Drills to get more linear

What are some y’alls drills for getting the upper body more linear to the plate, instead of a rotational motion? I’ve got a few kids who are having a hard time flying open and dragging their arm through. I feel like a more straight line motion will keep them behind the ball.

Drills have their place but won’t do any good unless the kid has the strength and/or mobility to get into those positions. I know that is not the answer you asked for but should be a consideration when you are looking to force a mechanical change.

Check out this series put on YouTube by John Madden, having conversations with Casey Smith and a group of other hitting gurus. The discussions and overviews of drills that reinforce the swing were invaluable in fixing issues we had with cutting across the zone being quick in but also quick out.

This is one of 5. You’ll have to find the others

Check the pitchers’ glove side to make sure they get to a good equal & opposite position. Failure to properly manage the glove side often leads to a short front side and a short front side is a quick front side and that leads to early shoulder rotation which creates the perception of a lagging throwing arm.

Sorry had hitting on the mind and read linear at the plate not To the plate. I need more sleep.


“I feel like a more straight line motion will keep them behind the ball.”

Coach Newton agrees! The ball should drive in straighter lines. This can only happen if you get him to throw closer to the field driveline and center of bodies mass or rotational axis. Getting closer to your bodies axis of rotation is best performed above it. This means he should release above his head or if he tilts, above his stacked arm parts, Forearm and Humerus.

This means he will have to learn how to arrive “Humeral forearm transition to full length in outwards rotation, synked with front side foot (Benchmark) plant” above the field driveline. Watch Grienke 5 years ago. Understanding this is half the battle.

When he learns how to drive the ball with a vertical Humerus, he will be using his Lat’s instead of his Pec. The Pec. driven throw, drives the ball Horizontally Centrifuging his arm.

The Lat driven throw drives the ball with a vertical arm path and drives the arm with inwards rotation.

If he pendulum swings his arm back off the field driveline he will produce a centrifugal imperative where the corresponding drive follows this intuitive reciprocal path. This is one of the gateway outcomes of “Hyper horizontal abduction of the Humerus” where the Humerus is angled back by pinching the scapula’s towards each other a known pathomechanic (injurious gateway action)!

instead of a rotational motion?

Do not lessen his bodies rotation, enhance it. They can learn to fully body rotate (175 degrees) by striding shorter, staying taller and recovering tall. This trend is growing every year at all levels.

I’ve got a few kids who are having a hard time flying open and dragging their arm through.

This is intuitive and will occur naturally unless the correct info is taught. Unfortunately very few coaches are aware of this info

“drills for getting the upper body more linear to the plate”

In my opinion the best drill for all this is the “No stride drill” where they assume the drive power position with the arm (Humerus) up level with the shoulder line and in line with the shoulders and above the field driveline with their palm under the ball (forearm supinated) and Elbow slightly bent about 45 degrees. The glove arm should be oppositely positioned with the glove thumb down (forearm pronated) pointed at the target above the field driveline.

The legs should be spread roughly ½ the length of their body height with the front side foot turned out and on the glove side of the field driveline.

From this position they immediately raise their ball side Elbow elbow up along the side of their head while force coupling their glove back to their glove side shoulder while simultaneously pulling back on their extended glove side knee, Coach Newton likes this also. Tilt towards to glove side is OK.

The body now rotates fully with the ball side arm recovering towards the ball side back pocket.

There are many more ! Everybody parent should read Dr. Mike Marshall’s info for this and many more drills. He is one of the only Kinesiologists, exercise physiologists who has worked on this.

Any questions just ask!