“Smash Factor Balls are the best new training tool available to hitters of all levels, hands down. The precise contact required to hit these makes them a tremendous tool for developing bat to ball skills. It’s like a hitting plyo except you use them off the machine at game speeds, and you can use a skinny bat to make it even harder.
On top of that, it allows guys to swing with intent off the machine without the fear/pain of getting jammed or hitting it off the end of the bat. Our hitters love them and we hit them every day.
I feel confident saying these will be a staple for hitting coaches and eventually will be in every professional batting cage. Every hitter who uses them at Driveline or with the Phillies, whether they are 16 or a MLB MVP, loves them and makes them part of their daily routine.”
-Jason Ochart, Director of Hitting Development and Program Design with the Boston Red Sox.
Why Should You Use Smash Factor Balls™?
Replicating game conditions is a critical aspect to effective training.
For that reason, Driveline has always done the majority of the hitting training off high-speed pitching machines and mixed pitch batting practice.
Although the pitching machines are a great tool, high-volume, game-speed training has some complications, mostly rooted in the pain of getting a mishit (getting jammed or end of the bat) with a baseball at high speeds.
Fear of pain can throttle the hitter’s swing speed and intent. These lower-intent swings become different than their game swing, which defeats the whole purpose of the training. Smash Factor Balls™ eliminate that fear of pain and allow the hitter to take their game swing every time. The mishits are still obvious, but they aren’t painful and the don’t break your bat.
Eliminating the fear of pain allows hitters to hit more, as their hands aren’t getting sore from the vibrations of mis-hits. One advantage hitters have over pitchers is the ability to get more reps. Pitchers can only throw 50-200 high-effort throws each week, but hitters can train a lot more.
Driveline hitters often get 1000+ swings a week. Thanks to Smash Factor Balls™ swings are near-game efforts, plus hitters don’t have to miss training reps due to sore hands and diminished grip strength.
Smash Factor Balls™ encourage hitters to push the boundaries and challenge themselves more in practice with higher speeds and nastier breaking pitches, which we know is a great way to train.
Hitters are much more willing to face high velo with Smash Factor Balls™ and do drills that push them out of their comfort zones like the walk-up drill (where the hitter walks closer to the machine after every rep to see how close they can get while still making good contact).
How to care for your Smash Factor balls
● Keep indoors in a cool, dry place
● Make sure pitching machines are cleaned – failure to clean can damage balls
● Break-in balls by doing several rounds of front toss prior to placing in pitching machines