Hitting success is not possible without fast hips for baseball bat speed. Coordinating the upper and lower body leads to bat speed, good posture and consistent contact. Many hitters lack the ability to stay back and use their hips correctly, leading to a slow bat, posture loss and inconsistent contact. The following drills help with all those, along with hitting balance. Of course, it is important to note that, as with all drills, correct bat-starting position is necessary in order to get the maximum benefit from the drills. The fastest hips in the world are relatively useless, unless hitters have the correct hitting position after the stride.
This first drill I call the fast knee drill, or the check swing drill, because it shows the action when good hitters check their swing. This drill is great for helping hitters stay back and coordinate their upper and lower body, along with developing fast lower body swing actions. As noticed, the drill works by having hitters take a soft stride and then firing their back knee towards the ball, but holding up with the swing. Any lunging action or heavy striding, deters hitters from having this fast, explosive knee action. It should also be noted how the knob of the bat stays pointed at the ball with the barrel remaining slightly above the hands as the player holds up on their swing. I generally have batters do this drill a couple of times before performing the same actions with the full swing. Coaches should make sure hitters are transferring their weight with this drill and not simply turning their back foot.
From this fast knee drill, it easy to move into some other lower body drills like the back knee kick through drill, or the back knee drop drill. The back knee kick through drill works to help hitters use their front side and transfer their weight, while opening their hips. It is important that hitters kick the knee ahead of their front leg and keep their head down throughout the swing.
The drop knee drill helps hitters to keep their head centered throughout the swing, as any lunging action will make it tough to drop the knee after the swing. This drill also helps hitters from losing posture, as many hitters straighten their back leg as they swing, causing them to top the ball and lose bat speed, especially on lower half pitches.
I will be getting to other drills to help hitters stay back on future videos.
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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