I am a sophomore at a successful JUCO, and I have been dealing with the problem of my backside collapsing. I dealt with this problem throughout high school, but now with facing better pitching it has become more problematic. My shoulder collapses right around foot plant and into rotation.
I can't figure out if this could be just my backside collapsing or if it is a cause and reaction from my front side flying out too much too early.
Its definitely causing me issues as I am having trouble consistently squaring pitches up. Any ideas?
Swing Smarter Response: Hey Seth, the answer is easy, but the work you need to put in to fix the problem isn't.
This is both a technique AND timing issue.
The easy fix is you have to let the ball get to you deeper into the swing. And, you're right, being out in front is causing all those over-compensations. I would comfortably bet if we watched your swing using video analysis software, then we'd see your back shoulder and hip rotating at the same time (this is what my buddy Chas Pippitt calls a one geared swing).
Much like Joe Dimmagio's swing here in slow motion:
We want to create a two-geared swing where the hips lead and the shoulders follow. Much like Ryan Braun does in the following slow motion video:
Look how Braun's hips have already cleared before the shoulders finish the swing and contact has been made.
A good drill to help with this is swinging a broom handle without the bristles. You want to hear a big long "whoosh" through Impact.
Why do we do it this way?
You see, our body mass is made up accordingly:
60% in the Torso
15% in the arms
25% in the legs
We have to get away from swinging the bat with the upper body arm dominated Down & Through swing. Think about swinging from your spine...rotating around our center axis and using the torso to deliver energy into the ball.
The swing is more about "hip thrust" than hand path to the ball. Look at most of your elite hitters who hit for high OPS and average, and you'll most always see the hips leading the shoulders.
So Seth, my quick suggestion for you is to: let the ball get deeper, and swing a long broomstick.
A good way to work the ball deeper off the tee is the Deep Tee Drill...
Set up 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.