One product I have used to help my team develop baseball power hitting is the Muhl Ball.
What are they?
A Muhl Ball is a heavy wait training ball designed to teach hitting power. They are 20″ in diameter, rubber coated one pound foam balls. These things are spongy – but extremely durable. The set I have now I have used for 3 years with no sign of cracking.
What do they do?
The idea of a Muhl ball is to teach a batter to hit the ball as hard as they can. If you hit a Muhl ball with a weak grip on the bat or loose wrists your bat will deflect and the ball will go no where. The weight of these things reveals swing defects that are hard to see any other way. Very often when players are “swinging for contact”, they do not drive the baseball, they just meet it. A common swing defect is players stopping as soon as they make contact. After all that’s meeting the baseball right?
But if you do that with a Muhl is will be really obvious. This means the feedback is instantaneous, which is what you want. With a Muhl ball, players learn to keep firm wrists and expect resistance when they hit the ball. I tell them, “If you can drive a one pound Muhl ball, what will you do to a 5 ounce baseball?” The kids think for a second then actually smile.
The other great thing about Muhl balls is that they don’t travel very far, plus you can catch them without need of a glove. Though be careful. As the boys get older and stronger they can really drive these things. You don’t want to catch one with your face. I find these are perfect for:
- Batting practice at my house. I only have one cage so this gives me a another station for the boys to hit at and they stay in the yard.
- Pregame warm ups. They don’t travel far so they don’t take a lot of space
- Making BP more interesting.
- They are safe enough to let kids pitch to each other, so they make a game out of it.
How do I use them?
The images show players hitting them off a Tee but one of the best hitting teams I’ve ever seen is the Stetson Hills Stealth club and they were the first time I saw them. The Stealth coaches lobbed them underhanded to batters so that’s how we have been using them ever since.
The one thing I know about baseball is the harder you hit the ball, the bigger the holes in the defense seem to get. So we have found this to be a great training aid for teaching players a powerful swing.
Where can you find them?
You can find them on Amazon. They are made by Muhl Sports Tech I’ll admit they are a bit pricey. However, over the course of the years I have found them to be a great value. You can get them at Amazon.com or via Muhl Tech Directly.