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Where to Place the Tee When Hitting

Updates: 3/3/2011 Initial Post

Everyone knows where to place a tee, right?

Why do we see so many pictures and videos of tees in the wrong location? Usually we see these tees when parents or players are asking about some hitting issue.

Is this your tee?
We're not just talking about Tee-Ball either.

Tee work is not just for kids. Most professionals hit from a tee everyday. And you don't need a second person.

We recommend hitting from a tee as one of the few drills that actually work.

However, many hitting issues and swing faults are actually caused by faulty tee placement.
  • Lunging
  • Casting
  • Extending your arms
  • Bat lag/drag
Where should the hitting tee be placed?

We will show you some "experts" using a hitting tee incorrectly, and finally explain the proper placement for a tee.

Where NOT to place the tee (and why)

TeamExpress youtube Tee drill: Baseball drills to improve your swing

0:30 Never place [the tee] on top of home plate. The desired location to make contact... is in front of home plate the plate is a good start... at 0:54-1:04, they use the wrong placement on example swings and the balls are going down.

Weplay.com's video on MLB.com Playsports TV: Tee Placement says:
WePlay Tee Position
0:19 we position the tee around their stance good thinking but the tee is sitting on the base

Tee-ball-drills.com in Coaching Tee Ball says
The ball is placed on an adjustable tee atop the home plate at a suitable height for the batter to strike. placing the tee on top of the plate is destructive

Here is JUGSsports demonstrating some Tee drills, but the tee placement is destructive Hitting Tee Drills


Tracking Drill
Walk-in drill
Instant feedback drill

[1st "Tracking Drill"] the tee can be placed anywhere on the plate during this drill the 1st hitter's tee is too far back, the 2nd is good

[2:11 Walk-in drill] All the Tees were in the wrong spot

[4:19 Balance Beam drill] you can judge for yourself if you think balance is so important

[6:12 Instant feedback drill] 3 of the 4 batters had the tee too far back
Here is a guy on expertvillage Baseball Swing Mechanics : How to Take a Full Baseball Swing with the tee in the wrong place

Why is his tee back at
his bellybutton?
Baseball Swing Mechanics

Even MLB players do this wrong. here is Kevin Long showing Arod Pro Hitter's Workout with Kevin Long & Alex Rodriguez (Clip 2)

ARod's tee looks
like the little kid at top
ARod ProHitter's Workout Kevin Long

Some Videos That Are Real Close

Here is a good video by Mike Scott Hitting Off the Tee Mike Scott Baseball

Mike Scott
the tee should be right where your front foot lands... you should have the tee out in front of the plate of course, it's the foot placement, too may LLers thinking they hit the ball over the plate... the lowest part of your wing should be right behind the ball this gets your bat on plane with the pitch that's coming in great advice!

Here is a good video by Sean Dixon, son of baseball author Jim Dixon


Bad placement causes casting
Good placement
(watch that form though)

0:33 because they set the ball up in the middle of the plate, it's going to cause problems...
2:00 the 5 yo knows the first thing he's going to do with his barrel is throw it out [casting] and sweep the bat to the ball.
2:48 [tee at belly button] it also kills moving my body in a natural way towards the pitcher [demos stride], and I don't want to turn my body
4:10 [tee at front foot] this will create a natural move that the player wants to do

The Tee should be placed where your optimal contact point is

Most ask "Where is the plate?" when you ask them to place the tee. This is the wrong question entirely.

Most experts and others incorrectly place a tee in the middle of the plate, and then they compound the problem by straddling the plate!

Who straddles the plate when they play in a game? Who hits the ball at their belly button in a game? So, why do we place a tee here?

So, where should the tee be placed?

First, you must know what type of hitter you are supposed to be. Am I:
  • Rotational with an L back elbow slot
  • Rotational with Power V extended arms
  • Linear with an L slot
  • Linear with extended arms
Place the tee where you expect to make contact.

That is not rocket science, it's just common sense.

If you are trying to make contact using an "L" back elbow slot of any kind, then take your normal stride, take a slow swing to normal contact position, and you will see that the tee must be at the ball of your front foot.

If you are trying to make contact using extended arms, then the tee must be approximately a foot ahead of your front foot.

The plate has nothing to do with the question.

Place the Tee at Your Front Foot (after stride) if You Hit With an L Elbow Slot Like This

Note: 99%+ of MLB hitters use an L Slot
Albert Pujols
Alfanso Soriano
Vlad Guerrero
Sammy Sosa
HR #599
Fastpitch with L slot

Place the Tee 8-12 Inches in Front of Front Foot (after stride) if You Hit With Extended Arms Like This

Fastpitch with linear extended arms
Howard Carrier linear
Mike Candrea linear
Ripken using
Power V at contact