Long Swing, Extending too Early, NO Power...

by Grant

I'm right-handed and just recently I have noticed that I am not hitting the ball as well as I did in the past few weeks. My dad told me that I am not swinging in a fluid motion. When I hit the ball now, my arms are becoming extended too early, and I don't have any power. What should I do to fix this?

Swing Smarter Response:
Hey Grant, sorry to hear this...without seeing your swing, I'll try and take a stab at what you may be doing.

Too extended, too soon is called bat "drag" and is not good, causing a slow down in bat speed. A few of my kids had this problem this summer and the following is what we're doing to correct it.

On video it would look like your front arm bars during the arm loading phase of the swing, while the back elbow tries to rush passed the hands during acceleration.

The problem is a too dominant upper body swing, and we have to learn to increase hip thrust. A couple things you can do...

1.) Put a dimple ball in the crook of your back arm from the stance until contact and do a few half swings in slow motion off a tee. This isn't a contact drill, only up to contact.

You see, the distance between the biceps (from each other) shouldn't change until after contact is made. Pretend you have a fixed length steel bar separating your upper arms until contact. The dimple ball will help with this.

2.) Another drill you can do is the Deep Tee Drill. Setup the tee so it's in the middle of the plate just behind your front leg. The goal of the drill is to pull the ball to left center field (for a righty). Most Major Leaguers can do this. The object of the drill is to keep the weight, eyes, hands, and point of contact behind the baseball. Don't cheat and scoot the ball farther out front, it has to stay deep, hence the name of the drill.

You won't be able to pull the ball if you keep extending the arms prematurely (bat dragging) during the swing. You'll end up Derek Jeter-ing the ball to the opposite field, leading with the knob and hands too much.

Do these drills in super slow motion at first to get the hang of them, then speed up as you feel comfortable with the mastery. I would love to see your swing on video, if you could, please upload it to YouTube and send me the video url, and I'll post it here :)

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