Elegant Baseball Hitting Mechanic Flaw Remedies that Work!
Bad baseball hitting mechanic typically caused by over-anxious and tense swings can be remedied quickly, but if let on too long, bad habit parasites burrow their way into a swing and can leave a hitter in the longest and most frustrating 0-for drought!
This article is the first in a two Part piece, to remedy any swing fault with a simple but effective solution. In Part 1, we'll be correcting these 5 hitting faults:
- Over striding,
- No pivot on back foot,
- Pulling head and front shoulder out,
- Swinging late, and
- Front elbow comes up and out (chicken winging).
Before we get started...
I want to start off by passing on a little self esteem booster tip I used to get me out of those depressing slumps...
Rent, and I recommend buying, the movie titled Mr. Baseball, starring Tom Selleck. If you haven't seen it already, it's about a once famed Major Leaguer, Tom Selleck, who gets washed up and traded to the Japanese baseball league...the main point of the movie for a slumping hitter, is you see the main character have a Karate Kid moment, it's a once was lost, and now is found type of story.
This movie was very inspiring for me no matter how many times I watched it, but every-time, it helped me out of my slumps. It won't teach you what to do differently, it's just a major self-esteem booster.
The following bad baseball hitting mechanic content will show you what needs to be done to cure major hitting faults.
Let's dance shall we??
Here are the problems with over striding:
- The eyes & head tend to move too far forward, which gives the illusion of a faster pitch, and
- Loss of power because weight and hands shift forward.
One quick note:
Just like how medications don't keep you from having a cold ever again, the following remedies won't bullet proof you from falling into bad baseball hitting mechanic, but good body awareness will, so stay in tune with your body from swing to swing.
Back to business...
When a player is over striding the best thing to do is get them to widen their stance OUT to their normal stride length, and have them hit from there. The only thing they are allowed to do with anything resembling a stride, is picking the front foot up and putting right back down where it started. Watch Albert Pujols hit, that's what he does.
In baseball, a stride is a timing mechanism and nothing more...it doesn't give you power, your hips do.
A fantastic verbal cue to use is, "Let the pitched ball come to you," and that should help the player wrap their head around the concept.
Hitting drills helping to iron out over striding are the Balance & Reach and the Bat Behind the Back drills. More detail to these drills, and for the rest of the swing remedies covered can be found on the 5 Top Drills tab located on the navigation bar above.
No Pivot on Back Foot
Here are the problems with not rotating the back foot:
- Loss of balance in the swing,
- Loss of Power, and
- Too much torque on the back knee.
When I think of this I think of Andrew Jones, he doesn't rotate his back foot for some unknown reason, and now he's having knee problems. By not pivoting your back foot, you don't allow the full release of energy to transfer from the hips. Plus, it puts you in a very off-balance hitting position.
The best drill to correct this bad baseball hitting mechanic is the bat behind the back drill.
Pulling the Head and Front Shoulder Out
Here are the problems with this:
- Too much of a rotational swing,
- NOT tracking the ball,
- Difficulty hitting the outside pitch, and
- Making solid contact with an off speed pitch or breaking ball will be a BIG obstacle.
In order to cure this bad baseball hitting mechanic, we have to shift away from the shoulders doing the work and let the hips take over. The hips are what start and drive the swing, NOT the shoulders, the arms are just along for the ride, so relax the top half.
The major problem here is the player is swinging way too hard, so we must tell them to swing at a 60-70% speed. The head should start over the front shoulder and end over the back shoulder.
Another good drill to cure this bad habit is to hold the swing finish and see where the belly button is pointing. If we're swinging up the middle, then the belly button should be pointing to the pitcher...any more to the hitter's pull side and we have to adjust over.
Swinging Too Late
This is a common timing problem among young hitters, and when the child sees more pitches, this issue will become almost non-existent. So, practice more, especially with whiffle balls because of their ability to be deceptive with pitch speed. Massaging those brain receptors with a difficult task will help speed up the process to conquering this fool.;-)
This baseball hitting mechanic remedy requires more of a verbal cue, "Get the front foot down sooner..." so the player can put themselves in a position to time the pitch better.
Last, but not least...
Front Elbow Comes Up & Out
Also called Chicken Winging, the problems with this are similar to pulling the head and front shoulder above with one extra swing parasite...dipping the barrel of the bat. When the front elbow comes up the barrel drops too soon.
To remedy this, we want keep the front elbow down, and take the knob down to the incoming baseball. By doing this, we keep the barrel up and the swing short, until the barrel enters the contact zone where it will finally drop down below the hands.
A really good drill to correct this bad baseball hitting technique is to put a batting glove, with the fingers pointing down, under the front armpit. If the glove drops during a swing,then the player is most likely chicken winging.
The bottom line?
The 80/20 Principal to correct all these swing faults? The player is swinging too hard, and trying to knock the ball out of the ball park. We have to get back to a 60-70% swing speed and that will help correct 80% of baseball hitting mechanic faults!
Stay tuned for Part 2...
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