Ninety-five percent of all professional baseball players use a tee as part of their daily practice routine. It is great for creating muscle-memory and correcting flaws. Hitting off the tee is one of the best ways to get in a lot of repetitions in a short period of time.
A while back, we did a review of the iconic JUGS pitching machines that many of us in baseball know so well. What we didn't realize was that they do more than just pitching machines – more than just baseball. In fact, if you're involved with sports at all, there's a good chance that anything you're looking for is at JUGS Sports.
They sent us a couple of their batting tees to try out and the first one we opened is the 3-in-1 Hitting Tee. At first glance it seems like a standard tee and good value for the price. As we looked closer, we found there was more than meets the eye.
When I used to be involved in my local Little League, I would see this common mistake all the time in T-ball: Coaches would place the tee right on top of the plate. This meant when a player takes his place in the batter's box, he's hitting the ball even with his belly-button, which would never happen with a live pitch. The ball will be hit in a different spot, usually out front of the plate, depending on where the pitch is thrown. So while this might not be a big deal in T-ball, older players need to know the proper placement of the tee in relation to the actual plate, in order to get the best results from practice. The 3-in-1 Tee has instructions for where the tee should be placed for various pitches right on it.
It also comes with a small ball topper, and small ball. This unique device forces hitters to better-concentrate as they swing because the target is much smaller. This is an excellent way to hone in that eye-hand coordination that tee work improves. My kids love the way the tee breaks down with the stem secured by velcro straps on the base, and the built-in carrying handle. This allows them to easily transport it in the trunk of the car to and from the high school batting cage.
Maybe best of all, the 3-in-1 Tee comes with a DVD that is worth the price of the tee alone. It's chock full of professional hitting instruction and drills that you wouldn't get if you paid for ten private batting lessons.
If you're a player who thinks hitting off the tee is something you graduated from long ago, it might be time to re-evaluate your training plan. Sure, it's more fun to get in the cage and hit off of one of the JUGS machines, but a little tee work everyday could be the difference between being good and truly great.
Source: JUGS Sports