Without palm-up palm down baseball swing extension, batters shorten the zone they can hit balls solidly in, as once the wrists roll early, the bat cuts off from its intended path. Many things inhibit players from getting full swing extension - the incorrect grip, the lead elbow coming up causing the rear elbow to come through at the wrong angle, casting of the bat, and too much front shoulder rotation at the beginning of the swing. All of those hitting actions cause players to roll the wrists prematurely. Coaches generally recognize a constricted baseball swing extension follow through, but solving a lack of extension is not easy. As with most baseball fundamental changes, it may take a trial and error approach, along with a ton of muscle memory drills and swings to correct the problem.
Of course, not staying back creates every problem as a hitter, including a lack of extension, so coaching batters to stay back is a constant coaching project.
Maximizing swing extension begins with having players grip the bat in the upper palms and fingers. Convincing players how important, the grip is for getting maximum bat speed and extension, is no easy task.
The correct sequence of movements is necessary for batting success and when the initial movements are incorrect, future ones will be too. Such is the case with a lack of extension, when the initial swing path is off everything that follows is affected.
First, coaches must make sure players understand correct contact position, as many believe the wrists roll at contact and not after. This concept comes with some stop at contact swings, as seen here.
Next, coaches must be sure the hips open quickly so the hands can stay inside the ball. Additionally, batters with slow hip turns tend to rotate their front shoulder too early. Without the hips opening to clear the way for the hands to get inside the ball, casting out of the bat occurs. This net drill helps prevent casting, as players' hips must open in order to miss the net. A glove under the rear arm to begin the swing helps keep the back elbow from casting the bat out also, as the glove should fall out after contact and not before.
Lastly, and usually the hardest change for solving poor baseball swing extension, is using the lead arm correctly to put the bat on the correct swing path, often due to the lack of strength. Lead arm drills help create maximum extension, strength, and a smooth, long and high swing finish.
Repetitions of these drills or the one that seems to help the most are necessary to overcome the lack of extension.
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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