Pre-Launch Torque to Fix Dropping Hands in Swing

by Jerry T.
(Orange, CA)

Hands Dropping During Swing

Hands Dropping During Swing

My 9 y.o. Daughter has a real bad habit of dropping her hands when she starts her swing. Her hands are set between her right cheek and ear. As she starts to swing, her hands drop straight down to her right chest/armpit area, then she proceeds with her swing, always resulting in a uppercut motion. She is constantly hitting fouls and pop ups. The kid has real good pop on her balls, but is cheating herself of hitting success. Thanks for the help, Jerry


Swing Smarter Response
Hey Jerry, there are two things that need to be addressed here. 1) your daughter's hands are probably set too high in her stance and need to start at the bottom of her hand drop.

2) She's probably not getting any hand load pivot to get the bat momentum accelerating before impact, and she's using her arms to do it instead.

Number 1 is an easy fix, so let's address issue #2. Most hitting instructors teach "push the hands back towards the catcher" or "get separation", as the stride foot goes forward, the hands move back towards the catcher...heck there's even a hitting aid to help with this called the Pitcher's Nightmare or something like it.

You look at guys like Miguel Carbrera, Josh Hamilton, Barry Bonds, Jose Bautista, and even Ted Williams and you'll see them hand load pivot (or Pre-Launch Torque as BatSpeed.com puts it), where the top hand pivots over the bottom hand pushing the barrel towards the pitcher over the head...I teach a small hand pivot about 1 inch or so, which translates to a modest 3-4 inch barrel movement.

Watch Teddy Ballgame's Pre-Launch Torque



Look, a hitter doesn't have to have as much pre-launch torque as Ted Williams, but like I said, 1 inch movement with the top hand is more than enough.

This gets the hands to create momentum with the barrel and builds a better slot position. We want to accelerate the barrel from Cushion (stride) to Slot, so that once we're in the Impact Position the barrel is already accelerated. In other words, we don't want to be still accelerating at Impact.

Speaking of a little less Pre-Launch Torque with the hands as Ted Williams...

Check out Jose Bautista's swing, and pay close attention to his hands in the Pre-Launch Torque phase as he loads his hips and before his stride foot touches the ground (watch the barrel slightly point in the direction of the pitcher as he loads)...



Jerry, this will definitely help stop your daughter from dropping her hands, we just have to give those paws something more constructive to do...remember the phrase, "Idle Hands are the Devil's Playground." ;)

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pre launch torque
by: jerry 220 hitter

when I played I dropped my hands, that was one of the problems I had. probally was the reason I never really hit the way I would have liked. I also brought my hands foward as I would stride another bad habit.I belive the reason I would drop my hands was would sometimes let the weight of my upper body get beyond the back knee in the load and dip the back knee causing the hands to drop.wish I knew to try the little bat tip tilt then

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1-Inch Punch!
by: Joey from SwingSmarter.com

@Jesse:

The one inch I referred to in the article is how far the top hand moves forward past the bottom hand, NOT the barrel. By moving the top hand only one inch, will translate into about a 3 inch barrel movement. The more you pivot the hands, the bigger the distance the barrel will move, which can cause wrapping and not enough control to get the barrel and hands to slot in time.

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pre launch torque
by: Jesse

I know you said to only slot the top hand one inch but i like the way josh hamilton slots his barrel. It looks like he goes way past that. Also sometimes i use pre launch torque too much and i tend to wrap the bat around my head which i know is a bad thing. It might be because i am going past one inch. Would you agree?

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Dropping the hands dependent on where the pitch is?
by: Joey from SwingSmarter.com

@Robert: the hands should always always get launched from a tight slot position (hands just outside the back shoulder...this is where we throw a calculated reverse power punch.

As for pitch location...really, low pitches we should be waiting till the ball is the same depth as our belly button, which is the same as the outside pitch. Of any ball I ever hit, the low inside pitch I hit the farthest. The secret? You have to wait till it gets super deep, then let the barrel go down and get it.

Hands negligently dropping is wasted movement and should always always tightly slot into position...think about skipping a rock across a pond, what does your throwing hand do?? It slots.

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Droping Hands?
by: Robert

So what exactly is dropping the hands? And would not depend on where the pitch is located?

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