The Best Baseball Drills for a Competitive Practice
You’ve probably heard the old adage that says “practice how you play.” As a baseball coach, your goal should be to make practice competitive, challenging and fast-paced, so that when your players step into a game they can relax and have fun!
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In this article, you’ll find a baseball practice plan template that highlights the best drills for keeping your team energized and engaged throughout the training session.
The concepts and drills below are a great starting point for any team — whether you’re coaching a youth club that’s just learning the fundamentals or a high school team with players working to get to college or the pros.
Table of Contents:
How to Plan an Effective Baseball Practice
The first step in planning an effective baseball practice is recognizing the need to make a practice plan in the first place. Too many coaches wing it — they show up at the field with an idea of what they want to accomplish that day, but no specific plan or schedule. This leads to inefficient practices that bore players and waste time.
It’s important to evaluate what kinds of work your team needs and then develop a concrete plan that meets those needs. This means coming to every practice session with a thoughtfully-considered schedule that (at the very least) outlines exactly what drills you’ll be doing that day, how long you’ll be spending on them, and which players will be participating in which groups.
With that said, let’s dig into some of the specific considerations and drills that you can implement to make your practice plans more productive.
Related reading: How to Approach Outside Hitting Coaches
Give Your Players Physical Homework
At The Hitting Vault, we firmly believe that understanding and implementing correct body movements is key to unlocking your power. That’s why it’s essential to have stations and aspects of your practice that are devoted to learning these movements and sequences.
Physical homework is an opt-in strategy for players, as they’ll get out what they put in. Members of The Hitting Vault can utilize our library of drills to help with mobility and rotational strength.
For elite players and teams, our SwingFit and SwingFit Elite program includes a baseline testing and lifting regimen. Our content can be a valuable resource for extending your players’ learning and development beyond the diamond or gym.
In the hitting section below, we’ll describe a station based around basic movements that help improve mobility and power development. Whether or not you utilize THV’s members-only content, you should make an effort to give your players a consistent (but not overwhelming) stream of physical homework that’s appropriate for their skill level.
This can include research and writing (such as watching instructional videos and writing short reflections, or watching and analyzing the swings of other players), or practice-based homework like indoor drills or exercises. Your coaching goal should be to empower your players to develop into the best possible athlete that their drive will allow.
Warm Up the Right Way
Have your players jog, stretch, run through plyometrics or whatever warmup routine you have in place. From there, have them throw until their arms are loose.
Ages 12 and up should start doing long toss 2-3 times per week as part of their warmup regimen. Long toss helps open up the arm and is the best way to improve arm strength.
In general, you’ll want to limit this throwing duration to around 15 minutes. Your team’s total warmup should take about 25-30 minutes.
After warming up, players should immediately break into groups of infielders, outfielders, pitchers and catchers.
Drills for Infielders
Daily Infield Drills for Fundamentals and Skill Development
Every day, infielders should be working on their hand-eye coordination by reading ground balls.
There are two ways to field ground balls that are hit right at you: the “funnel” (which is basically absorbing the ball into the body) and the “reverse funnel” (in which the fielder moves through the ball). Both approaches are used at the elite level.
Regardless of whether they funnel or reverse funnel, infielders need to focus on keeping their wrist bent and their fingers pointed towards the ground. It’s a skill that will translate into charging ground balls and fielding line drives on the short hop.
Remember, when it comes to short hops, it’s best to work from the ground up. That’s because it’s easier to adjust to a bad hop that jumps than to one that stays low to the ground. The fielder’s head and eyes should be behind the glove — not only for protection, but also because it helps with tracking the ball into the glove.
The first of our infield drills helps fielders with these short hop skills.
Short Hop Drill
Have infielders begin on their knees with no glove. The players should align in pairs, across from each other and about 10 feet apart. Partners will alternate in throwing firm (but not overpowering) short hops, completing eight reps each of:
- Glove side
- Straight on
Repeat this drill two more times — once standing in the ready position with no glove, and once in the ready position with a glove.
Double Barrel Fielding Drill
After the short hop drill is completed, infielders should break into a double barrel infield. This alignment requires two coaches (or two players, if you lack coaches). Players will field ground balls for a total of 15 minutes, following the template below:
- Round 1: 5-3, 6-4-3 (no throw) and 4-6-3 (no throw)
In this round, the third basemen are throwing across the field to first, so the second basemen and shortstops will field grounders and work on their feeds and footwork to turn a double play without actually finishing.
During this round, the second basemen are working on finishing double plays and turning around throws from third. The shortstops are playing in and making throws to home as if there’s a runner trying to score. Be sure to alternate hitting ground balls for safety purposes; that way, the shortstop doesn’t get in the way of the throw from third to first and take a ball off the side of the head.
Here, the first basemen get to work on fielding a grounder, throwing to second and then getting back to the base to turn the double. The second and third basemen will throw home.
Drills for Outfielders
When designing outfield drills, keep in mind that it’s crucial to have players practice ball tracking while sprinting, because they need to develop the athleticism and judgment to successfully chase down fly balls hit into the gap and over their heads. Make sure they’re running on their toes so their heads aren’t bouncing up and down, which makes it hard to track the flight of the ball.
Also, note that elite players need to be able to sprint to a spot on the field without looking at the ball, then picking it up in mid-air on the run.
Why would you want to take your eyes off the ball? Simple: you’re fastest when your head is down and you’re in a normal sprinting position. Have you ever tried sprinting while looking up at the sky? It’s slow and awkward, which makes it the wrong way to get to fly balls.
As outfielders improve, they need to be able to read the ball’s trajectory right off the bat, so they can take the most efficient route possible. The ability to correctly anticipate the ball’s flight path increases their range for the reason stated above — they can just put their head down and go.
This is a skill elite center fielder Kevin Pillar has mastered over the course of his career.
Here are a few outfield drills that can help build this and other important skills.
Triangle Drill with Tennis Balls
This drill helps teach communication skills and pop-up priorities in the outfield. Using this drill, especially with younger athletes, will help build confidence to go after balls that may be out of their comfort zone.
What you need to do is separate your outfielders into three groups and position them at cones arranged as shown in the picture below. This can be done on either side of the field.
The circled player has priority, meaning that if they call for the ball, the other two players must get out of the way. A simple way to help develop good on-field communication is to have each player converge on the ball; if one of the “X” marked players wants it, they’ll yell “Ball, Ball, Ball” slowly. If the circled player (the one with priority) decides they want it, they’ll call “Ball! Ball! Ball!” loudly and quickly. This allows the non-priority player to hear the priority player, even if they’re both calling for the ball at the same time.
For this drill, you can either throw balls or use fungo bats. Mix it up between throwing balls right at a player (to make sure they’re not cheating and getting an early jump) and placing the ball between the players to force communication.
Fly Ball Reps
Once the outfielders have gone through the triangle drill for 10-15 minutes, hit them a mix of fly balls and ground balls, and have them work on coming through the ball as much as they can.
What we mean by “coming through the ball” is getting behind it and taking a good angle to be ready to crow hop and make an aggressive throw to the relay or base. Their body should not be stationary when they’re catching the ball, but rather moving forward in the direction of the throw. The catch should be made at about eye level.
While these are important reps for outfielders, they do not compare to the ones they need to take in batting practice. Outfielders can read fungo bats easier than reading One Fish, Two Fish by Dr. Seuss, because the hitter usually turns his or her body towards where they intend to hit. In order to improve their reading and reaction times, they need to get plenty of reads off live hitting.
Drills for Catchers
A great team starts with a great catcher. Having a catcher with a high baseball IQ will help keep your team grounded, and having one who can frame pitches to steal strikes, block balls and throw runners out will translate to runs saved and extra wins.
Blocking Drills for Catchers
Catchers who keep balls in the dirt in front of them limit the opposing team’s baserunning ability.
For the first drill, set up six balls about 10 feet apart, off to the side of the baseline. Catchers need to be in full gear for this drill, as they’ll get into their stance and walk in their low squat position forward to each baseball. As they approach each ball, they’ll drop to their knees as if they’re blocking a pitch.
For the six balls, the catcher should slide to their left twice, slide to their right twice, and drop straight down twice.
Do this three times through: your catchers will get tired because this is a leg strengthener, but they need to be able to still block balls with good form at the end of the game and through the long season.
Here are some other worthwhile catching drills to shuffle into your practise.
Receiving and Pitch Framing Drills for Catchers
Good framing can alter the course of a ballgame, because having the ability to get that questionable outside pitch called for a third strike is a momentum changer. The best catchers in Major League Baseball can steal strikes at any point in time, so it’s important to help your catchers start to develop this skill.
To help with this, start saving the plastic lids from to-go containers (like the one pictured below). These are great tools for teaching how to frame pitches.
With your catchers in full gear, throw these lids at them like they’re little frisbees. The more they catch, the better. They’re not the easiest to catch at first, but over time they become easier to handle.
This drill teaches catchers how to let the ball travel and be able to stick it where it’s thrown.
Letting the ball travel means allowing the ball to come to you behind the plate; as a catcher, you want to receive the ball without reaching forward for it.
By teaching your players to let the ball travel and stick it, you will find your team stealing a lot more strikes. Atlanta Braves catcher Tyler Flowers is one of the best defensive catchers in the MLB, and this video helps dive into more of the philosophy of a strong receiving catcher.
Another simple and effective way to help your catchers become better at receiving, blocking and framing is to have them catch bullpens over and over again. These are their chances to work with the pitching staff and understand how each pitcher’s arsenal moves.
Defensive Drills for Pitchers
Pitchers’ Fielding Practice
Pitchers need to be able to field their position. To help them get better at it, bring them in towards the end of the infielders’ drills to work on pitchers’ fielding practice (PFP).
Hit ground balls, alternating between the first baseman and the pitcher (with some in between). The goal is to force the pitcher to make a decision between covering the bag or fielding the ball. This drill isn’t relevant for softball, as pitchers aren’t required to cover first.
When covering first, the pitcher should cut up along the inside of the base path, running parallel to (but not on) the foul line. The pitcher should never cross the foul line, as doing so puts the player at risk for getting barreled into by the runner.
As the pitcher approaches the bag, the first baseman gives a nice underhand feed, leading the pitcher to the base. The pitcher receives the feed, taps the bag, and curls off into fair territory.
Seven and Ones
This drill gets both pitchers and infielders involved, and should be done for about 10 minutes before the whole team comes together for infield/outfield.
There are seven plays that occur during this drill, which moves fast. That means that each ball will be hit shortly after completion of the previous play.
- Ground ball to either the first baseman or the pitcher. Make the out at first.
- Ground ball to the pitcher, who throws to second to complete a 1-6-3 double play.
- Ground ball to third base, turning a 5-4-3 double play.
- Ground ball to second base, turning a 4-6-3 double play.
- Ground ball to first, turning a 3-6-3 double play with the pitcher covering (if necessary).
- Bunt down the third base line, forcing communication between the pitcher, the third baseman and the catcher.
- Soft ground ball or bunt to the pitcher with a glove flip home to prevent a suicide squeeze.
This is where players take the reps they just performed in their group session and bring them to life in a game simulation. Hit a mix of fly balls and ground balls to the outfielders, forcing them to take different routes and make harder throws (including throwing through the relay).
Start with balls to the outfielders, throwing to bases in the following order:
- 2 throws each to second base
- 2 throws each to third base
- 2 throws each to home
Once the outfielders are done, they can go grab some water while the infielders take their ground balls as follows:
- 2 plays each to first
- 2 double plays each
- 1 play with the infield in to cut a runner down at home
- 1 long-short
For the long-short, align the infielders at their maximum depth for their respective positions. Hit a hard grounder to their right side, forcing them to set their feet and make a long cross-field throw to first. Hitting the ball to their deep right also prevents them from cheating by playing up on the ball.
After making the long throw to first, they’ll immediately charge a slow roller set down by the catcher (or the coach), and make the play to first.
Baseball Practice Hitting Stations
As we mentioned earlier in this practice plan, understanding and implementing the correct sequence of movements is essential for producing power at the plate. As a coach, you should utilize hitting stations that help players learn, develop, and master these movements.
There are four stations you should have in the hitting part of your practice to teach different movements, build good habits and develop muscle memory.
Hitting Station #1: Movement Station
Having a good movement sequence is one of the keys to unlocking your power, so hitters need to start learning early how the body should move towards the ball for maximum impact.
Two great drills that can be done for this are the Resisted Separation Drill and the Separation Drill.
Resisted Separation Drill
The Resisted Separation Drill helps hitters feel the correct sequence, which is hips then torso, with the barrel of the bat getting on the correct plane as early as possible. If you have Jaeger Bands or similar bands, you’ll want to use those. If not, you can do the drill without the bands, or just tie some rope (comfortably) around the players’ wrist.
In the left picture (below), Coach Peterson is in a good launch position. In the picture on the right, she’s moving towards contact. If you’re not fully versed in the importance of launch position, you can learn more in this article.
Your hitters should not go further than Coach Peterson’s position in the picture on the right. She has created good separation in her launch position, and from there is turning her hips while getting the bat on plane. The feeling of her shoulders and hands staying back while her front hip opens to the pitcher creates the correct sequence (hips, then torso, then hands and barrel).
Separation Drill (Without Bands)
Another effective drill is the Separation Drill. Here, the hitter starts in his or her stance, looking at the pitcher. From there, they will internally rotate their front hip. Notice the wrinkles in Coach Peterson’s shirt, which illustrates the desired rotation.
From that rotated position, the hitter explodes through the zone with their hips (while keeping their shoulders square).
This is strictly a lower half drill that teaches the movement of the hips and torso while separating it from the shoulders. These are two different movements: hitters need to be able to explode through the zone with their lower half before their upper body follows.
In the picture below, you can see that the wrinkles in Coach Peterson’s shirt have changed direction. That’s because she’s now externally rotating as opposed to internally rotating.
Full Turns Drill
This drill builds on the Separation Drill (above), and also integrates the last phase of the swing. The Full Turns Drill teaches hitters the proper hip and torso rotation. This is an easy drill that all hitters can utilize during their careers.
Hitters will set up with a bat barred across their chest, and will then stride and “swing.”
The “swing” should look just like a real swing, except that the hands are taken out of the equation since the bat is barred across the chest. The finish position should have the knob of the bat pointed to the pitcher, with the hitter’s back facing home plate.
The best players in baseball and softball have the ability to finish their swing and rotate around their torso like this. One of these players is a perennial American League MVP candidate, and the other is a recent top prospect call-up. Aaron Judge (left) has eight inches of height on Michael Chavis (right), but both show tremendous ability to rotate and drive the baseball with power.
Keep in mind that a hitter will not have their back facing home plate at the end of every swing. That’s especially true on pitches where the hitter is late, and occasionally on an outside pitch. But with that in mind, we want to practice having that full movement and mobility to make sure we’re not consistently cutting off our hip rotation.
Hitting Station #2: Tee Drills
Rock the Baby Drill
This drill will help teach rhythm, timing and proper shoulder movement to the ball. When performed correctly, this drill will help hitters prevent themselves from wrapping the bat around their head, and instead teach the correct movement of the shoulders.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to do this drill. Here’s what the right way looks like in the rocking portion of the drill: Coach Peterson’s shoulders are working together and the knob of the bat is moving from catcher to pitcher.
If you catch your hitters locking their arms or rotating around their torso, step in. These movements, as illustrated below, are incorrect.
So, rock back and forth three to four times to really feel the movement of the shoulders, then bring the bat up, load, stride and swing.
From the loaded position, finish the swing. As soon as the rocking part of the drill has been completed, the hitter should be able to go from their load and stride to finishing the swing.
Don’t Squish the Bug
A common misconception is that hitters have to “squish the bug” to create power. Well, that’s not true. Hitters create power by having separation, a good sequence, and hip rotation like we talked about earlier. When the hips are rotating hard into a firm front knee, the back foot should become weightless at or before contact. Typically, we see a hitter’s back foot actually lose contact with the ground and/or move forward.
The Don’t Squish the Bug Drill forces hitters to have their back foot become weightless instead of just spinning on the ball of their foot.
Have the hitter start in their stance with a bucket of baseballs up against their back foot. The hitter will then load into their back hip and stride. In the picture below, notice how the hitter is maintaining his posture and keeping his knee inside his back foot, so that he’s ready to move forward.
From here, the hitter strides forward and fires his lower half to the ball while shifting his momentum into his front leg. His body weight remains central to his stride length. He rotates his back foot without touching the bucket, creating positive movement with the back foot (not his head, which stays still after launch position).
At contact, the hitter’s hands are in a good palm up/palm down position. He has good rotation as his hips are facing the pitcher. He crushed that ball.
Cody Bellinger, who is absolutely on fire for the Los Angeles Dodgers, does this extremely well. Note how his foot is off the ground at the point of contact.
The final drill of the batting tee station is the Crossover Drill, which helps hitters keep their back side from collapsing during the swing. This drill also helps with creating positive movement forward to the baseball (and with generating power).
To start, begin the drill with the hitter’s front foot crossed over the back foot (as shown in the picture below). From this position, the hitter will step/fall forward into launch position. As the foot moves forward, the hands and shoulders stay back. The goal is to maintain the tension and separation that should be created, so don’t allow the hitter to start taking his or her hands to the ball until after launch position.
The hitter will land in launch position and explode through the baseball.
The important part is nailing the landing from the crossed position. Working from that position gives the hitter the ability to have their body work on the plane of the pitch the right way with power.
Hitting Station #3: Front Toss
Seeing the baseball is just as important as the mechanics of hitting it. If you can’t see and track the ball, how are you supposed to hit it? As players move up in skill level and the pitching gets better, this skill becomes more and more important.
Track and Catch Drill
While it’s a myth that you actually see the ball hit the bat at contact, it’s still important to pick the ball up from the release point to the hitting zone. This is a good drill that should be done at the beginning of front toss since it helps with tracking and promotes proper torso movement.
This drill is simple. Have your hitters stand in the box in their stance. They’ll load, stride and pretend to swing at the ball. Instead of hitting it, they’ll catch it. This is a simple yet effective way to work on tracking, and to ensure the hitter isn’t pulling his or her head out.
Pulling the front shoulder, or pulling your head out, is caused by not having the correct torso tilt or hip hinge in the swing. Focus on keeping the tilt during the drill. As hitters improve, you can shuffle locations, moving the ball inside, up, down, etc.
Track and Catch Drill: Setup
Track and Catch Drill – Execution
TIP: for elite players and hitters, mix up your grips and have them tell you if the pitch was a four-seam or two-seam. You can also tell them to only catch strikes, which can help build a stronger sense of the strike zone.
Get On-Plane Drill
This one is at the foundation of hitting. If you can’t get on-plane and stay on-plane, it’s going to be extremely hard to hit the ball for power (and you won’t have very much room for error). We see a lot of players struggle with pulling off early or getting on-plane too late, resulting in weakly-hit balls.
This drill is normally done off a batting tee. But it also works with front toss, where it can be used to develop even more rhythm and timing.
The hitter will start square to the pitcher with the bat on his or her shoulder. The first movement will be to get the upper part of the body into a loaded position while keeping the lower half facing the pitcher.
See how the hitter has his lower half still facing the pitcher? This is the “starting position” for this drill. From that position, the hitter will swing the bat. Starting this way forces the bat onto the correct plane.
Notice how the hitter is maintaining his torso tilt, just like in the Track and Catch Drill described above. Aside from bat control, this drill also helps with learning the right sequence, since we’re forcing the hitter to have their hips starting ahead of their hands.
Finally, the hitter finishes with good extension to the pitcher and his back rotated to where he started. This drill may be awkward and uncomfortable at first, but after a few reps players should be able to get the hang of it.
After these two drills, get some regular swings in off front toss. However, don’t just take wasteful hacks with no intent to do damage. Make sure hitters are swinging only at pitches in the strike zone, and taking all the balls. We want to create as much of a game-like scenario as possible.
Hitting Station #4: Live Pitching
Ideally, if you have pitchers that are able to throw live, that’s the best option for your hitters. The more live reps they get, the better. And honestly, it helps pitchers also get game-like reps in. If that’s not available, then the next-best option is to have a coach throw. If that doesn’t work, a pitching machine will also satisfy what the players need here. (Live-arm reps are always preferable to those that come off a pitching machine.)
Related reading: Machine Pitching vs. Front Toss
Remember, as we mentioned earlier, this is the time for players to get their live defensive reps (especially outfielders). Getting live reads off of bats in BP is about as close as they’ll get to game speed reps during practice, so clear out your pitchers and let the outfielders chase down baseballs.
Round 1: Swing Away
This is the chance for hitters to get repetitions and drive the ball all over the field. You can have your hitters take two rounds of five or one round of 8-12 swings. It’s ultimately up to the coach to determine how many repetitions hitters need. Time permitting, the defense can play out grounders and flies. To get a better idea of how many cuts eat player needs, check out our article on how many reps hitters should be taking.
Round 2: Do Your Job
Having the ability to execute a bunt or a hit and run makes the difference between good and great teams. During this round, players should get down three bunts, execute two hit and runs, one “get him over,” and drive the runner in twice.
Let’s break it down:
- 2 sacrifice bunts: one left, one right.
- 1 suicide squeeze: make sure hitters don’t show early.
- 2 hit and runs: swing, unless the pitch is just insane.
- 1 get ‘em over: hit to center or the right side to advance the runner from second to third.
- 2 get ‘em in: Drive two baseballs. There’s a runner on third and he or she needs to score. Do whatever it takes.
In our softball drills and practice plan article, we have a competition round that, with a few adjustments for outs and team size, is also a great way to end a baseball practice on a high note.
Another competition is the age-old “hit the screen” game. Divide the team into two equally-skilled teams. Hitters will cycle through, getting one chance to hit a line drive off the L-screen. For it to count as a line drive, that means the ball has to hit at least halfway up the L-screen.
Whenever a player hits the L-screen, his or her team is awarded one point. The team with the most points at the end of three rounds wins, and the losing team has to pick up the field. This game is a great way to finish practise because it allows for a fun, competitive atmosphere that also works on line drive skills.
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The 3 Best Ways to Improve at Hitting a Curveball
- A curveball will quickly expose a poor weight shift, causing a hitter to lunge at the ball. Baseball players can work on drills that will help them improve hitting a curveball.
- Even if a player doesn’t have a big brother, friend, coach or pitching machine to throw bona fide curveballs, he can still train his pitch recognition with a few simple techniques.
- Next, throw regular batting practice using the different colored balls and ask the hitter to call out the type of pitch (according to the color you’ve chosen) as soon as he can spot it.
- Even if the batting practice thrower just throws fastballs, the task of identifying each type of pitch will still train the hitter to look hard at the details of the ball as soon as it leaves the pitcher’s hand.
- The earlier a hitter can set aside practice time to work on pitch recognition, the faster they’ll build that skill.
Young hitters have a very difficult time hitting a curveball. Even at an early age when curveballs are not particularly sharp or deceptive, they’re still tough identify and hit hard.
In this article, we’ll discuss some easy ways to help players improve at hitting a curveball.
1. Fix Flaws in the Weight Shift of Your Swing
A common piece of baseball lingo is “getting exposed.” The term is used when a pitcher has something—a sharp breaking ball or perhaps a high velocity fastball—that is so good that it exposes flaws in a hitter’s swing.
This is especially true in youth baseball, where many players are still learning how to hit and shift their weight properly. A curveball will quickly expose a poor weight shift, causing a hitter to lunge at the ball. It’s no secret that when a hitter lunges at a pitch, he has little chance of hitting it hard.
So, step one in hitting a curveball is developing a good swing. This may sound obvious but it’s the foundation every hitter needs. Often parents look to pitch recognition training first, when in reality their young sluggers still need more time working on fundamental hitting technique.
Make Batting Tee Work Part of Your Hitting Foundation
Batting tee work should be a part of every hitter’s practice plan. With a stationary ball, a hitter can focus first and foremost on improving the mechanics of his swing. This sets the foundation for a proper weight shift and gives him a fighting chance at squaring up a curveball.
2. Hit More Curveballs by Finding a Coach, Player or Pitching Machine to Throw Them
One challenge in learning to identify different pitches is seeing them regularly. The best way to improve at picking up curveball spin is by, well, seeing more curveballs. A few at-bats per game just won’t cut it.
So, ask around—find an older player, coach, friend or parent who might be willing to throw some curveball-heavy batting practice. If that fails, the local batting cage may have a machine that could throw them, or a scan of the local classifieds might turn up an affordable used pitching machine.
Be creative and don’t be afraid to ask for help—seeing more curveballs is the #1 way to improve at hitting them.
3. Use Colored Balls to Develop Better Pitch Recognition
Even if a player doesn’t have a big brother, friend, coach or pitching machine to throw bona fide curveballs, he can still train his pitch recognition with a few simple techniques.
Try using different colored markers (say blue and green) to color up a few baseballs for batting practice. There are a number of ways to do this:
- Trace the seams with the marker, making them a different color than the typical red.
- Draw large dots on different aspects of the ball.
- Color large sections of the leather, making the ball appear mostly the color of the marker.
Then, assign each color to a type of pitch. Regular balls could be fastballs, blue balls curveballs and green balls changeups.
Next, throw regular batting practice using the different colored balls and ask the hitter to call out the type of pitch (according to the color you’ve chosen) as soon as he can spot it.
Even if the batting practice thrower just throws fastballs, the task of identifying each type of pitch will still train the hitter to look hard at the details of the ball as soon as it leaves the pitcher’s hand. This, in turn, will help teach the visual skills a hitter needs to identify the spin of a curveball versus a fastball.
What Have You Tried? Have You Improved at Hitting a Curveball?
As players climb the ranks in baseball, pitchers throw more and better curveballs, sliders and changeups.
The earlier a hitter can set aside practice time to work on pitch recognition, the faster they’ll build that skill. Pitch recognition training will make it easier to lay off tough curveballs and smash the ones that hang in the zone.
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Softball Hitting Drills for Riseball
Softball Hitting Drills for Riseball
This Softball Hitting Drills for Riseball article is excerpted from our new book The Ultimate Hitting Training Guide (click to view details of our new drill book).
Before diving into Softball Hitting Drills for Riseball, we recommend reviewing our fundamentals article where good and poor rise spins are pictured and described. Click Fundamentals for Hitting the Rise Ball.
For recommendations on how and when to use various training methods (dry, heavy bag, pylos, tee, toss, live, machine, etc.) and to shop for practical and durable training equipment click on the link Hitting Training Methods and Aids.
Note that the products discussed on our site have been used in our training of hitters with great success. At no extra cost to you, things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.
Rise Ball Hitting Drill to Develop Swing Patterns
Softball Hitting Drills for Riseball
Most rise balls, at high school and even into college, do not rise! They are simply a high, slightly inward drifting fastball. To make a pitch rise at 60 mph or below it must have a nearly perfect backward spin – this is extremely difficult to learn.
Many hitters strike out on the poor rise simply because they have yet to achieve the patience to lay off pitches above the zone.
Purpose – The hitter constructs a swing pattern to raise productivity for the pitch that breaks upward.
Attention Focus – External Process Focus on the hitter’s swing pattern (click the link for descriptions of various ways to focus during practice and games).
Step 1 (Rise Ball Pitch Recognition)
Ask each of the team pitchers to stand about twenty feet away and spin their rise ball. The hitter(s) observes wrist and finger position at release to identify the rise. Then, match the spin to the pictures to judge good vs. poor. For images of good and poor rise ball spins, click on Fundamentals for Hitting the Rise Ball.
Now ask the pitchers to go back to regulation distance and throw their rise. Closely observe the release of the pitch, the pitcher’s body position, and the trajectory of the ball as it arrives at the plate. If the pitcher throws the poor rise under 60 mph, the pitch crosses the plate level or slightly dropping. If the pitcher throws the poor spinning rise over 60 mph, the pitch continues to follow closer to the upward trajectory given to it at release. If the pitcher has a good rise spin and the ball travels over 60 mph, the rise lifts higher than its upward trajectory – a terrific “out” pitch.
Recognizing the rise at release and the spin as the ball travels guides the fastpitch softball hitter when making their plan at the plate, especially when facing a pitcher predominantly throwing rise balls.
Step 2 (Hit the Poor Rise)
Practice hitting the poor rise as the hitter would any high fastball (see Tool XXVIII: Pitch Location Drills, Drill VI – High Pitch Drill in our drills book).
Step 3 (Experiment with Methods to Hit the Good Rise)
An excellent spinning rise is challenging. A dot or circle on the side of the ball indicates a well-spun rise ball.
Use 1) live pitching or 2) a Jugs one-wheel pitching machine (click the link to shop for a durable and affordable pitching machine) with Jugs lite-flight (foam) balls (click to shop for lite flights). Lite Flights from 25 feet fly like an excellent spinning rise ball. Further away, and they rise too much. Here are two swing patterns to experiment with for hitting the rising pitch:
Technique 1 for Hitting the Rise Ball (Aim Higher)
Target the machine at or just under the top of the strike zone. Ask the hitter to use the same swing path as the high fastball (+3 to +7 attack angle) but aim higher in the ball’s projected (vunneled) upward direction. With this strategy, the hitter is not swinging in the plane of the pitch. The pitch trajectory is up, and so is the barrel, resulting in a reduced margin of error at their intersection – timing needs to be precise to square up the ball. Block practice 50 swings striving to lay-off pitches breaking above the zone. Measure and track the number of line drives and try to improve at each practice.
Technique 2 for Hitting the Rise Ball (Top-Hand-Over)
The hitter could start their hands high and simply swing down to get on plane with the good rise. But due to the longer and downward swing path, productivity would suffer on all other non-rise pitches.
Instead, here is how to build a top-hand-over swing pattern (tomahawk). Start with slow dry swings. Just as the hands start to move from their loaded position, the hitter “throws a punch” with their top hand while keeping the bottom hand stable. At first, the barrel points straight up and then straight down as the slow swing finishes. The hitter naturally feels awkward at first – they have been taught not to roll their hands over early. Now gradually increase the speed of the dry swing. When executed at full speed, these early, top-hand over bottom-hand (“rolling over”) mechanics drive the barrel slightly up, over, and then in a slightly downward swing path as the barrel enters the hitting zone (just as when rolling over hands more out-front). Ideally, the barrel travels slightly downward (-5 attack angle), in the same plane (click to view our free article describing the advantages of swinging in plane with the trajectory of the pitch) as the lifting rise ball, thereby maximizing the margin of error and increasing the rate of hard-hit balls. Use this new swing pattern only when the hitter identifies the rise at release.
Anytime the hitter can get their swing path on the same plane as the pitch, contact rate goes up.
Once the hitter has obtained a moderate comfort level, return to the pitching machine and lite flights. Ask the hitter to hit the high rise using the top-hand-over technique. Frequently, stop and do a few more dry swings to continue to build the feeling. Because comfort increases over time, ask the hitter to experiment for at least four practices before determining if the top-handover pattern works for them.
Rise Ball Hitting Drill to Improve Plate Approach
Softball Hitting Drills for Riseball
Poor rise balls do not rise! They are simply a high, slightly inward drifting fastball. On the other hand, the well-spun rise is a deceiving pitch.
Purpose – Increase productivity when facing pitchers throwing a high percentage of rises.
Attention Focus – External Process Focus on identifying the rise at release and predicting the pitch path.
Step 1 (Recognize Release and Spin)
Perform Step 1 of the drill above.
Step 2 (Look High and Fast and “Crush” the Poor Rise)
Rise balls are thrown as hard as the pitcher’s fastball. The poor rise has nearly the same path as the high fastball. If the pitcher’s rise spin is poor, causing the trajectory to flatten as the pitch reaches the plate, the hitter can look for any pitch high and fast until they have two strikes (click for our free article When and How to Look for a Pitch). The hitter checks on all slow or low pitches and pitches above the strike zone.
If the hitter identifies a pitcher throwing 33% or more rise balls AND the rise has a poor spin, expect a “field day” with the right plate approach, good high pitch discipline, and a grooved high strike swing pattern.
With a two-strike count, the hitter may switch to more of a protection approach using their baseline two-strike strategy (see Tool XXXI: Mental Training Drills, Drill IV – Two Strike Drill in our drills book).
Begin by practicing Tool XXVIII: Pitch Location Drills, Drill VI – High Pitch Drill (in our drills book). Then use front toss, machine, live BP, or live pitching, or a combination. Mix up pitches, including one-third high fastball strikes, one-third fastballs above the strike zone, and one-third off-speed and low pitches. If using a machine, loosen the vertical adjustment lever to vary pitch height.
The hitter only swings on the high and fast strike. When the high strike comes, ask the hitter to make it count and drive the ball hard at a 15-degree launch angle (just above the fence line) to the middle of the field.
To get the high and fast look confident and game-ready, the hitter practices this step until they can complete both of the following goals within 100 pitches:
- Ninety-percent correct look decisions (no chasing pitches above the zone).
- Twenty hard-hit balls.
Step 3 (Plate Approach with Less Than Two Strikes for the Good Rise)
If a pitcher throws 33%+ rise balls AND the rise has the correct spin, creating a lifting trajectory, the best way to beat this pitcher is patience. Hitters look low (low pitch including off-speed) or low and fast (low fastballs or low mistake rises only) until two strikes. The goals are to avoid 1) chasing the rise ball out of the top of the zone and wasting a strike or worse, 2) popping out.
Crucially, it is delicate for fastpitch softball pitchers to locate that lifting rise ball for a high strike. Typically, the vast majority of well-spun rise balls, starting above waist-high, result in balls. Even though tempting to swing at, the hitter purposefully trains to lay off. Looking low is the solution; looking low against a good rise pitcher generally gets the hitter ahead in the count. And, just because a pitcher “sneaks in” one rise strike is no reason to change the look – remain patient! Be ready for the rise ball mistake, starting below waist-high. Due to the lower trajectory, even the upward spinning rise crosses the plate level, making them a fat pitch.
Use a pitching machine with Jugs Pitching Machines lite-flight balls to practice the low fast look (to learn more about affordable but effective equipment click on the link Hitting Training Methods and Aids. ). Lite-flights from 25 feet fly like an excellent spinning rise ball. Further away, and they rise too much. If the machine is aimed lower, lite-flights stay level, just as with a rise ball “mistake” pitch thrown low. Vary up and down pitch location by loosening the vertical lever on the machine to adjust the pitch’s height. Ask the hitter to block practice 50 rise balls, swinging only at waist-high and below pitches (looking low and fast). Repeat during at least four upcoming practices.
Next, use live pitching from a regulation distance. Ask the pitcher to mix in rises, change-ups, and low fastballs to effectively help the hitter train. The hitter can look for any pitch low or a low fastball/rise only. Block practice 50 pitches laying off anything above the waist.
By looking low, the fastpitch softball hitter sees better pitches to hit and dramatically increases their Quality At-Bat Percentage (QAB%) facing great rise ball pitchers.
Step 4 (Plate Approach with Two Strikes for the Good Rise)
The pitcher knows the batter is more inclined to protect and chase the rise above the zone with two strikes. The good spinning rise ball is an “out” pitch for which the hitter diligently prepares by:
- Vunneling the high lifting pitch to the top of the strike zone and then utilize their “get-on-top” swing pattern.
- Vunneling the high lifting pitch out of the strike zone and check swing.
- Protecting against a low strike of any speed.
Begin by practicing Step 3 Experiment with Methods to Hit the Good Rise in Rise Ball Hitting Drill to Develop Swing Patterns (first drill above).
Next, use a pitching machine with Jugs lite-flight balls or live pitching to practice vunneling rises to the top of the strike zone. The hitter uses their “get on top” swing pattern that works best for them. For four practice sessions, block practice 50 rise balls, swinging only at predicted strikes.
Lastly, use game-like pitching where the pitcher is trying to strike out the batter, mixing in rises. Ask the hitter to take ten at-bats, beginning each at-bat with a 2-2 count. The more the hitter can face game-like pitching against a good rise ball pitcher, the more confident and productive they will be.
Step 5 (Rise Ball Hitting Drills for the Experienced Rise Ball Hitter)
As the fastpitch hitter gains confidence in their get on the top swing, they may modify their plate approach by looking for the rise ball, in the upper strike zone, before two strikes.
Practice Step 6 Look High in Tool XXXI: Mental Training Drills, Drill III – Look for Pitch Drill (in our drills book – click here to learn more), but do the drill using the hitter’s “get-on-top” swing pattern (see Step 3 Experiment with Methods to Hit the Good Rise in Rise Ball Hitting Drill to Develop Swing Patterns). Employ a pitching machine with lite-flight balls or live pitching mixing in rises.
We hope you found our Softball Hitting Drills for Riseball article to be helpful for preparing hitters to face that tough rise ball pitcher with increased confidence!
Building Rome Series Books: Building the High-Level Swing Series
Click Building the High-Level Swing Series to learn more about our new two-book hitting series containing a detailed and comprehensive description of 100 hitting fundamentals and 140 step-by-step drills that efficiently construct the batting swing from the ground up.
In the Building Rome Series of books, the construction of skills are in functional order, providing a “roadmap” to becoming a great hitter.
All baseball and fastpitch softball players can “climb the Roman Coliseum steps” to become a powerful and productive hitter.
Enjoy the quest!
Pitching Machines, You Can Have ’em!
As a young coach, I used to lament that our program didn’t have the money to buy pitching machines. I figured someday I would get the program in the a good enough spot financially that I could afford batting machines. Now that my program is on solid enough footing financially to purchase luxuries such like these, I have realized that I don’t want one.
I DO see where a program would use them. If a coach is incapable of throwing batting practice, or has an extra tunnel where they don’t have a live arm to fill, a batting machine could be an acceptable filler to get players some extra swings.
There are two major components of hitting that a pitching machine fails to simulate. There is a popular saying in baseball circles that hitting is timing, and pitching is the disruption of timing. A machine simply does not allow a hitter to work on timing. When to load, when to get the front heel down, and how to pick up the baseball coming out of a live arm are not simulated.
Next time you go to the cages, watch kids as they hit. They will probably either stride way too soon, pause and wait for the ball to shoot out of the machine, or be taken by surprise as the ball shoots out of the machine and not get their front foot down in time. This simply does not simulate what happens in the game.
In addition to not giving realistic timing for hitters, pitching machines also fail to give a hitter cognitive interference. So much of hitting is making a decision on whether to swing or not. A batting machine takes this decision out of the equation. You know the pitch is going to be in a specific area and at a specific velocity.
Not having to make a decision prior to executing a skill (like what would happen in a game) makes it difficult for players to translate skills they are learning into competition. Having a live arm in the cage, even if they are throwing from a shorter distance, requires player to react to the pitch and make a decision prior to swinging. This much more closely simulates what happens in a game.
Additionally, few pitching machines are at the same release point as a pitcher and few create the same angle of the ball as it approaches the plate as a live arm does.
Pitching machines can be used as an effective training tool, but they should not be the primary delivery method for batting practice. If at all possible, players need to hit off live arms to develop timing and learn to make decisions on pitches.
My push for the next few blog posts as I ramp up for the 2016 season will be on how to develop pitch recognition, and how to effectively utilize another tool that coaches rely on heavily, the batting tee.
In the mean time, sign up here to get our UPDATED 5 drills that translate practice to game performance:
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Amazon.com : Louisville Slugger Blue Flame Pitching Machine : Baseball Pitching Machines : Sports & Outdoors
Gamemaster 200160111 Louisville Ultimate Pitching Machine (EA)
The UPM is sturdy, portable, and requires no electricity.
Named the official Pony Baseball and Softball League pitching machine, the Ultimate Pitching Machine (UPM) 45 helps batters and coaches enjoy a more successful batting practice or coach-pitch game. It’s sturdy, portable, and requires no electricity, which makes it great for practices and games, home or away. Plus it saves the coach’s arm. Because the lever action flicks baseballs with consistent speed and location, it’s often used as an alternative in coach-pitch leagues to help overcome the fear factor of live pitching. Young hitters will know where and when the ball will be pitched. For all ages, the UPM model 45 allows hitters to work on specific locations and sharpen muscle memory without turning the coach’s arm to jelly.
The Louisville Slugger UPM45 is the ultimate training aid that pitches reliably and consistently for batter after batter allowing the hitter to concentrate on developing a proper level swing path to the ball. The UPM45 is more than just a pitching machine, though–it also throws accurate fly-balls and hard ground balls consistently to incorporate into your drills and eliminate the need for hitting the ball during drills.
The Louisville Slugger UPM 45 Blue Flame Pitching Machine throws real baseballs and softballs between 18 and 45 miles per hour and soft, lightweight balls up to 60 miles per hour. This machine has been authorized for use by teams in the majority of youth leagues in America including Babe Ruth Baseball and Softball, the Cal Ripken Division of Babe Ruth Baseball,
The UPM allows hitters to work on specific locations and sharpen muscle memory without turning the coach’s arm to jelly.
Pony League Baseball and Softball, and many more.
For coaches and team managers, the UPM solves any number of problems. There’s no need to use special pitching machine balls – it won’t rip or tear leather or synthetic ball covers.
- Portable and lightweight at only 25 pounds
- Mechanical pitching machine perfect for throwing accurate pitches, infield drills, and outfield drills
- No batteries or electricity required
- Throws regulation baseballs and fastpitch softballs up to 45 miles per hour
- Throws lightweight practice baseballs and softballs up to 60 miles per hour
- Throws slowpitch softballs with up to a 12-foot arch
- Throws accurate fly balls and hard ground balls
In many northern states, softball practice has to begin before the weather outside is nice enough for practice. Often, the first few practices have to be held indoors in a gymnasium. But that’s OK, because there are plenty of indoor softball drills that players can use in order to get ready for the softball season.
Hitting from a Tee
It’s impossible to get players any real batting practice against a live pitcher during indoor softball drills. However, players can begin to get themselves back into the hitting mode by hitting off a tee.
Many older players think it’s a waste of time to hit a softball off a tee. All they can think about is when they were six years old and playing tee-ball. But once the role of this drill is explained to the players, they see that it’s useful and are more willing do it.
While hitting off a tee a player should concentrate on their stance and the position of their hands and arms. Then the player needs to make sure to step forward with their front foot, keeping the back foot planted, and swing the bat well–all the way through the ball. They also need to be sure to keep their head down and eye on the ball. A coach can actually help a player be a better hitter by watching them swing while hitting off a tee and then correcting any areas that need adjustment.
Practicing with a Pitching Machine
Pitching machines are a great tool for indoor softball drills. The speed can be set precisely so a player can get into the rhythm of hitting the ball. During these hitting drills, a player should try to hit the ball right back at the pitching machine.
Also, hitting off a pitching machine is a perfect opportunity for players to practice bunting. This is a lost art with most of today’s players, however, if they start practicing bunting indoors then they should be able to do it well enough in the games.
Fielding and Throwing
There is an almost unlimited number of indoor softball drills players can do that involve fielding and throwing. These drills will help the players get into shape to play softball and the drills will also help a coach evaluate the players.
6 Indoor Softball Drills | ACTIVEkids
Fielding Without a Glove
This drill requires players to field the ball with their bare hands. Players line up in two lines facing each other, then the first player in one of the lines rolls the ball to the first player in the other line. The player who rolled the ball runs to the back of the opposite line, then the other player fields the ball and rolls it to the next player.
6 Indoor Softball Drills | ACTIVEkids
During this drill players should concentrate on getting square with the ball, bending with their knees and cradling the ball into their bodies. It’s important that players don’t roll the ball too slowly or too fast. A coach should monitor the drill to make sure the rolling is acceptable. A coach should also watch the drill to make adjustments to players’ fielding techniques.
This indoor drill requires players to stand at each corner of the gym. One player begins the drill by throwing the ball to the player at the diagonal corner of the gym. That player catches the ball and throws to the player on the same side of the gym. Then the next throw goes diagonally again, so that all four players have caught and thrown the ball.
Players should work on their “crow hop” while throwing the ball. They should also catch the ball with two hands and get the ball out of their glove quickly. This drill should be very crisp when it is practiced well.
The Benefits of Indoor Softball Drills
Indoor softball drills can simulate almost anything a player will face in a real game. In fact, many coaches like to begin the season practicing inside because it allows for more structure and it also helps the players to get closer within a confined space. As we’ve seen, there are many great indoor softball drills that players can practice
5 Youth Baseball Hitting Drills You Can Do At Home
Baseball season is just around the corner, and it can’t come
soon enough. If you’re looking for some tips to fine-tune your youngster’s
swing, check out these drills you can do at home.
It’s often said that hitting a baseball is the hardest thing
in sports. Hitting the ball requires not only swinging a bat with proper
technique, but also seeing the ball and reacting in a fraction of a second. Hitters
will always seek an edge to make the challenge less daunting.
Training for such a task is challenging, but it’s not
impossible. Even though a baseball game requires several people, it only takes
one person to improve your swing in the backyard: you.
While there might not be any better way to improve as a
hitter than facing live pitching, finding a live pitcher with command or even a
pitching machine isn’t always feasible. When these are not an option, here are
five youth hitting drills worth trying.
High Tee, Low Tee
need: two adjustable tees, baseball, baseball bat (note: if you do not have an additional tee, find an object to use in
its place—a chair or stool 6 in. taller than the tee will do)
Many times, young hitters’ swings are too long and uppercut
like a golf swing. Here’s a simple drill to fix that issue: Set up a tee as
usual, then take another tee and put it about a foot-and-a-half behind the other
one. This back tee should be about six inches higher than the front tee. The goal
is to swing over the back tee and hit the ball on the front tee and nothing
Practice swinging until your little slugger consistently
swings over the back tee and connects with the ball on the front tee. If the
swing follows the correct path, it will result in solid line drives.
Footy It Up
need: baseball bat, tee, soccer
ball/basketball, (soccer net would be a bonus)
Hitting a soccer ball sounds easy enough, right? The point
of this hitting drill is not just to make contact with the ball, but to drive
through it and work on hitting for power. Since it’s a bigger ball with more
recoil, the key is to swing and drive through the ball rather than just
Having a soccer net is a bonus because it gives hitters a
target as they try for line drives up the middle. If you can’t find a soccer
net, a large, sturdy wall will work as well. Make sure to stand back far enough
so the ball won’t bounce back off the wall too fast for you to react.
Stuck in the Bucket
need: two tires, baseballs, baseball bat,
To stay balanced and be in a position to make contact, it’s
important that batters don’t step out of the batter’s box when swinging. To
ingrain the habit of staying in the box, try this drill: align the two tires side
by side and have the batter stand with one foot in each tire. This helps the batter
gets the feel of being in a batter’s box. Hitters can either hit off a tee or
out of their hand by tossing the ball into the air. The key is for both feet,
specifically the front foot, to stay in the tire while hitting.
It can be frightening for young ballplayers to face live
pitching with the fear of being hit. But if they learn the proper technique in
practice, it increases the chance they will use it in games. Doing this drill
will get the player comfortable in the proper position at impact and lead to
more confidence in the box.
Don’t Hit the Fence
need: baseball bat, fence
The point of this drill is to build young hitters’
confidence in hitting inside pitches. The batter should stand about one bat
length away from the fence, no further. They should be close to the fence, but
not close enough to actually strike it.
The batter should envision an inside pitch coming at them,
then swing the bat. Their swing should drag the head of the bat behind their
hands until the bat reaches the front of their body, then quickly extend the
head outward at the “ball.” Repeating this practice will help young
hitters perfect a short, quick swing for those real-life inside pitches.
The Rocky Balboa
need: heavy bag (punching bag), baseball
No, you’re not going to bust through a heavy bag like it’s a
piñata. Instead, take swings at the heavy bag, and at the point of contact,
instead of recoiling, continue to drive through the bag. Essentially, you want
the bat to be stuck to the bag with your hands out in front at contact.
The goal here is improving torque, as it would be tough to
drive through a heavy bag. It also helps strengthen the hands and develops
Ultimately, there is no true substitute for live pitching,
but not having a live pitcher doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice. The
more time you spend perfecting your batting technique—even without a live
pitcher—will only benefit your performance.
Continued use of these practices in combination with actual
game play will certainly improve your line drives, balance, power, and overall
results. So get outside, get to swinging, and work on a victorious trot for
when you hit your first grand slam!
Need a good bat to practice your drills? Shop youth training
Check out our related posts!
90,000 from the moment of invention to the present day
People tried to drill their teeth back in the Stone Age. Since then, the idea of removing everything unnecessary from the enamel has undergone several implementations. From a primitive sharp stone, the drill has turned into a modern instrument that does not bring pain to the patient.
The first deliberate development of a tartar drilling machine appeared in the 17th century. Dentist Cornelius Solingen made a hand-held cone-tipped bur to drill patients’ teeth. The design attracted doctors so much that the shape remained relevant for several centuries.From a modern point of view, the cone is not the best version of the drill head.
With the development of progress in the 19th, scientists and doctors began to think about how to improve Solingen’s invention, and by the end of the century they figured it out. James Beall Morrison created the pedal drill in 1871. Think of sewing machines with a pedal mechanism, and you will understand how this device works. A drill bit served as a tip.
Thanks to the mechanization of the process, treatment began to take place ten times faster.This means that patients have not had to suffer in a dental chair for years. Please note that no anesthesia existed at that time.
30 years later, the Belgian dentist Emile Hue came up with the idea of equipping the drill with an electric motor. The invention was patented in 1911. The motor for the drill rotated at a speed of 10 thousand revolutions per minute. This decision brought dentistry to the state of the art.
The drill of our century is a painless device, practically silent and effective.The principle of operation has remained the same, but the technology has improved. The tapered head has long been replaced by microscopic drills. The introduction of laser technologies is not far off.
Even since our childhood, the drill has gotten better. Now the device is equipped with a cooling system that prevents the drill from heating up. Thanks to this, the patient does not feel an unpleasant odor from fillings and tooth tissues. Now going to the dentistry is a real pleasure, no worse than attending a pleasant cosmetic procedure.
Dental treatment without a drill. Drilling? Not ! Thank you !
This slogan is often used in dentistry to attract the attention of parents. Advertising promises to cure a child’s tooth without a drill and loud noises. Oh yes ! Even without anesthesia.
But we are for an objective position. Parents of our patients should know all the peculiarities and nuances of treatment methods without drilling and have no illusions about this! In order to get an excellent result, the doctor needs to remove not only carious tissues, but also thin overhanging edges of healthy enamel, if this is not done, then the enamel will chip and the adhesion of the filling to the tooth will be broken.Let’s take a closer look at the preparation methods.
There are several methods of preparation (drilling – cleaning the tooth from carious tissues)
1. The most common is mechanical. A drill that makes this loud sound. Excellent and fast (in comparison with other methods) copes with carious tissues and overhanging edges of the enamel.
The following are methods without drilling. There are certainly pros and cons to these methods.
2. Chemical and mechanical.A special composition is introduced into the carious cavity, which “melts” the carious tissues and then the doctor cleans the carious cavity with special hand tools (excavators). These are Carisolv preparations and our domestic Cariklins. But !!! The carious cavity is almost always closed by the overhanging edges of the enamel, it is impossible to remove these edges without a drill! Regarding the painlessness of the procedure, the procedure is painful! It is not worth taking her to the child without anesthesia! After all, the gel that is introduced into the carious cavity contains sodium hypochlorite – a strong base (alkali), if a tooth hurts when sweet, sour or cold enters the carious cavity, then imagine how the tooth will react to alkali! When treating teeth in children, doctors of the clinic Denta Area recommend using this method to pre-anesthetize the tooth.
This method includes the drug ICON. Yes, the drug is excellently used for the treatment of SURFACE enamel defects that often appear after orthodontic treatment with braces (in case of poor hygiene while wearing braces). The use of this method in young children is unlikely, because the gel contains hydrochloric acid.
3.Air-abrasive preparation method. This method is very good, in our clinic Denta Area, doctors often use this method to treat teeth in children.But !!! There are important nuances. Carious tissues are removed using a stream of water and special sand (aluminum oxide) under high pressure! It is impossible to use this method without protecting soft tissues (lips, cheeks, tongue) when treating teeth in children! An abrasive jet is supplied under high pressure, if it hits the mucous membrane of soft tissues, it will hurt. In addition, aluminum oxide sand will get into your mouth, which is unpleasant. Can this method clean the tooth painlessly? Not ! Painful sensations arise.When treating teeth in children with this method, the doctors of the Denta Area clinic carry out anesthesia. Anesthesia is necessary, as a rule, before installing a soft tissue isolation (rubber dam). And this method also cannot remove the overhanging edges of the enamel! We need a boron machine.
4. Ultrasonic preparation is intended for the preparation of small cavities (usually within the enamel). This method is also painful.
5. Laser preparation. Perhaps the method is good, but due to the very high cost of the laser apparatus itself (specifically for hard tissues, not soft tissues), this method is unlikely to be widespread.Painful sensations also occur during laser preparation.
There is no need to entertain illusions and believe all advertising signs. Ask your doctor about all the nuances of treatment. Bring your children more often for examinations and adaptation to your pediatric dentist. And don’t get sick.
90,000 Overview of modern equipment in the field of dental surgery
Dental clinic of a high level differs from competitors not only by high qualification of doctors and good attitude to the client, but also by high-quality dental equipment.Let’s consider what should be in a modern dental office and what functions each instrument takes on.
The first thing that should be in a dental office is a dental unit. It consists of a chair in which the patient is seated. Above the chair is an operating lamp on an adjustable arm. Regulators of air and water supply, as well as sleeves for connecting a micromotor, turbine, contra-angle and straight handpieces are located near the dentist.There are also photopolymer lamps and an ultrasonic handpiece for professional teeth cleaning. There is a pedal on the floor for adjusting the air and water supply. The air is pumped by a compressor located in another room to minimize noise, while the water is in a special tank.
Dentists use drills for both therapeutic and orthopedic procedures. This equipment has a very high rotational speed (up to 400 thousand rpm).rpm), due to which it is possible to reduce pain in the process of processing hard tooth tissues.
Three types of dental drills are distinguished according to the drive device and the type of mechanical instrument:
One of the most common types. Uses compressed air supplied through the compressor hose as a driving force. Air turbine drills are easily recognizable by the characteristic whistling sound they make during operation.The main advantage of such drills is the very high rotation speed of the handpiece, which greatly facilitates the work and increases the accuracy of manipulations during dental treatment.
The main disadvantage of pneumatic turbine drills is low torque, which makes it difficult to process some hard tooth tissues and, in particular, filling materials already on it.
This type of drill is equipped with an electric micromotor.Due to this, they have increased torque, but they are much inferior to pneumatic drills in terms of maximum rotation speed (for most modern models it lies in the range of 30-40 thousand rpm). The combination of high torque and low speed is ideal for so-called “roughing” in dental treatment and for fitting installed dental implants.
This type of machine uses a laser as a working tool.To carry out manipulations in deep tissues, the full power of the installation is used, and when working on the surface, the power is reduced. Unfortunately, laser grinding is not possible, so this type of progressive drills cannot yet replace rotary equipment.
For diagnostic manipulations in a dental clinic, a radiovisiograph connected to a computer must be present. More and more often, in modern dental offices, you can find an operating microscope, which significantly increases the accuracy of manipulations during the treatment of tooth canals.Of course, an obturation system is also required.
We have considered only the main elements, the presence of which is mandatory in a modern dental clinic. In addition, a wide range of instruments for therapeutic, orthopedic and surgical procedures should be present in the dentist’s office.
How not to be afraid of a drill
A planned visit to a doctor specializing in dental and oral health is a serious challenge for the vast majority of our compatriots.People born in the USSR associate visiting a dentist with compulsory pain, because they remember the times when pain relief in dentistry was used extremely rarely, and it did not work very effectively. This kind of life experience turns the usual nervousness before visiting the doctor into a classic phobia.
Recall that a phobia is called a pathological, uncontrollable fear experienced by a patient from any, even mental contact with an object.
With stomatophobia, such a psychological blockage is terrible because the patient pulls to visit the doctor until the very last moment, numb with horror at the thought of a drill.
As a result, banal caries develops, at best, into pulpitis, the teeth are destroyed so that their restoration is no longer possible, and only unbearable pain makes the patient finally cross the threshold of the dental office. In such a patient, the work of all body systems may already be disrupted, since the infection can get from the oral cavity to other organs.
How to distinguish a phobia from the usual and understandable to all fear of interference with the body?
First, simple nervousness, which is natural before visiting a doctor, with a phobia develops into panic fear.
Secondly, the phobia disrupts the normal course of life, does not allow the patient to control his state of health.
Third, in order for fear to be recognized as a phobia, this state must last at least six months. You also have a phobia if, for all the visible and perceived benefits of preventive measures, you still avoid visiting the dentist.
If the patient is just afraid, then he still contacts the doctor, communicates, often tries to joke nervously.In this case, the main task in overcoming the fear of the drill is to earn the patient’s trust. Then he will relax, imbued with confidence and, feeling in good hands, may even fall asleep.
Dentophobe will never make contact, uncontrollable horror obscures his eyes and does not allow him to think critically.
A patient suffering from stomatophobia, getting into the dentist’s chair, falls into a panic. It is almost impossible to establish any contact with him, any manipulation only aggravates the situation.
The patient’s blood pressure rises, breathing and pulse become faster, and may even have a panic attack or faint. Of course, it is absolutely wrong to fight dentophobia simply by forgetting about the existence of a dentist. After all, not cured pulpitis in time can lead to an abscess with subsequent infection of muscles, soft tissues, and in the future – to necrosis and gangrene of the affected areas.
Some dental clinics are trying to solve the problem of dentophobia. Patients are offered ultra-modern glasses that can play music and video, silent equipment, a laser instead of a drill, even hypnosis and drug sleep are used.
But, unfortunately, in the case of true dentophobia, all of the above is effective only when the problem is already being solved and the patient is at least able to come to a prophylactic appointment himself. A qualified and competent psychotherapist should deal with the treatment of dentophobia, then the patient will soon feel the strength without fear of looking into the eyes of the dentist.
90,000 Caries treatment without a drill in Moscow
Dental treatment without a drill is not a marketing ploy, it is a reality.This technique justifies itself if destructive processes do not affect dentin – with initial and superficial caries.
In the clinic “Azbuka Smiles” in Moscow, teeth can be treated without pain, vibration, harmful effects on the bone tissue of the root and enamel – a simple, comfortable, inexpensive and 100% effective option.
- caries at the stage of white spot;
- darkening of the enamel;
- damage within the enamel layer;
- preparation for fixed prosthetics;
- some gum disease.
Why not drill
When treating caries with a drill, the volume of your own preserved healthy tissues is reduced. These “gaps” will have to be replaced with a composite material. This approach shortens the life of the tooth, brings the moment closer when an artificial crown will have to be placed instead.
- serious tooth decay;
- inaccessibility of individual sections of the element for processing.
Prices for dental treatment without a drill
|Treatment of caries by infiltration – “Icon” Technology (1 tooth)||3 800 ₽|
|CBCT (3D study of 2 jaws)||4 500 ₽|
|OPTG (orthopantomography)||2 000 ₽|
|TRG study||2 000 ₽|
|Anesthesia||from 550 ₽|
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any disadvantages to dental therapy without drilling?
Among the disadvantages of the technique, there is a relatively high cost of treatment and an increased risk of medical error when referring to an unqualified doctor.