How-To Cut OFF the Parachute Dragging Down Your Bat Speed
by Grant Powell
I am a 14 year old boy, im lefty and when i hit my front arm (right arm)tends to extend all the way back until its close to straight. I don't know if there is any drills or something that will keep that arm flexed so it doesn't straighten and cause me to have a big crank and make my swing long but please help its frustrating seeing on video!!
Swing Smarter Response:
Hey Grant! Great question and this is the MOST frustrating issue I have and see from half my hitters.
We call this barrel drag, and yes, the front arm extends out, while the back elbow tends to race forward passed the hands.
This acts like a parachute on your bat speed, and makes your swing slow to the ball.
This can be caused by deeply embedded Down & Through swing mechanics, and swinging those hyper-light aluminum bats causing an upper body dominant hack.
What we want is Barrel Lag
We have to come to the understanding the "midsection" pulls the "hips" around, and this combination moves the shoulders and hands into position.
If the core has a dysfunctional movement pattern around the spine, then the body's natural biomechanics break down and compensation occurs (barrel drag).
We want to see the line angle of the hips lead the line angle of the shoulders. They don't move at the same time. Think of the way your body moves in an elite swing like 2 gears.
Getting this will help you understand the logistics of the following video my buddy Chas Pippitt at BaseballHittingRebellion.com, the Hitting Yoda, talking about how the hands and shoulders are being "moved" by the core and hips:
The spacing between both elbows MUST stay the same throughout the swing until follow through and Power 'V,' like some like to call it.
Imagine a short steel bar being attached to your biceps at each end with velcro. The bar would establish a buffer between the elbows.
A Good Drill to Break Bat Lag
Place a raquet or lacrosse ball in the kruck of the back arm (between the back bicep and upper forearm). Like you're flexing your bicep to try and pop the ball.
Then go through your swing in slow motion to contact, keeping the ball from falling out. Important: make sure the ball is on skin only and not shirt sleeve or else it'll keep slipping out.
Until you feel comfortable with this movement in slow motion, try hitting a ball off a tee (ONLY to contact position though). You still have to keep the ball from falling out.
You can even progress this drill to soft toss and LIVE toss, but remember it's only a half swing.