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Friday, March 13, 2009

Coaching Baseball - 4 Common Hitting Flaws and How to Correct Each

1. Overstriding
Overstriding is a common mistake. Batters that often get "jammed" may be in fact causing their own problems by overstriding. Overstriding causes the batter's head and eyes to drop often causing the batter to "loose" the ball during the swing. Tracking the ball visually is made very difficult. The batter's overstriding can also cause the swing to be long. A batter's wide feet that are too wide tend to prevent hip involvement during the swing.
Batters should use a short or a "no stride" approach. A short stride of 3 to 6 inches is often enough. In fact simply picking the front foot up and putting it back down is all the stride that is needed.

2. "Hitch" In The Swing
Batters that have a "hitch" in their swing often have difficulty hitting the fastball. They often get "jammed" and are often late on medium speed pitches. The batter is not "triggering" correctly. The batter is dropping the hands before taking them to the "power position" or what is often called the "launch position". This lowering of the hands causes the batter to be late to the strike zone.
Take the hands slightly up and then back rather than dropping them.

3. "Locking" The Front Arm
The batter "locks" or straightens out the front arm when the hands and bat are taken back to the "power" or "trigger" position. This flaw causes the batter to be late starting the swing. It also cause the the bat speed to be too slow and increases the bat's distance to the ball. Locking the front arm also often causes premature wrist roll.
Keep a bend in the front elbow. Keep the hands together and working together. Keep the hands close to the body and do not take them back so far that front arm flex is lost.

4. Opening Up Too Soon
The front side is opening too soon causing the batter's "whole body" including head and eyes to pull off the pitch. This flaw often causes the barrel to lag and a reduction in bat speed. Much less plate coverage is allowed. Another result of dropping the hands is an increase in flyballs.
Have the batter strive to keep the "knob to belly button" relationship during the swing. The belly button rotates with the knob of the bat. On inside pitches the batter will still "open" but the timing will be perfect. On middle and away pitches the batter will not open or rotate so much. "The belly button to knob" relationship maintains correct timing mechanics.

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick