I have been coaching youth sports for over 8 years and my perspective on things has changed considerably over that time. A lot of it has to do with trial and error and some of it has to do with being around “real” coaches, i.e. coaches that get paid to coach. One of my recent revelations is to what constitutes a good batting practice. 5 years ago I was a firm believer that throwing live batting practice was the only way to have an effective batting practice. If someone said they were going to do tee work or soft toss, I would say “That is great, but when are you going to throw live”? Not that we didn’t do these drills, however I treated them more like a warm up versus a hitting work out.

A few years ago I discovered the Zip Net. My son and I hung it in our garage in 10 minutes and have been using it since. We live in a cold weather state and a lot of times this is the only hitting we have a chance to do. We really focused on his swing mechanics from a tee during the winter and he had his best year ever hitting. It is so much easier to correct and fine tune hitting mechanics off a tee versus hitting live.
I know there are portable hitting nets out there that could be set up in a garage, but it is much easier to just pull this net across the garage versus setting up one of those nets. Plus the hitting surface of the Zip Net is considerably larger and they are the same price as the portable hitting nets.

The other tip I have to offer is sometimes it is good to have short workouts like just hitting for 10 minutes in the garage off a hitting net. This is a great alternative to driving to a batting range – a process that takes hours. This way we avoid burn out for youths.


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