Triggering Mechanism” should be given special attention when practicing switch hitting. This is a simple closing movement of the batters front side prior to each swing. This “closing” action helps the batter keep the front side in and insures that solid contact is made with total plate coverage. A batter may find it easy and natural to “trigger” from the batters natural swing side. That same batter may need high numbers of practice swings from the “adopted side” of the plate to make “triggering “ from that side feel natural and comfortable.
Helps correct the “Stepping Out” hitting flaw.
Objective: This drill emphasizes “stepping into” the ball to generate power and bat speed. This is an excellent drill to help young hitters eliminate the bad habit of “stepping out” during the swing.
Procedure: The batter starts the drill by standing farther away from the machine than normal. This starting position allows the batter to take two steps inward before swinging the bat.
The batter will step first with the back foot and then with the front foot. When the front foot “lands” the batter attacks the ball.
The drill may be performed with a still or moving ball. The batter should take the time to set and observe all body movement before and after each swing. It is sometimes good to have the batter freeze after the swing to see if the proper finish position is reached after each swing.
The batter should make sure to make contact with the ball component and not the shaft.
Recommended Number of Swings: 10 Swings
Coaching Point: The “Step-In-And-Hit” drill is a drill that every coach and parent should be familiar with and know about. At young levels of play we often see a batter “step-out”. The batter may have a fear of being hit. This drill works great in helping break this bad habit.
Coaching Point: If you observe a batter that is popping the ball up or missing the ball completely, chances are good that the batter is “flying open” or “losing the front-side” during the swing. The batter should use a closed stance and make a special effort to keep the toes, knees, belly button, and shoulders square to the plate until contact is made with the ball.
Coaching Point: If you observe a batter that is hitting everything into the dirt with a weak ground ball, chances are good that the batter is attacking the ball too soon. The batter should never have to reach or move the back foot to make contact with the ball. The batter should allow the ball to “come-inside” the batters front foot before attacking the ball to insure that proper contact can be made. This attack timing allows the batter to use the front legs as leverage to generate maximum power. The bat makes contact with the ball on a level plane rather than after the bat starts “arching upward”. This level contact allows the batter to hit line drives.
Posted by Coach's Profile: at 4:10 AM