Getting kids to hit off there back foot
(Orlando, FL )
I have been coaching little league for years now and my nephew has always been small so he developed some bad habits. He has always been the best hitter on the team has great hand eye coordination but due to his size he developed an upper cut and is always out on his front foot. Now that he has caught up in size we got rid of the upper cut but I cannot get him to hit off his back foot, what drills can you recommend. Thank you, Robert
Swing Smarter Response:
Great question Robert, we feel your pain...about 80% of the young hitters we teach have this problem when I first get them. It's crucial this hitting issue gets corrected because drifting forward or hitting off the front leg has 3 major fire breathing dragon heads:
- The eyes drift forward causing the pitched baseball to seem faster than it really is,
- Loss of rotational bottom half power, and
- A tendency to hit the ball on the ground too much.
Firstly,A good concept phrase to teach these young ball players
, so they can wrap their head around staying back, is to tell them to "Let the ball get to you."
Here are two good drills to work on the functional part of staying back, Whiffle & Bounce Ball Drills
Here are our favorite bottom half skills drills, especially for your nephew, the Balance and Reach Drill
is highly beneficial.
Start slow, off the tee, to begin with, and have them hold their finish or follow through without falling off balance, then physically move them into the right bottom half power position until they can get the correct motion on their own.Another concept phrase you can use
is to "Drive the back knee into the ground." If they get that, then you have to get them to do it while keeping their front leg semi-straight because they'll want to bend it.
Please note: the back knee shouldn't be touching the ground, but "back knee to the ground" is something you can use to get them feel the back leg getting weight overload.
Hope this helps Robert, thanks a thousand for your question.