A lot of times, hitters find themselves feeling as though they have stopped driving the ball consistently with power. Just as well, hitters have experienced a lot of frustration not knowing why they have constantly been unable to hit breaking ball pitches or off-speed.
A good bit of the time, this happens to a player simply because they are not getting their hands back correctly.
Watch this video!
One key component of hitting is getting your hands back before starting your swing. Your hands must move back before they move forward.
Having a little forward movement towards the pitch is natural but hitters who have either developed bad habits or are simply inexperienced in carrying their upper half forward while they stride, will find themselves in trouble. If you fail to separate you will fail to produce uncoiled power in your core.
So no separation, no power.
Imagine if a golfer did not get his or her hands back before their swing. (The ball wouldn’t go very far)
When the stride foot is moved forward, a stride should be a few inches but no more than 6 to 8 inches, depending on the height of the hitter. Hitters who have had poor separation will find their balls coming weakly of the bat as lazy fly balls or weakly hit ground balls.
Without separation you will lose the ability to whip the bat through the zone with your core.
Another thing that getting your hands back will do is allowing you to stay on breaking ball and off-speed pitches correctly.
If for some reason you have a habit of getting out front, your hands can still be back enough for you to still drive the ball..
While it’s important to get your hands back, its more important to avoid barring your lead arm and allowing your swing to get big. Your hands must continue to stay inside the baseball.
The point of getting your hands back is to be able to drive the ball with power (even for the little guys):) as well as stay back on off-speed, but you still have to think about staying short and compact.
Its a balance of both qualities, and in order for the best swing both sides have to be understood and implemented.
Not keeping your hands inside the ball after the swing has started ,will force you to get jammed, and overemphasizing the movement of getting your hands back takes away your ability to get to the hitting zone in time.
So remember in order to drive the ball with consistency you have to
• Get your hands back in the correct (comfortable) position
• Use your lower half and core to pull your hands through the zone
• With your hands now back use them to consistently drive off-speed and breaking pitches.
• After getting hands back, continue to keep hands inside the ball.
• Stay short and compact.
Notice the pictures of hitters to the right. Their hands have gone back as they move their stride foot.
Baseball Hitting Drill Number One
While taking a few practice swings in front of a mirror, face the mirror as though you were facing a pitcher. As you start your stride attempt to get your hands back in the correct position. Your hands should be hidden behind your body. Your stride foot should land softly as your hands move slightly back.
This will also help in keeping your front shoulder closed up until you start your swing. Imagine as you swing your hands are back and your lead arm is able to cover the front logo on you jersey. As you move your hands back, note that the angle of the bat should stay the same. Ex-Moving the hands back shouldn’t force the bat head to move closer to your head.
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