I'm a 14 year old girl and I tend to drop my hands when I bat

by Andi
(USA)


Hi, I tend to drop my hands when I am up to bat, and I usually am really under the ball, or I just pop it up. I am on a travel softball team, and I really want to fix this issue. I was wondering if you can please help me. Please give me some tips, and/or drills to fix this. It is really frustrating to me. Thank you so much.


Swing Smarter Response:
Hey Andi! First of all I want to commend you on being a 14-year-old seeking to make yourself better :) Great job girl, I'm proud of you!

Andi, I'm assuming you come from the old tired Down & Through style of hitting (it's what I used to teach as well)...is short to it, and long through what you've been coached up until now?

The problem with Down & Through is we're taught to "squish the bug" to get our back foot to rotate and let our hips clear.

Here's the question you need to ask yourself:

Do you turn your smaller muscles FIRST, to turn your bigger muscles LAST?

In other words, watching yourself in slow motion video, are you rotating your back ankle first, to turn your knee, to finally turn your hips?

Just watch your back heel under slow motion analysis, and when does it pop up in the sequence of your swing?

What does that have to do with your hands dropping you ask?

Everything!

You drop your hands because your upper body has to over-compensate for poor hip thrust and spinal tilt. In other words, you aren't using your lower half correctly.

What should happen is this, your hips and core should turn, which then turns the knee, then the ankle last. Waist down versus ankle up. Does this make sense? Bigger muscles and joints moving smaller ones.

I have a High School Junior with the same problem...check out a video lesson I did with him and tell me if you're doing the same thing:



How do you fix this?

I borrowed a fantastic drill from Chas Pippitt of BaseballHittingRebellion.com called the Lean Drill...I taped my athlete putting it together and doing it...if you can get in at least 150 quality repetitions everyday, your hands should stop dropping because you're actually using your lower half correctly.

Here's the video of the Lean Drill:



When we start, we want the band to pull us forward, then you counter by leaning against the resistance of the band. Make sure you aren't arching your lower back to get the lean - bend the back leg more and weight the back leg. The spine NEEDS to stay in neutral...if you're lower back is feeling some "sheer," or pain, then you're arching your lower back.

Also, here are a couple resources that will be SUPER helpful to you:

  • READ one of Chas's Blog articles on the Double Knee Inside Load,

  • CLICK for Chas Pippitt's Online Interactive Hitting Mentorship Program, and

  • CLICK to Purchase the Drive Developer at The Starting Lineup Store.com (the tool you see in The Lean Drill video - this is Chas's invention and I LOVE it)

Comments for I'm a 14 year old girl and I tend to drop my hands when I bat

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T Drill
by: Coach JB

Joey, I set them about 8" apart at the same height, ball on the front one. Objective is to get the bat on an even plane thru the zone and discourage any excessive uppercutting.

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2-Tee Drill
by: Joey from SwingSmarter.com

@CoachJB,

How are you setting up the 2-tee drill?

Just curious...

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Hands dropping
by: coach JB

Because of the angle of the pitch in softball vs. baseball I have found a Double Tee drill helps alot with this problem in softball. Keeps the bat in the zone. Also a top hand push(THT) drill helps in both.

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Stay the course...
by: Joey from SwingSmarter.com

Andi, it takes 3,000 repetitions to unwind a bad habit, and 300 more to set a good habit straight, so the more you work on correcting the problem, the faster it will fix.

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Thanks for the help!!!!!!!!!!!!
by: Andi

I deffinetly understand what I have to fix. But every time im up to bat I do the same thing. And I know I'm doing it. I guess it's just muscle memory huh? Not as easy as it looks

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Missing the point...
by: Joey from SwingSmarter.com

@Andi: you can wrap it around a pole as well and create a knot with the bands.

@Chris: be careful with what you say here on my site (i.e. "No one with any hitting knowledge can tell me this is a good drill). I want a friendly debate about the swing...I have NO time for fanatical hitting forum bullies. If this is you, go elsewhere!

That being said...

You sound like a Down & Through guy..."weight never moving forward," "squishing the bug," alluding the swing to throwing a punch. I was there too, and still have some D&T content up I haven't changed over yet.

What you don't see in the drill is the bands are pulling him forward and he's resisting away from them. This is a super drill for building spinal tilt and hip thrust, which is deficient in a "hands dropping" and back leg/calf pushing swing.

You're right, no forward momentum because to hit with power and consistency, we don't hit over our front leg...we hit behind it (watch Bautista, Ellsbury, Cabrera, Hamilton, Cano, etc. in slow motion video).

The student in the video isn't "squishing the bug," he's using his core along with a spinal tilt to get into extension with his hips...this helps to get "on plane" with the baseball sooner with more force.

And we aren't punching the ball like a boxer would a face...we're attempting to hit the same "line" the baseball is traveling on, big difference.

Her backward angle is essential to the line drive swing.

Watch this video of my buddy Chas Pippitt dissecting Robinson Cano's swing:



The problem with Down & Through is the margin for error is too small, that's why average goes down using it. We're more susceptible to off speed and breaking balls. We also tend to "drift" forward too much over our front leg and our head and eyes travel...trust me, I've hit like that myself, worked harder than anyone I played with, but never got the results some of my other teammates did that are playing in the Big Leagues now.

We have to start teaching what we see, rather than what we "think" we see.

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Don't see it!
by: Chris

Doing this drill 150-300 times will get you to one place, On the bench. No one with any hitting knowledge can tell me this is a good drill. For what? To hit pop ups to short? this kid is just spinning in place, his weight never moves forward. This is squishing the bug at it's worst. Do you throw a punch while falling backwards? All that would happen now for the girl who drops her hands, is that she'll go to the ball from a different upward angle. Hopefully she gets off her back side better than the kid in the drill.

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Thanks
by: Anonymous

Ok, deffinetly! What can I hook them onto besides a fence? Sorry for all the questions. Just really wanna fix this habit before softball season starts back up. I used to be a really great hitter. Hope I can fix this.

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The Drive Developer
by: Joey from SwingSmarter.com

Andi,

Ask your parents for the Drive Developer for Xmas, that's what my kid is using in the article video. It will be one of the best investments in your hitting future, believe me.

Just click on the link at the bottom of the article.

Joey

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I would deffinetly consider these drills but...
by: Andi

The only thing is I don't have those rubber band things :/

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Drills you can do...
by: Joey from SwingSmarter.com

Andi,

I would mix in hitting off the tee with the Lean Drill I mentioned in the article. If you want to fix the problem, you have to either get a Drive Developer or rig something that looks like what we're doing in the How-to video.

The Lean Drill utilizes Reactive Neuromuscular Training, or RNT, in other words, it gets the body to do what we want, quicker.

So, it's critical to do this drill at least 150-300 reps per day...good quality reps, when you start to fatigue, then take a break.

I'm proud of you Andi!

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Thank you... Questions
by: Andi

Ok, thank you so much!! I really hope it helps me!!! Very frustrating habit!! Is there any drill that I can do at home with like a ball and a tee or something? Thanks again!! Glad you can help :)

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