Jack Perconte: Providing “The Fix” – 3 Hitting Solutions
- Updated: December 23, 2010
Many people, who have a basic knowledge of baseball, can look at a young hitter and figure out what they are doing wrong. Certain things like stepping out, over-striding, swinging early or late, upper cutting, pulling off the ball and taking their eye off the ball are fairly obvious flaws. The solutions to these problems are not as obvious, and certainly not as simple as just telling the hitter what they are doing wrong. Muscle memory can be very tough to change and it is important for coaches and parents to have patience with players who are trying to change their muscle memory.
All parents and coaches want their kids to work hard but they do not always provide their young players with the know how to really improve. Too often I see the parents and coaches let players get away with bad habits and then get upset when the players do not perform well. The remedies for hitting problems are found by performing good hitting drills that address those problems. Following are three hitting drills that will go a long way towards fixing all the hitting problems that were mentioned above.
1. Seeing the Ball Drill – In batting practice, place an object like a ball glove or empty soda can at the front of the opposite side batter’s box. After taking their swing, have hitters keep their eyes on the placed object for a second before looking out to see where they hit the ball. This will prevent hitters from pulling their head out early on the pitch and help prevent them from over swinging.
2. Pad Drill – Place a pad like a sponge, towel or the player’s glove under their lead armpit when taking batting practice. The hitter’s goal is to keep the glove under the arm until contact and then allow the pad to fall out after making contact. This drill ensures that the hitter is using their hands and forearms to swing the bat in a compact, direct manner.
3. Back Knee Pick-up Drill – Have the hitter pick up their back leg with their back knee turning and coming forward of their front knee to point at the pitcher as they swing. This drill will force the hitter to use their front side to pull the bat initially as well as forcing the hitter to open their hips. Both of these forced moves with this drill promote contact, weight shift and power.
You probably noticed that each drill addresses the key ingredients of good fundamental hitting – hands, hips and head. With continual practice of these three drills, players will notice many of their hitting problems disappear. Coaches and players do not need to know what is wrong, but they need to know how to fix it. Performing these drills will often “fix it.”