All Ground Balls and NO Line Drives
Boxing Champion Kelly Pavlik swings a baseball bat at a heavy bag during his media day at the Southside Boxing Gym in Youngstown, OH (boxnews.com.ua)
My son is a sophmore playing varsity HS ball. He normally hits well, with the vast majority of his hits being line drives to the gaps. Lately though, he is hitting nothing but ground balls, many of which are not even well hit. Not that hitting ground balls is a bad thing, but he is not hitting them well and never hits line drives anymore. What mechanical things can I look for to help correct this issue? Any help would be appreciated - he is gettign pretty frustrated.
Swing Smarter Response:
Hey Rich, great question. I'm assuming your son is hitting most of the ground balls to his "pull" side of the diamond, and making contact too far out in front.
What rolling over does is create a mini speed bump in the Impact Zone. We want to have a nice smooth bat path through the Impact Zone like a by-the-book airplane landing.
In order to do this, your son MUST be palm up with the top hand & palm down with the bottom hand for as long as possible passed contact. I always describe to my students: imagine three baseballs hovering in mid-air passed contact about an inch apart from each other, and to finish the barrel through those three baseballs with nice palm up/down hand positioning.
Also, think of this like trying to cut down a tree with an Ax. If we roll over, then the blade will face down and we'll ineffectively strike the tree trunk with the side of the Ax.
A great drill to conquer this would be hitting (with the bat) a heavy body punching bag. Hit the bag and hold the Impact Position, making sure your son has the nice top hand palm up, bottom hand palm down position (like in the picture above).
WARNING: we can still be palm up/down, but see the top hand "belly" of the thumb (muscle below the thumb) start to jump upwards...when we hit the bag, we shouldn't see this jump, the hands should lay nice and flat.
The next two tools involve using The ProHammer and Drive Developer hitting aids. These are the best baseball hitting aids to stop rolling over, cold and create proper top hand drive. I would suggest both, but if you can only get one at this time, I'd suggest the Drive Developer.
I hope this helps Rich :)
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