Updated: Feb 13
The best baseball hitting drill that you can do by yourself is the self-toss drill.
The self-toss drill is an awesome hitting drill because all you need is a ball, a bat, and some open space. You don't have a lot of equipment? No problem. You don't have a teammate, coach or parent who can throw balls to you? No problem. You don't like waiting your turn at practice to receive eight straight balls from the coach that occasionally hits kids? No problem. The self-toss drill is designed to be performed with minimal equipment, by yourself, and maximize your hitting reps.
When players practice any of the five self-toss variations that I’m going to show you, they are going to have to make the necessary adjustments to give themselves a good toss, adapt the rhythm and timing of their swing to make solid contact, hit the ball out front of their body, and consistently get into an athletic hitting stance in order to crush those line drives that we're looking for.
The self-toss drill can also help maximize practice efficiency because a coach can set up a drill where a player practices the self-toss variations and hits “live” balls to some fielders. This allows the coach to take the rest of the team and work on different facets of their game.
Be sure to watch the video because I compete in a Self-Toss challenge where if I fail I stand three feet in front of a brick wall and hammer tennis balls off a tee back at my body.
The 5 ways to self- toss are:
1) Hold the bat in your left hand, toss the ball up with your right hand, grab the bat with both hands, and hit a line drive.
2) Hold the bat in your right hand, toss the ball up with your left hand, grab the bat with both hands, and hit a line drive.
3) Hold the bat with your top hand. Use your bottom hand to place the ball on your top hand where the bat, pointer finger, and thumb meet (or hold the ball in your fingertips). Next, place your bottom hand on the bat, toss the ball up by raising your arms, and hit a line drive.
4) Hold the bat and ball in your right hand, toss the ball up, grab the bat with both hands, and hit a line drive.
5) Hold the bat and ball in your left hand, toss the ball up, grab the bat with both hands, and hit a line drive.
There are four key teaching and key execution points when performing the self-toss drill.
1) Be incredibly aggressive and hit the ball no matter where it's tossed. Be a master of solid contact regardless of the pitch location.
2) Practice tossing the ball up with both hands and utilizing all the different self-toss variations. Each variation is a unique hitting challenge that forces the hitter to adapt. Also consider that the variations of the drill that you struggle with the most will usually hold the largest room for improvement as you progress.
3) Focus on hitting line drives and if you're not hitting line drives make any adjustment necessary to start hitting line drives. As you get closer to achieving the desired line drive result your mechanics will naturally get better. Every ball that you hit provides visual feedback that you can use to make adjustments.
4) Compete and track your progress to see faster improvements. For example how many line drives are you hitting out of 10? Track it. How far are you hitting the ball? Go out there, put a cone down, and track it. Now you've got a benchmark score that you constantly try to beat.
Be sure to watch the video because I compete in a Bear challenge where if I fail I get 8 soccer balls kicked as hard as they can at my body.