The mechanics of a player’s swing can be tweaked with, but once a player reaches a certain age, it is much harder for him to gain a ton of bat speed.
With this in mind, every swing you take and every drill you do should be done with the purpose of increasing your bat speed.
Obviously, with the proper mechanics and swing sequence, this bat speed should look “easy”.
I believe, especially with youth and high school players, that it is better to take 100 swings as hard as you can and be totally fatigued, than to take 500 swings at 50 percent and not have worked on your fast twitch muscle and teaching your entire body to swing the bat vs. just your arms.
Two of my favorite drills to help gain bat speed are what I call the “Happy Gilmore” drill and also bat weight variations.
Happy Gilmores” are done much like Adam Sandler swinging the golf club in the movie. You start a few steps behind the tee. You then cross over with your back foot, step with your left as you load, and then swing.
You can really focus on over exaggerating the load on this drill as well as the pulling the bat through with the back side. This drill should be performed with as much bat speed as possible!
Bat weight variation is also another great drill for bat speed.
Our players first swing a bat that is much heavier than their normal bat.
You can swing with a donut on the regular bat, or if you have a heavy bat you can swing that.
We use a 33 in/39 oz wood bat for this purpose.
After taking 8 swings with the big bat, you can move down to the regular bat and take 8 swings. Then proceed to taking a very light bat (a youth -10 bat or a fungo will do the job) and swing 8 more times.
This will work on over speed and under speed as well as making the hitter “stay connected” as the bat weight changes.
Pure bat speed will be noticed much more than a perfect swing with no bat speed.
Whenever you are in a workout, train for what is going to get you to the next level: bat speed!