In the July 5 edition of Forbes , Forbes Publisher Rich Karlgaard talks about the Donik Sports Hit-N-Stick Training Aid. This is a tool that he used to help his 8-year-old son correct the mechanics of his baseball bat swing. Karlgaard describes the Hit-N-Stick as a stick that "was about 4-to-5 feet long and looked like a fishing pole with a yellow ball on the end of it". A coach or parent holds the handle end of the Hit-N-Stick and places the ball end in a position where the batter should try to hit the ball.
The key to the training element of the Hit-N-Stick is that it absorbs the impact of the bat with the ball, and reinforces correct bat swing technique by the sound that the bat makes when contacting the ball. When the ball is hit with a level swing, and with the correct follow through, the Hit-N-Stick makes a more pleasing sound than when the ball is hit in other ways.
The Hit-N-Stick is an improvement over batting tees and traditional batting practice in some ways, because the ball on the Hit-N-Stick never leaves the end of the stick. This means that a lot more practice hits can be done in a short period of time. The article recommends mixing use of the Hit-N-Stick with traditional batting practice.
The Hit-N-Stick is available in 41-inch, 53-inch, and 63-inch sizes. Each is appropriate for different sized baseball and softball players. It looks like fun for practice, and I'm hoping to see one in use around the Little League field near my home soon.