I’ve been working with baseball players for a long time. Over the years I always get requests from parents wanting me to help their player develop bat speed. The term bat speed has been around as long as I can remember. There are numerous “experts” out there claiming to develop unheard of bat speed with all kinds of training and technique methods. While some of these work, and some are just insane marketing scams, as I always say, there is tons of ways to get to the same place. You just have to find a method or methods that work for you the best, while always keeping health and safety first.
My method for creating bat speed has never really been about bat speed. Rather, I have always (with a lot of success) approached the hitter with a number of training techniques and methods that develop insane hitting power. The power hitter has bat speed. You can’t gain speed of the bat, without having power and you can’t be a power hitter without having bat speed. They go together, and maybe, just maybe they are the same thing. There are just a bunch of ways to get there. With that said, however, I have also witnessed coaches and others trying to develop bat speed without ever addressing strength or power. Getting your hands to move a bat “fast” without specific strength and power is useless. And, its not really bat speed.
Power Hitting Starts and ends with STRENGTH Training
I think it is safe to say that I am a little biased
Medicine Ball Scoop Toss for hitting power - South Jersey Baseball Strength, Power and Speed Training
While training our baseball guys to be more explosive while hitting...ultimately increasing their "bat speed" we need to make sure we are training their "hips" to explode. One great way to do this is with a med ball against the wall. A "scoop" toss will help them transfer their weight from back to front while getting the hips involved. We have used this a similar med ball training with great success. Check out the video below.
Training baseball players, specifically pitchers can be complex. I argue that these athletes are a special population and need to be treated as such. It's essential to make sure that the baseball player is being trained the correct way and by people that understand the physical demands of the sport.
There are a lot of things we use to train baseball guys and a lot of different ways to improve performance and prevent baseball specific injuries. One of my favorite is the use of various medicine balls. Below is one example of how we use a med ball to train the baseball player.
Keith Scott, MS, CSCS, ATC