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on April 21, 2007
My son hit .515 as an 8 year old last year. This year, he moved up a division and has struggled at around .250, even though he has a fairly nice swing. Using this device for two weeks, he suddenly can't hit anything. I pitched him hardballs today and he swung over the top of every one of the first 60! The problem with this device is that the ball doesn't drop like a pitched ball, so it actually trains them to swing higher than normal. I'll be putting this away for the season and trying to recover my son's swing and confidence. Don't get me wrong, the kids love it. The entire team lines up before every game and begs you to throw fastballs with it. It's great for use around the house - just tie it to a tree and you can take swings that you couldn't otherwise. Beware if you intend to use this for much more than casual practice and don't let it replace live pitching. Fun-factor is a 5, but as far as a training device, I have to question its value.
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on April 23, 2008
The team my 9-year-old boy is on uses these in practice and will even take some swings on them during the games. His coach also uses them with his 13 year olds team. Not saying the zip and hit is the reason why, but my boy's team has only lost 1 game in over 3 years of baseball, including fall ball. So it's not a bad team, and they use it quite extensively.

At home we have the Hit-Away baseball mounted to a pole and it works great. But, I can't really take it with us. So, we picked up the zip and hit. Now, when the wife goes in the grocery store, we park far enough out for me and the boy to attach it to the back of the vehicle and take some swings in the parking lot. When we go to a Red's game or a Florence Freedom game, it's a big hit in the parking lot there as well. I coach 3 soccer teams year round and the boy and me can squeeze some hitting in between games.

So just for the portability alone, this thing gets 5 stars in my book.

Also, about the review stating his kid now swings over the ball because it doesn't drop like real pitches would. You can make it drop using several different techniques that are described in the directions that come with it. After you get his confidence back up, you might be able to give it another try.
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on July 10, 2006
Durability seems to be an issue. The cord breaks or unravels much too quickly. The sleeve inside the ball becomes grooved and slows the ball's travel on the cord. A sleeve made of a harder, slicker material would improve both ball speed and reduce cord wear. Possible materials are hardened aluminum, stainless steel (polished), teflon-based plastic or polycarbonate.
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on May 24, 2014
First, this does not replace live pitching and hand toss skills! I have coached 4 seasons of farm little league and have had great results with this. I use this for specific skills improvement and it allows me to focus on just the player and their technique.
What I do:
1. Have the batter in the batting stance and have them watch the ball without hitting it. I have the batter watch
me send the ball down the line at different speeds. This allows me to focus on just watching their stance and where their eye are looking, head placement and if their head also tracks the ball.
2. Next, I have the batter focus on trying to swing the bat and stop the bat on the line just as the ball gets to them. This provides them instant eye hand results. This shows if they swing early or late.
3. We work on adjusting the swing to meet the ball. I raise and lower my end of the line and the batter has to barely hit the top side of the line. I do this without sending the ball down the line! If they routinely go under then their swing needs to be adjusted.
4. We put it all together. I have the batter swing at different levels and different speeds. Don't forget to have them "squish the bug" with their back foot.

This process routinely gets beginning kids that never hit at the plate to hitting 50-75%.

As for the trainer, I spent $20.00 on Amazon and it has held up for over 3 years on the original line. Again, I use this for a beginner to get skills down or when a player starts having timing issues. I do not use this for routine pratice. It packs up small and is about the size of a baseball glove when in it's bag so it fits in a bat bag.
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on May 3, 2015
A very good training tool for kids. My son (10 yr) was struggling to hit the ball last year, and I bought this staff for him after his baseball season. He was then trained using this trainer for about several month, about 10 min almost every day in our back yard. Though no any training during the winter, the current spring season, he suddenly becomes to be the best hitter of his team. Like his word, " Dad, our training worked!".
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on April 19, 2012
I've been using the Hit N Zip Pro for years with my son and we typically go through about 1 every year, year and a half. Eventually, the grommet on either side of the ball pops out and the ball starts cracking or we wear out the nylon strings, including the extra pair that is packaged. I was fully fine with the life span, especially considering that you're hitting the Cr@# out of a piece of plastic.

Before practice and before games, we would use this for my son and his batting greatly improved. We occasionally would use it at home, attaching it to our basketball pole. Where this really helped was in improving my son's stance and swing as I could "pitch" to him, yet still watch his swing and stance without the fear of getting pegged by the baseball coming off of the bat. Once you begin using it, you'll get to know the sounds and the zip of the ball to know what type of hit was produced and if good bat contact was made. Best of all, I didn't have to worry about getting hit and didn't have to chase any baseballs hit all over the field. The last big plus for this was that it neatly fit into the baseball bag and wasn't yet another big thing to carry to the fields. The bag alone is big and heavy enough with all the gear.

HOWEVER, The original product, without the SKLZ name all over the place and had the red and black lettering on the bag and I believe it was the "Derek Jeter Version", was made with better quality control. The newer version with the yellow lettering appears to be made with less quality and less quality control. Our last unit lasted for about 3 weeks before the first string broke. I then replaced the string with extra one that comes in the box and that lasted another month or so. This past week, I just bought a new one and immediately noticed that the attached string appeared to be greatly shorter than in previous units I had. Also, the padding inside the hand grips would not stay stuck in place; they immediately began falling off when the ball was being hit...the glue was not sticking at all. This results in having the inside of the handles hit your knuckles when the ball comes zipping back from a hit. Lastly, 5 hits in, the string broke!!! We went back to the store, exchanged the unit (especially since it appeared to have a very short string) and took out the new unit a few days later at practice. This time, we noticed that the string was unusually long...too long!!! With this length, it was very difficult to zip the ball as a fast pitch. However, we tried and the clip that holds the strings to the strap that attaches to pole would just keep coming off. Being plastic, there wasn't much we could bend or adjust on it. I simply returned the unit!

I honestly believe that these new versions have some serious quality and quality control issues. I will hunt around the net to see if I can find the original again.
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on April 19, 2016
This is easy to use and small that I can take easily on walks to the park. I have cliped it to the chain link fence at the park, to our trampoline and in our garage shelving. My son enjoys it and it has helped him get his swing back, and get quick, easy batting practices in instead of having to head to the batting cage.
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on December 3, 2015
I wanted to like this but even with strict tension and consistent speed applied, it is difficult to keep the ball from moving up and down along its path. My boys spend a lot of time having to return it to me manually as a result. Great concept, but due to the variables involved, I would not recommend to a friend.
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on December 31, 2015
Bought this to teach my grandson how to swing the bat. I's a good learning device. The glue they use to affix the end caps to the handles is a bit puny. They will separate and slide down the strings. No sweat. Just use silicone sealer or liquid nails to put them back together.
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on September 6, 2015
The perfect pitcher. This product is great. It helps the trainer deliver the perfect pitch and to be able to watch the swing of the batter. You can also see if the batter is keeping his/her eyes on the ball as they swing at the ball. You can change the speed of the pitch and the angle. It's a fun learning tool for the batter as well.
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