To develop hand speed in hitters, try the “stride, fire” drill used by Colorado State University. Here’s how it runs:
• A hitter sets up next to a loaded tee facing the outfield.
• A “feeder” player calls out “stride,” then “fire” to indicate when the player should step and swing.
• After the hitter strikes the ball, the feeder offers input on the swing and impact.
• The ball is reloaded and the drill starts over.
During the drill, the feeder should adjust the speed at which she makes her calls. This forces the hitter to stay balanced, even with a slower call that mimics an off-speed pitch. The drill also encourages hitters to practice proper form, so they can find the bat’s sweet spot and hit with power.
Watch the video to see a demonstration from CSU Head Coach Jen Fisher.