The correct baseball swing involves both arms, but it helps when players or coaches recognize when one arm or the other is not holding its own with the baseball swing.
Of course, as with most, baseball swing questions, there is no simple, one-answer fits all when deciding which arm is more important with hitting a baseball. Most players get more bat speed from their top arm, which is no surprise, as most players' dominant arm is their right one and most kids bat right handed. Therein lays the baseball swing problem, as many hitters, especially youth baseball players, rely on their top arm so much that the lead arm does little and causes many hitting problems.
It is necessary for successful hitting for players to use their weaker arm more, whether it is their top or bottom one. One arm hitting drills that isolate the weaker arm is a good start to building up players' bat speeds. Additionally, knowledge of their hitting results helps players to know when one of their arms are not doing enough of the work. Of course, that knowledge is not easy to decipher and may only come from an experienced hitting coach. For that reason alone, baseball hitting lessons are important for serious baseball players, as they help players not only understand the swing, but help them make hitting adjustments to gain maximum power and to avoid hitting slumps. Following are some hitting tips that may help players recognize when they need to concentrate more on one arm or the other.
When a players' lead arm is weak, they tend to hit balls in the same direction all the time. Without good lead arm attack and extension, hitters' top arm takes over the swing prematurely and they cast the bat out early, causing them to pull all pitches on slower pitching and to be late on all fast pitching.
To recognize this lack of lead arm use, coaches should have players hit slow pitching for a spell and see if every ball goes to their pull side, as they will roll over continually on this speed pitching. Vice versa, coaches should have players face fast pitching to see if hitters are always late, another sign of a weak lead arm.
Building up the use and bat speed of the lead arm helps batters to get the initial attack and extension that leads to the correct hitting technique of being able to hit any speed pitching to the correct field of the pitched ball.
When players' top arm is weak, the tendency is to be under balls frequently, as long as they are not dropping their rear hip or hands. Additionally, a weak top arm may be the problem when players make consistent contact and use the whole field, but the ball does not "jump" off their bat.
Noticing a lazy top comes from having batters face fast pitching to see if their bat head is dropping under the ball continually.
Top hand isolation drills help players control the bat barrel so they develop a compact swing, which helps the bat barrel from dropping and leads to the ball jumping off the bat.
Once again, it may take an experienced hitting coach to recognize which hitting arm players struggle with, but once known, hitters greatly improve with one arm practice.
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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