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  • Self-Toss

    In my opinion, this is the best thing a hitter can do to reach his potential. Does anyone here teach/promote this?

    It builds strength/power for hitters exactly like long-toss does for pitchers and position players.

    My advice (during off-season strength building) is to self-toss one day and long-toss the next, etc. I recommend using a wood bat (-1) for self-toss, but do not advocate using a weighted balls (long-toss).

    Self-toss is fun and also teaches:

    1. Plate discipline (check swings are good too)
    2. How to make bodily adjustments to hit inside, outside, high and low strikes hard (to me this is far better than just “hand/eye coordination”)
    3. Maximum rotational balance with minimal effect on vision
    4. Provides real world visual feedback (frozen ropes).
    5. It’s not just striking high strikes to see how high and far you can hit it (though that’s important too).

    Best of all, you don’t need a coach or playing partner to play. Just inspiration, a bucket of old balls (dimpled cage balls are fine), a bat and an open area. And maybe a few sets of batting gloves.

    THop

  • #2
    Originally posted by THop View Post
    In my opinion, this is the best thing a hitter can do to reach his potential. Does anyone here teach/promote this?

    It builds strength/power for hitters exactly like long-toss does for pitchers and position players.

    My advice (during off-season strength building) is to self-toss one day and long-toss the next, etc. I recommend using a wood bat (-1) for self-toss, but do not advocate using a weighted balls (long-toss).

    Self-toss is fun and also teaches:

    1. Plate discipline (check swings are good too)
    2. How to make bodily adjustments to hit inside, outside, high and low strikes hard (to me this is far better than just “hand/eye coordination”)
    3. Maximum rotational balance with minimal effect on vision
    4. Provides real world visual feedback (frozen ropes).
    5. It’s not just striking high strikes to see how high and far you can hit it (though that’s important too).

    Best of all, you don’t need a coach or playing partner to play. Just inspiration, a bucket of old balls (dimpled cage balls are fine), a bat and an open area. And maybe a few sets of batting gloves.

    THop
    We always had a ball bat and a rock bat. Nothing more fun than setting up at the side of a lake/pond with your friends and playing who can hit the rock the furthest!!
    Jake
    "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
    - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
    Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

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    • #3
      I've always integrated self-toss in live situations practice. It's hard for hitters even at the college level to spot hit self toss. Everyone always gets action in the field just like game time.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by THop View Post
        In my opinion, this is the best thing a hitter can do to reach his potential. Does anyone here teach/promote this?
        I love self-toss.

        It teaches a variety of things.

        I also use it in the context of games like Indian Ball.
        Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

        I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

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        • #5
          I don't know about all that. The best fungo hitters I knew as a kid couldn't even do much with slow-pitch. I used them when I needed to shag flyballs etc.

          Pardon the cranky reply please, but I've seen this one too many times without jumping on it. Good way to learn to spin and lean.

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          • #6
            Hi THop,

            Yes, my son has been doing self toss for some time now. I first thought about it from you. It's a great break from T work when he is working on his hitting by himself.

            Jim W.

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            • #7
              Hey Jim!

              I thought about you last Sunday as I had the pleasure of watching the Braves play the Astros at Disney. And also while eating at Charleys the night before.

              Hope things are going great for you and your son!

              THop

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by skipper5
                Virg,

                Can you elaborate? Not looking for a p____ contest here. When THop talks, I listen--he's credible, not a crank.
                Is self-toss valuable in improving baseball swings? (I vote yes).
                All swings, or just young kids who need to tune up their hand-eye?
                If you believe it helps to develop higher-level swings, is it important to perform it in a certain way?
                I listen too when he talks. I suspect that those two I mentioned were most interested in distance and so just leaned back and spun just as I might if after yardage.

                If as I suspect, Thop's guys are well trained and disciplined they can be trusted to practice this way, and yours and others must be too. Self discipline and devotion to known objectives would be critical in this. If one has that.

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                • #9
                  I suspect if you videoed those swings and looked for spine tilt and early bat head drop, you might not see so much benefit........IMO
                  email [email protected]

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                  • #10
                    ..not to mention something I don't see much talk of... and that is keeping the hands in the plane of the swing post contact. I think you would see them dropping out of the plane too quickly.
                    email [email protected]

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                    • #11
                      swing plane

                      This is one good drill to show kids and dads the proper swing plane. 80 percent of kids come to me swinging down through the ball with no tilt (level shoulders) and not getting on plane of the ball very early. When told to self toss, they simply can't do it because they are used to a downward (hands strong) approach to the ball. THey almost always hit the ball into the ground. I don't use it as a practice drill because kids can get into bad habits, instead I use it to show kids that a downward swing plane through the ball will not allow them to drive the ball.

                      SC

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by skipper5
                        Self-toss:

                        When I hit fungo's, I toss with my top hand.

                        For self-toss, does it matter which hand you toss with--top or bottom--in terms of helping a batter execute a swing that's typical of his real swing?
                        I like people to toss with the front/bottom hand.
                        Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

                        I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Something I have used at practice for self toss and tee work... place targets (nets, buckets) in shallow outfield positions and let the kids try to hit line drives in the nets. We combine this with tee placement at the plate to try and teach the proper swing for each pitch location. Kids like it vs hitting directly into a net. With self toss, most of our kids want to hit the booming fly balls over the fence, which leads to more k's or weak grounders when it counts. So we try to make it a game between 3-4 groups of players... who can hit the nets the most.

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                          • #14
                            Why not make it into a game with live situations to kill offense and defense with one stone?

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                            • #15
                              We've done that for situational drills (cut-offs, relays)... allow the player to hit instead of the overweight coach with his trusty fungo. We found too quickly if you give the players too much latitude with the type of swing/hit you want, they would go back to the booming fly balls. Our older kids, 13+ do a lot better with this. The younger ones did better with the nets.

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