How many times do you think a coach has heard this before:
Hey coach can you crank it up?
Crank it up?! That is exactly what hitters don’t need...a machine set up so fast or faster than what a player really needs to work at to have any type of success. It really amazes me that many hitters, coaches and parents think that the faster the speed of the machine, the better the hitter will become. Truth be told, a machine set up with speeds beyond the capabilities of the hitter will actually do more harm than good.
Here are 3 reasons why you shouldn't get too ahead of yourself and thus keep the speed of the machine from mimicking Nolan Ryan:
1. Just Poor Contact - In analyzing variable speed changes or increasing the speed of the machine, the primary observation that one should first look at is if the hitter can consistently make square contact with the ball, no matter what the speed is. I am not saying just contact, as in a foul ball, I am speaking of square contact, where the ball is being driven with authority to all areas in the cage and preferably to the sides and back of cage on a line. If balls are barely being hit or there are many swings and misses or the hitter is making contact occasionally, but contact is late...yes, that's right, the speed of the machine is too fast!
2. Sacrificing Mechanics for Contact -