How to make a batting tee
To see plans and Part 2 of this post, click HERE.
A reader recently sent me an idea for homemade batting tees that he uses quite successfully at the high school level. With his permission I am posting his comments along with the photos he sent me. It appears as if his tees are well worth the effort! If you are handy, see what you can create. If you do, send me a photo! I’d love to see how other people do it.
I don’t have the pocket book to purchase a bunch of Tanner Tees, but our team needed some good quality tees. The $20 rubber ones last just about that long. So a trip to Home Depot, the Rawlings outlet in Reading, a little imagination and time on the workbench in my garage, I came up with my own Tees for our kids. Total cost is around $20 versus $80 for a Tanner Tee or now $110 for some of the latest type of Tees I just saw at the “Be the Best You Are” Coaches Clinic in Cherry Hill last week.
The item that costs the most is the metal floor flange ($12). The next cost is the Tee Topper ($7.95 @ Rawlings Outlet in Reading, but can get online as well). The PVC piping is about a $1 or $2 and the rubber stoppers are the kind that are rubber leg tips for poles/walkers/chairs – drill a hole in the end of them and it provides just the right amount of friction to hold the tubing to the height you want.
I made standard length Tees and low Tees (the “shor-tee”) which can be used for all different types of Tee work drills. The bases came from scrap wood (2×12 planks from my neighbor who’s building his house) heavy enough that no extra weight is required. The low tees are great for low strike zone hitting and one knee/chair hitting drills.
A tee drill I love to do with our hitters is the “inside-outside” drill. Using 2 tees, place one tee at the inside location and one on the outside location. Place a ball on each tee. When the hitter begins to stride/load, the coach calls out either “inside” or “outside” and the hitter reacts and hits the called-out ball.
I took this one step further and made the three tee version seen here (shown from catcher’s point of view):
We tried it out this fall and put a ball on each tee and called out “inside”, “middle”, or “outside”. The tee positions promote a compact swing and detects casting if casting is a problem. It promotes proper swing path and plane.
I also put it to use when we were working on our defense and situational play. With me with a Fungo at the plate, I’d put 3 balls on the tees and picked one to hit, spreading the hits around to all fields, helping our defenders with reading bat angles at the point of contact, getting better jumps on the ball off the bat. Taken one step further, we incorporated players doing the hitting with the 3-tee drill (inside-middle-outside) at the plate, another group for runners from home to first (and on the bases), and the other players defending. I call this “High School T-Ball”. The good hitters learn to hit line drives and to the gaps.
The Tee is a beautiful piece of gear. I don’t sell any of these. Just letting you know what you can do with a little imagination and borrowing your dad’s “awesome set of tools”.
I love it! Well done coach!
If you liked this post, the best companion to it is an eBook I created that lists and details 60 hitting drills, many of which utilize a batting tee! Click HERE to get a copy!