If you are tired of watching your young player swing late and hit lazy balls with little bat speed, this is another of the great slump busters hitting drills to use. Many youth ball players have long arm swings and never get the forearm strength to get the ball to jump off their bat, nor a compact swing to be able to wait for pitches. This slump busters hitting drill forces batters to use their hands and forearms and develops a compact baseball swing. For this drill, batters grab the bat first, before pinching the upper rear portion of a loose fitting shirt with their top hand thumb, and forefinger. Batters continue to hold their shirt until their front foot lands, at which time they let go of the shirt and drive their hands immediately to the back of the ball. In this manner, players must use their hands and forearms to generate the bat speed and prevent a long arm swing, as they should not take the bat any further back before swinging. This is one of the best slump busters hitting drills that prevents a locked out front arm, which creates the long arm action and less hands and forearms use.
Hitting Drills that use hands more
Young hitters will have difficulty swinging from this spot or generating bat speed with this drill initially, which is the reason for the drill, of course. Choking up on the bat, at first, is a good idea for young players, before working their way to the end of the bat as they handle the bat better in time. Holding the shirt in this manner helps players keep the knob of the bat pointing down, the correct place from where to swing the bat. Initially, players may feel as though they have lost their power but increased bat speed shows up soon from using their hands and forearms. When players go back to their normal position of swinging the bat, a couple inches back of their shoulder, they have quicker, more compact baseball swings.
From this drill, advanced players should perform the self-flip drill, also for greater use of the hands. By flipping balls no higher than eye level with their rear hand and starting the bat on the shoulder, batters have no time for a long arm swing, forcing a compact swing and quick hands.
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.
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