Tilted Wall Drill
By Chas Pippitt
Getting on plane with a pitch is the best way to maximize a hitter’s contact zone. Because of this fact, lots of coaches are using different ideas and drills to get on plane sooner and longer. While there are many ways to achieve this, my favorite way is the Tilted Wall Drill.
How to: The Tilted Wall Drill
Tilted Wall Drill: What You Need
The Tilted Wall Drill (TWD) is a favorite for many hitters in our program. For one, it’s loud. When kids do the tilted wall drill, everyone notices. Also, the TWD is a really good visual representation of the swing plane. The TWD is performed to all fields (LF, CF, RF) and uses a simple football blocking pad. You can use a pool noodle wrapped in duct tape. Really any padded but solid thing that a hitter can hit had is good for this drill.
Tilted Wall Drill: Set-Up
The key to the TWD is the tilt and angle of the wall. If a hitter swings down or too flat, you tilt the top of the wall back towards the catcher. The best part about the TWD is you can adjust the tilt of the wall! Because of this, it works for every swing plane flaw there is! Also, the wall can be angled side to side, for inside or outside pitches. Because of this, you can not only change the attack angle with tilting but also pull or oppo focus with angle changes to the wall. If you want to work down the line, angle the wall perpendicular to the baseline. However, if hitting the ball into the gap is the goal, angle it a little less and boom, you’re there.
Tilted Wall Drill: Execution and Options
Hitting the wall ‘flat’ with the barrel is a must. If the hitter strikes the wall flush with the barrel, a very loud bang occurs. Not only will the hitter feel better contact but the sound will alert them of their success as well. Because of this sound, the tilted wall drill is a favorite among many players in our program. As we mentioned before, we use an old football blocking pad. Because of this, the pad is soft enough for the hitter to swing full speed into contact. Many people swing against a heavy bag that boxers hit, the issue with that is the angle and also it has no give. This can injure delicate wrist tendons and cause injury and pain. Please avoid hitting stationary objects that do not give-in them to allow for some force absorption.
Titled Wall Drill: One Final Benefit
A few nights ago, I was using the Tilted Wall Drill with a young client because he thinks it’s fun. He loves the loud sound and just smashing something. So as I tilted the wall he stopped me. He looked up and said, “Oh! I get it now! If I swing down at the wall here, I’ll just skim it and it doesn’t make a loud sound.” He continued, “Now I understand why I have to swing up and get on plane with the wall. That’ll work on a ball too!” I was floored. Sometimes the most obvious things to a grown-up coach turn the light on for a young hitter. The hitter proceeded to PR in both exit velocity and distance.
Try out the Tilted Wall Drill today, just make sure you have a great pad! Position the wall correctly so your players can have a great experience with this fun drill. As mentioned before, this is a fun drill when done properly and kids love it. The idea of making a loud ‘POP’ gets kids hyped and gives great and instant feedback. See which player can make the loudest sound, but also make sure you stay safe as the ‘wall holder’.
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