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Criss-Cross/Crossover Hitting Drill with Coach Rick Eisenberg 

What is it?

This batting tee drill focuses on helping hitters stop flying open during their swing, while also increasing their power.

In the exclusive video above, baseball coach Rick Eisenberg of Gameday Baseball shares a hitting practice drill he calls the "criss-cross" drill, also known as the "crossover hitting drill".  

Although at first look this may feel like a basic drill to work on a subtle skill, the Criss-Cross or Crossover hitting drill is used by youth baseball and softball players, all the way to elite players to create proper muscle memory and ensure their upper body stays closed throughout their swing.

Why is it Important?

Regardless of your skill level, to get the most bat speed and increase power in your baseball or softball swing, it is important to keep your front shoulder and hips closed until the proper moment, while also keeping your back heel firmly planted.

Staying closed is an important part of generating "whip" and bat speed. If you open up too early, you lose the "whip" effect. If you struggle to keep that front shoulder closed, this is absolutely one of the best tee drills for power you should be doing right now.

The most important thing this drill does is help hitters recognize the desired feeling of tension and separation in the oblique. If you've had trouble maintaining a closed swing in the past, this might be an entirely new feeling for you.

A powerful swing begins from the ground up. This batting tee drill is also very important for youth baseball & softball hitters because it helps feel ground force and begin the process of generating power in the legs.

Equipment Used in this Drill

Step-By-Step Instruction

A Quick Note: For the purposes of these instructions, we will be focusing on a right-hitter, but if you are a lefty, simply use the opposite position than the one mentioned.

Step 1: The Ready Position

Coach Rick Eisenberg showing step 1 of the crossover drill.

Instead of your normal stance, the "loaded" position should place hitters with their left foot over their right (back) foot to create the crossover or criss-cross. 

Be mindful of the tension you feel in your obliques, as this is a good thing.  You will want to feel that tension in your stance until you are ready to hit. 

In the proper position, your body weight should be centered on your back leg, while keeping your left shoulder and hips closed.

Step 2: The Power Step

Coach Rick Eisenberg showing step 2 of the crossover drill.

Now, with your back heel firmly planted and your batting stance still in the crossed position, push off - stepping forward through your swing - building your rotational power as you move into the launch position and through the ball.

Step 3: Repeat

Coach Rick Eisenberg showing step 3 of the crossover drill.

As you continue to repeat Steps 1 and 2 above, be sure to take your time and focus on:

  1. Maintaining tension in your obliques
  2. Keeping your weight planted on your back heel
  3. Keeping your font-facing shoulder and hip tucked in through the ready/loaded position, swing path, and into your finish position.

Train Hard, Train Often.

We at Tanner Tees encourage you to utilize effective batting drills like the crossover drill above to enhance your skills - regardless of where you are in your baseball or softball journey. 

Like this Drill and Want More?

Be sure to check out our video drill library for even more fundamental drills throughout our website.

If you’d like to be notified when we post new hitting drills and have some of our best videos delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to our emails!

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About the Author

Joe H. Tanner Baseball Products was founded by retired coach Joe Tanner after nearly fifty years in baseball. Joe realized a need in the game and solved it with the first Tanner Tee prototype. It was lightweight, portable, and easy to work the inside and outside part of the plate. It disassembled with ease and could be transported from the cage to the ball field in nearly any personal equipment bag. His tee was adjustable and held its height based on friction mechanics. Joe earned three patents for his Tanner Tee.

Learn more about Tanner Tees and our products at TannerTees.com

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