...and not just for hitting! Here are some other uses:
Shortstop - Across the Bag Drill: One of the mistakes that I mentioned in the shortstop mistakes post was that many shortstops unnecessarily catch a double play feed directly over the bag. To target this, a batting tee can come in handy. Place the tee with a ball on it about 1 - 3 feet on the second base side of the bag. Using just bare hands, have the shortstop approach the bag as normal, cross over the bag to pick the ball off the tee, and continue to throw to first base. This develops the habit of cacthing the ball on the second base side as described in the linked post above. Move the tee around and raise/lower the ball to mimic all types of feed locations. Doing so allows the shortstop to practice making quick adjustments on bad feeds.
|A tee can help a pitcher develop the|
long-arm action seen here.
Accuracy Drill: Sometimes a pitcher does not have the luxury of throwing to a catcher and must throw into some kind of net or wall. If that's the case, put a ball on a tee, place the tee in the location you want to work on - low and away, up and in, etc., and try to hit the ball off with your pitch (hitting the tee doesn't count!). This helps a pitcher learn to focus on a smaller target for better accuracy.
Catching Lane Drill: A common mistake of catchers is drifting into the right or left batter's box when they come up to throw to second base on a steal attempt. When throwing to second base, a catcher should stay in his lane - the area in direct line between him and second base - so as to not have the batter be in the way of the throw. If this is a problem, place a tee with or without a ball on top in whichever batter's box the catcher is drifting into. The closer to home plate the better. If the catcher contacts the tee and/or knocks the ball off in the process of throwing, he knows he drifted too far and needs to stay in his lane more. Even better, use two tees and place one in each box close to the plate. This clearly shows the catcher where his lane should be - between the tees. Of course, real batters could be used as well but there isn't always someone around to help. Note: This drill can be adjusted to teach the proper lane when throwing to third base as well.
Base Running Lane Drill: If a base runner needs to improve their running lanes, angles, or loops around the bases, use a tee or multiple tees. Place them in the base paths to teach players where they should or should not be running. If balls are placed on the tees, runners can even grab the balls as they run by. This drill is normally for little kids still learning basic base running but also is good for older players who are more visual learners.
Of course, the best thing about tee drills is that the player can do all of them by himself if necessary!
Have any batting tee (non-hitting) drills of your own?