How to Hit Good Fly Balls & Grounders – Skills for Baseball Coaches

what’s up Dan Blewett here let’s talk
about fungo hitting skills so first thing let’s discuss bats so this is
obviously a full sized bat and you can certainly hit ground balls and fly balls
with these but as a coach if you’re gonna hit a hundred two hundred three
hundred ground balls or fly balls in a day this is gonna wear you out and
you’re gonna get tired pretty quick so most coaches will use a fungo bat which
I don’t have one here with me but they’re just like this Little League bat
they’re just a little bit longer they’re about thirty six inches they have a
skinny barrel they’re very light usually made out of wood and they’re very easy
to whip through the zone so you can hit the ball really far you can place it
easily and they don’t tire you out nearly as fast so this is an okay choice
this is your second best choice like a small Little League bat is a great
choice we’re hitting ground balls and fly balls because they’re light they’re
easy to and accurate to use and then if you have a fungo bat even better okay so
let’s talk about how to hit a good fly ball so number one a lot of coaches who
maybe don’t have a really long baseball history have a tougher time hitting good
fly balls to their outfielders and a lot of times you’ll see coaches hitting with
one hand and this really just isn’t ideal because you can’t generate enough
bat speed typically to hit a really high fly ball that will challenge an
outfielder and replicate game situations so it’s ideal to use two hands on the
bat number one and then there is some technique to help you hit better fungos
and better more repeatable fly balls so when I use the term fungo it just means
to that’s the term for hitting any practice fly ball or ground ball we use
a fungo bat typically and we kind of refer to everything as fungos but we’re
gonna hit fly balls in this video today and so here’s the general technique I’m
going to use this little league bat which is the best choice if you don’t
have a fungo bat so number one you’re gonna take your normal two-handed
batting stance with your hands right here just like this and you’re just
gonna take your bottom hand off so this hand is ready in the position that you
want it and then after that I’m gonna square up to my intended target and then
the biggest thing here is the toss so if you’re really hasty with your toss if
you’re just going really fast and your toss are all over the place your fly
balls are going to be very inconsistent – so just like a hitter is very
deliberate in the game about everything he does we want to make sure our toss is
very consistent so I’m gonna line my feet up just like I’m hitting I’ve got
my top hand on the bat I’m gonna toss the ball up really just to about eye
level slightly out in front of my body so this is about where I would make
contact with a ball in a game like a line drive and so I’m gonna toss it a
little bit out in front of my left leg here and then lastly to hit a fly ball
we’re gonna get under it just a little bit to make it easier to lift it so if
you’re swinging down it’s going to be tough to lift the ball so again the
consistent toss just like if you’re a tennis player is extremely important to
getting consistency in your fly balls and lastly you don’t have to swing super
hard to get it far out there to get some good height on it all you have to do is
have a good consistent toss a good uphill swing and you’re gonna let your
hands do the rest all right so now I’m going to end this video with a quick
slow motion just so you can see all the moving parts of a good fly ball swing you now today fly balls are difficult in
their own right but pop ups are even harder especially to get into the
catcher because they hit a ball straight up in the air it requires an extremely
precise contact with the ball get it go the exact upward angle that you want so
with a regular fly ball if I’m hitting to my outfielders I’m gonna toss
somewhere out in front here this is kind of my intended toss so I can make
contact out in front and propel the ball pretty far into the outfield however if
I’m gonna hit it higher up in the air the biggest thing that changes is my
toss I’m gonna make a slightly higher toss and I’m gonna go instead of getting
the ball out in front I’m gonna go up and meet the ball here because if I’m
gonna try to get this steeper angle I want to have my bat going steeper and I
want to make a conic with the ball higher up this is one of the hardest
fungo skills to develop and it takes practice so you’re never gonna get these
perfectly every time you’re trying to hit ten pop ups to your catchers you
might hit too deep fly balls you might hit four in the infield and you might
hit two or three to your catchers the more you practice the better it will get
so I’m going to show you here real quick on slow motion just the mechanics of a
good pop-up and then I’ll show you a couple in real time here as well okay so
here’s a couple good hi catcher pop-ups or infield pop-ups so I’m again I’m
going to toss it higher up and I’m gonna get under the ball
that one’s ending it’s a little bit foul and that was a good one that’s gonna
come down just a little bit behind me so again the keys here number one are
practice these are not easy these do not work well at all one-handed so going
higher up and climbing the ladder to get it is the way to hit a good infield or
catch or pop up so there’s two types of ground balls
that you want to hit number one are choppers and those are the short ones
that will stay on the infield grass that an infielder would charge and have to
move through and then there are the standard harder ground balls that we
actually want to get a little bit of like a line drive a little bit of a
carry to them initially so we’re not going to hit all of our ground balls
right into the ground but some of them will kind of have a little bit of
backspin carry for about 50 or 60 feet you know 15 20 meters and then start to
bounce and get through the infield so especially on fields they don’t have
very short fast grass like it’ll in a lot of high school fields they’ll have
thicker grass and it’s actually tough to get a ground ball through it that’s what
we want a little bit of carry so it has maybe like I said 15 20 meters in the
air it then I’ll have a couple skips before it gets to our infielder so let
me show you what those look like so our cameraman here is gonna come a
little bit behind me so you can see how these ground balls are gonna carry a
little bit farther and not just bounce right away so this is type number one
I’m gonna aim you know 20 meters out in front and you’re gonna see it’s gonna
carry a little bit before it starts to bounce those are gonna be the hard
ground balls that we want our infielders to field that are gonna replicate again
the standard hard hit infield ground ball we’re gonna have to range they’re
left to the right and work on fielding you know balls with some speed behind
them and then if we want to do an infield chopper we’re just gonna start
here and we’re gonna angle down and a lot of times I’ll choke up on the bat so
with hitting infield ground balls the big technique here to get some carry on
it is just to have the toss out in front and try to hit the bottom half of the
ball so we’re we’re having a relatively level swing just trying to get a little
bit of carry initially rather than beating it right into the ground
but when we want to get a chopper that’s gonna force our infielders to charge and
again move through I’m just gonna choke up a little bit higher on the bat and
then I’m gonna beat it into the ground right away to get a good couple skips
and hops so they have to move in and work on you know charging and throwing
across the diamond alright so those are the two main types
of infield ground balls okay so final word on hitting good
infield and outfield fungos coaches just remember it takes practice just like the
work that your players put in so it’s very very important especially with fly
balls to get them really high up into the sky that’s how kids learn to judge
these really big pop-ups the balls that will swirl up in the wind the ones that
get lost in that high sky when we don’t have any clouds so you know I really
highly recommend against doing the one-handed fungo because you just can’t
generate enough power for the vast majority of coaches so just getting
comfortable with two hands just like your players have to get comfortable
with new drills is a really important thing and remember just like anything
else with practice all of these get better so take it upon yourself to
consider it a challenge that hey maybe I can get one or two really good catch or
pop ups today but my goal by the end of the summer is to get five or six out of
every ten again all these skills take practice they’re not easy so stick with
them and your players will benefit a lot from in the long run I promise you that
alright thanks for watching we’ll catch you next video you

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