Hitting Help

The bat head is dropping right after my load, before I start my swing. The motion is affecting my bat path and, causally, the quality of my contact with the ball. Any tips/drills for not doing this?

Image below should clarify the problem.



(By the way, I would like to maintain the angle of the bat that I use in my stance. I just don’t want the angle to get any more horizontal before the swing.)

When you start your swing, before the bat actually starts is motion forward , do you drop your hands a bit, like a short dip?

Do you “flick” the bat while in the loading process?

Do you use the heel of the bat to govern your quality of contact?

Does this problem of yours happen with just a certain pitch, or pitches?

I should have qualified myself before posting. I’m the last man on earth that should be giving advice on hitting - theeee last.

But I’ve overheard a lot of batting coaches do their thing while I’ve worked sided by side with pitchers, during BP, so I thought I pass along some of their wisdom here - NOT MINE.

[quote=“Coach Baker”]When you start your swing, before the bat actually starts is motion forward , do you drop your hands a bit, like a short dip?

Do you “flick” the bat while in the loading process?

Do you use the heel of the bat to govern your quality of contact?

Does this problem of yours happen with just a certain pitch, or pitches?[/quote]

  1. No
  2. “Flick”?
  3. ?
  4. All pitches

Instead of my bat travelling straight to the ball, the bat head drops and then moves toward contact.

A video of a few swings would be helpful, otherwise we are just guessing about your bat movement and what the root cause may be.

Where did you post your picture from? This kind of web site that has your diagram is unusual for this kind of topic and suggests other things? I may be reading a lot more into that than what’s there - but, where did you get that web site?

I’m going to approach your question(s) from two sides – the batting coaches that I’ve overheard suggesting various things, and then from a pitching coach’s point of view dealing with batters. So, I’ll combine my remarks in that fashion. Just remember, I’m NOT a batting coach, far from it.

(1)One of the obvious things first is (perhaps) – is the bat is too heavy for you, so use a lighter bat. One of the biggest mistakes that I’ve seen a youngster do is to bring into the box with them is a hog’s leg. The thinking is – the bigger the better. Also, some youngsters bring a softball bat with them, figuring this can give them an edge – it won’t.

(2)I’m assuming that you’re towards the bottom of the order, perhaps 6-7-8-9. I’m also assuming that because of that placement, you’re making contact with the ball – when you do, toward the back of the plate. ( I’m only using the plate as a position reference.) Also, your contact is probably off your back hip, another point (location) of reference. Pitchers with any kind of coaching know this, and even if they don’t, you’re at a big disadvantage. Why? Because the contact zone of that kind of area does little to enhance the quality of your intentions, much less the use the sweet-spot of the bat to its fullest potential. Also, with that contact location, you’re always susceptible to a blistering fastball, a slider and the curve will send you back to the dugout looking -pronto.

(3) “Flicking” the bat is thing that literally wobbles the bat back and forth while either on your shoulder, or in some other motion while the bat is held up, ready for the pitch. As a pitching coach, I can’t wait to get a batter in the box doing this. First it shows me his timing pattern … 1-2-3, 1-2-3, etc., kind of like an internal clock. Unbeknown to him (batter) his breathing, his tempo(s), even moving the hips back–n-forth, and where he is in the batting order, suggests points of reference to be used with other body language that he has- for just the right combination of pitches to use against him, AND for the game situation at the time on the field, who’s next up at bat and so forth.

(4) Your diagram (picture) suggests that you have your bat in the up ready position, at about a 45 degree angle. Then, just before you commit to swing, you flatten your bat out a bit (load up), then swing. This is another … “ oh yeah… too good to be true…” that a pitcher and his coach will notice. This kind of commitment of the bat’s back-end posture carries through the entire “swipe path” of the bat as the bat travels forward trying to make contact. First off, your angle of the bat upon contact is on a angle leaning back – thus eliminating any real quality of contact with the sweet-spot of the bat. In other words, the full flat surface of your bat is not being used to its fullest advantage. Third, with a contact area for those in the bottom of the order, the bat is just way too late to catch up to any decent fastball, and forget pitches with movement.

(5) When you’re in the box and facing the pitcher, do you look with only one eye, not both? If you’re not facing the pitcher squarely with both eyes, you’re at a very big disadvantage. Another… “ oh yeah, this’ll be an easy out…” When you “half-face” a pitcher, he knows right-away that you’ll be easy prey for a pitch down and in, “no if-and-or-but’s.” Why? Because you’re only using one eye to view the incoming pitch, hence your depth perception is taken away.

(6) There are other issues with the body that come into play here:
-how your feet are placed in the box
-the strength of your body overall
-your hand(s) and arm(s) postures at bat
-your eye-hand-coordination
-pitch recognition, quality of eyesight and other issues.

(7) Also in the mix is your anticipation of being hit with the pitch. Some youngsters, when hit by a pitch in the past, go gun-shy in the batter’s box. I’m not sure if this is a problem, but I thought I’d mention it anyway.

From my own experiences, I couldn’t hit sand if I fell off a camel. I couldn’t manage pitch recognition of an incoming pitch to save my life. So I know how it feels to stand in there and get frustrated by dealing with this stuff. I tried everything known to man, at the time – pine tar, lighter bat, heavier bat, different manufacturers, sign of the cross, sign of David, Hindu, even called on the great spirits of the Navajos - zippo…nothing.

I wish I could of greater help, but this is all I could remember from my experiences.

With respect to using the heel of the bat - now I’m repeating what I’ve heard, not that I understand it.

The heel of the bat, the part that’s flared at the end just below the hands, can be used to “spot” the intended location of the bat’s contact zone on a pitch.

Again, this is what I’ve overheard. How this works is not something that I understand - but, some batters use it, so they’ve told me.