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Discussion: hitting practice

Posted Discussion
June 7, 2014
34 posts
hitting practice
Just finished reading the excellent article in the spring issue of Senior Softball News entitled, "Batting Practice on Tee Helps Tone Swing," by Art Eversole. I hope Art himself will respond to this, but I want to hear from anyone who might offer any feedback.

I built myself a hitting station in my back yard with a 12 X 20 commercial fishing net. For months I used a stationary Tee and was able to hit balls at my liesure. Then I got another idea that seems to be working well. I purchased a SKLZ Quickswing PX4. For those who are unfamiliar, this is a plastic tube type setup that will hold 8-softballs. It is on a tripod and is raised to about 6 1/2 feet. It has a battery operated feeder that will drop a ball every 6,8 or 10-seconds. It can be configured a number of ways, but it also has a small net and frame rebounder at ground level onto which the ball falls and then is rebounded up into the strike zone. If positioned right it will loft the ball about chest high and right over the plate.

I can hit 100 balls in an hour with no difficulty. I put a bucket of balls up near the feeder end of the tube and load 8 balls at a time then go push the timer and hit all 8 before I feed another 8 balls. In the summer I can hit 100 balls in the morning and another 100 in the evening. With lights I could hit into the night easily.

I believe live arm slow pitching is the very best for hitting practice. But I can't afford the time or the expense of doing this several times a week. However, I can achieve 100-balls in an hour as I've described above. So here is my question for the hitting gurus out there in Senior Softball: Will the drop toss method I have set up provide a better hitting experience for me than hitting off a stationary Tee? Is the motion of the ball, even off a rebounder as I have just described, a better option for building muscle memory and technique? Would I be better off just hitting off the Tee?

With this approach I can position myself between pitches, I can think about bat speed, follow-through, extension, etc Even at age 71 I still love the game and want to improve, especially in my hitting technique. I have several other related questions about hitting practice, but will post those at another time. I am eager to hear from anyone who can give me some views and/or feedback. Thanks in advance.
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