How to Analyze Your Son’s Baseball Swing – 3 Basics to Look For
- Updated: April 14, 2011
Some hitting faults like stepping out, over-striding, swinging early or late, upper cutting, pulling off the ball and taking the eye off the ball are obvious flaws that even casual baseball observers can notice. Many hitters’ mistakes are not nearly as obvious and take a trained baseball eye to know the swing problem. However, with a little knowledge of what to look for, even untrained parents and coaches can analyze their players’ swings.Of course, the fix to the problems is never as easy as just telling hitters what they are doing wrong. A trained hitting coach may be necessary for that. However, by knowing a few basics, parents can distinguish right from wrong and begin to help their child’s swing.
First, it is important to know where the best angle to watch a hitter is. The side angle, as from the on deck circle, is best with behind home the second best angle. Of course, adults, who pitch batting practice, have a great angle but have to be careful the batted ball does not hit them. Second, a balanced hitter is necessary when the players’ stride foot lands, if not with the initial stance. Hitters having their head leaning slightly forward, towards home plate, putting their weight towards the balls of their feet, create balance.
Three basics to look for when analyzing the baseball swing:
- Ready hitter – readiness begins with the player’s bat position upon completion of the stride. Hitters who have the incorrect bat position at this point rarely recover with the correct baseball swing.The bat barrel should settle above the hitter’s rear shoulder, knob of the bat pointing down with the hands a few inches back of rear shoulder and at that height. There is nothing more important for developing a good swing than this, even more than lower half actions. For proof of this, a good swing will produce line drives even if hitting on one’s knees, without the hips. Of course, with little power, though.
- Arm extension – the correct swing will include both arms straightening towards the pitcher before the wrists roll. An early roll of the wrists is a sign that hitters have not attacked the ball correctly, resulting with a low hand finish, usually below shoulder level. Most long swings, or casting of the bat, result in this early roll of the wrists, when it appears that the hitter is hitting down on the ball.
- Complete follow through – hitters should be able to maintain two hands on the bat all the way around to where the bat head reaches the middle of the back, where they can see the bat head upon completion of the swing. This action generally guarantees that hitters“stayed back” and rotated correctly. Most kids, who let go of the top hand with the bat upon follow through, do so because of an incorrect hip turn, caused by any number of reasons.
Of course, good concentration is necessary to observe these three keys to analyzing the baseball swing because all of these swing actions happen quickly. However, remaining focused on these three things of bat position at stride foot landing, armextension to a high finish and complete hip rotation, parents can analyze their child’s swing, which is the first step to helping them improve.