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Let's say price is no object(which of course it always is)-What's the best way for a Highschool Sophomore to become the best hitter at his school? Looking for advice on skills/drills and on what days, equipment, lesson schedule, practice time/days/schedule, etc.  Background: He's already one of the best at his school, but wants to be "The G.O.A.T.". Currently playing football( Defensive End, Defensive Tackle and linebacker), but looking forward to Spring season. He's 6'2" 195 lbs. 

Thx, in advance , for your help.

C H Adams

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A well known instructor used to tell my son and the other kids he trained that in the off season they should replace low value hitting work (to him that meant front flips and most tee work) with weight lifting.  He also believed that they should be seeing the highest velo that they can handle, and then higher,  as much as possible (from a machine, obviously).

Bob, As always, you have great questions.

He bats Right; Not sure eye dominance; Swings a BBCOR Stinger Nuke 33/30( he's already hit two over the fence(one off a D1 Commit HS Senior, he had the best OPS of his team, but thinking of getting him a lighter bat),  Never has cell phone on when practicing or playing but probably spends a little too much time on the computer when at home, Currently reading: Nolan Ryan Autobiography ( he's also a pitcher), The Mental Game of Baseball, and another book called something like How to get recruited to play College Baseball, and a book on football.

Step one: Be born into an athletically dominant gene pool. I don’t believe in nurture over nature. I believe in nurturing the nature.

Some people argue there wasn’t an athlete in their family. It doesn’t mean someone didn’t have athletic potential. Or the potential came from an uncle or aunt.

A good hitting development program will include a balance of work on approach, mental strength, conditioning, regular game AB's against high level pitching and an organized cage program that works all of the above.

The options for tools, methods and details are widely varied and, in many ways, unique to each player.  Your son is likely well served to find a reputable hitting instructor whose teachings and personality are a good match.  He doesn't have to go to him regularly but at least check in for occasional tune-ups and mechanics checks.  Most good hitting instructors will also spend meaningful time with approach work.

An example of a cage progression is x# swings off the tee, front toss, BP pitching straight, BP off-speed, BP mixed, then finish with front toss to finish strong and confident.  Within that framework, also work hitting away, middle and pull.  If he can find a good BP arm to occasionally throw to him with live velo and off-speed (with the ability to be consistently in the zone), that is a great plus.  Lack of velo can be easily overcome by shortening the distance.  The only necessities are access to a good tee and net/cage and a feeder, human or otherwise.

Tanner Tees are great.  If you build a cage, don't make the mistake of making it too narrow and do use a good L-screen with strong netting. 

Last edited by cabbagedad

Thx Cabbagedad and Others,

Sounds like good advice. I've gotten the Batting cage built and have the L-Screen and a tanner T . I'm thinking of mixing up the days(one day Medicine ball and T work), the next day BP from a person and/or machine.  I'm thinking about 5-6 days a week, for about 30 minutes to 1 hour each day. I /we don't want to do too much, but not too little either.  How much/how often do most "great hitters" in highschool practice their batting?

Thx Cabbagedad and Others,

Sounds like good advice. I've gotten the Batting cage built and have the L-Screen and a tanner T . I'm thinking of mixing up the days(one day Medicine ball and T work), the next day BP from a person and/or machine.  I'm thinking about 5-6 days a week, for about 30 minutes to 1 hour each day. I /we don't want to do too much, but not too little either.  How much/how often do most "great hitters" in highschool practice their batting?

Frequency factors...

Most important is that the player drives the frequency and you help prevent physical and mental burnout.  You also have to consider what other sports, social, academic and other interests he is involved in.  A good deal of variety and balance will serve him well later in life for baseball and beyond (I CAN'T STRESS THAT ENOUGHT!!) but may mean he won't have as much time to put into baseball-specific work as you might like to see.  Also, he will want to be sharpest at the right times (HS season and key travel season, whatever that might be for him).  A gradual ramp up to those times seems to work well for most.  Regardless, I would not suggest more than five days a week.  A HS kid needs to live the full HS and teen experience - he only gets one pass at it.

Some of the best hitters I've had in our HS program have worked on it regularly most of the year.  More have been involved in multiple sports and taken lengthy breaks away from baseball with no negative impact unless they waited too long to ramp up or didn't put the time in when it was time.

Last edited by cabbagedad

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