How do you create backspin while hitting the baseball?

by Jason Green
(Aderdeen, MD)

Ryan Braun leading with the hips creating Bat

Ryan Braun leading with the hips creating Bat "Lag"

Are you suppose to create back spin? Why do you want to create backspin? What benefits come from creating backspin?

Swing Smarter Response:

Great question Mr. Jason Green, and one my usual response was "Take the knob of the bat down to the incoming baseball, then push the barrel through the Impact point."

I now know, this is can create backspin that way, but not very consistently.

Backspin is created with a slight upper cut to the baseball's downward direction from the mound, and hitting the middle-to-lower half of the ball.

Think of the barrel path as being like a Nike Swoosh sign. We want the bat path to be nice and long to the ball (bat lag - see pic above of Ryan Braun) staying on plane thereby increasing our chance of nice hard consistent contact. I often describe this swing is one-swing-fits-all-pitches.

Want to hit an outside pitch with it? Just let the ball get deeper and hit it off the back hip. You want to pull the ball? Hit the ball a little more out front (in-line with the front hip, slightly outside the front foot).

The difference between a Down & Through versus a Nike Swoosh sign swing is with the D&T method, a hitter is accelerating to the baseball during impact...Nike Swoosh, you've already accelerated at Impact. A hitter is suppose to be accelerating during the Cushion and Slot Positions preceding contact.

You can read the Swing Smarter article below, which talks about the physics of hitting. There have been a lot of Science and Mathematical influence in baseball over the past 20 years thanks to fanatical baseball fans who just happen to be brilliant scientists :)

Physics says when we put backspin on a batted baseball, a Magnus Force takes over, which can't be seen by the naked eye, pushing from underneath the baseball elevating it. Backspin allows the baseball to work for the hitter and NOT the other way around.

I hope this helps J :)

Comments for How do you create backspin while hitting the baseball?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Juiced cheater...
by: Joey from


Does Ryan Braun have a problem with deceitful morals and ethics? Sure. And did he let down thousands of youth hitters that look up to him as a role model? Absolutely.

However, steroids, HGH, and other PED's don't add anything to a players mechanical ability. That takes decades and years to hone, sharpen, and master.

PED's help them to recover faster and endure a 162+ game season, that's it.

Take Arnold in his 7-time Mr. Olympia days, put a bat in his hand, and have him tee-off in a home-run derby contest...the results will be worse than what the bullpen catcher High School baseball player could do.

Explosive rotational power isn't about muscle. When muscle turns on, bat speed slows down. Explosive rotational power is about using gravitational forces and connective tissue within the body.

PED's, although illegal and considered cheating, don't contribute at all to hitting mechanics.

ryan braun....really
by: Anonymous

I dont think you want a juiced cheater showing kids how to create backspin.

D&T versus Nike Swoosh
by: Joey from


I just revised the article to reflect what my present hitting philosophy shows and what we ALL are seeing on slow motion video with elite MLB swings, so the article will relieve a couple of your questions. To master putting backspin on the ball takes time, because learning and applying any new movement takes perfect practice.

The secret to a consistently powerful swing is: superb work ethic + Elite Technique (through a mentor) = Higher OPS (On-Base Plus Slugging %).

My suggestion is to check out what Chas Pippitt and I are doing with on swing technique. You'll get a lot of questions answered there as well :)

backspin on a baseball
by: Anonymous

I tried doing this and i found i was hitting pop ups not very far am I doing something wrong? also, how do you master putting backspin on the ball? is it muscle memory or do you have to think about it before every pitch?

Pop up fixer up!
by: Coach Parnell

My assumption is your mechanics are very sound from the ground up...weight transfer is a big deal. New hitters to the rotational/MLB style hitting often dont let the ball travel far enough before swinging. I would suggest doing some tee work. Set the tee so that it is 2 inches in front of your stride foot(after stride)/down the middle pitch. The tee height should be at the bottom of your pecs/lower chest. Swinging at this pitch you should have a near flat swing plane...ask your hitting buddy to watch the flight of the ball-very slight upward ball flight. Once you are hitting 50 consecutive balls with slight upward movement at that height then and only then start adjusting the tee to a lower the tee lowers,your swing plane will become slightly more steep-the ball will also gain some trajectory. Master each height before lowering the tee(50 good ones). Once you get to your knee level have your partner soft toss this pitch-your swing plane will be very steep and the ball flight will have more trajectory. Time, patience and confident you will be successful!

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Interactive Swing Training Lessons.

CLICK HERE to Boost Batted Ball Distance by 48-Feet