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Thread: Opening Upper Half Too Soon

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    I can talk softball all day JNew0872's Avatar
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    Default Opening Upper Half Too Soon

    DD has always been strong hitting but moving up to TB with faster pitch gave her some trouble. Obviously exposed her flaws. She began hitting everything to right side (she's RHB), diffficulty with outside pitch & change ups. Started her with a HC two weeks ago. He said she opens up her shoulders to early and also pulls her head and torso back and off the ball. Sometimes her shoulders open before her hips and sometimes with. Two main drills she has for working on this - one hand drill with bottom hand stretched out in front of her touching mine and just swining small bat with bottom hand; hitting off a tee with a rubber tee topper (hits the ball and releases the "bat" trying to get the bat to go straight. If she opens, bat flies to the left). Any other drill ideas? I also wonder if this mechanic flaw is caused by inefficient use of the lower body and DD is trying to generate power with her upper body? Should she be working on drills for the lower body?

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    Dummy Dad rdbass's Avatar
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    This was a suggestion for my DD. This will give you a good base:This alone ...
    the transition from 'stance' to 'launch' ... is something worth practicing nightly for 10-min/night for 2wks. Can't emphasize enough how getting this portion perfected can lead to a healthy repeatable swing.

    Extra brownie points if you can arrive at the launch position with the shoulders angled downward.
    Last edited by rdbass; 01-07-2013 at 02:24 PM.
    "Time the arm to stride, time the ball to swing".

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    Certified softball maniac CoogansBluff's Avatar
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    The Epstein torque drill can be good for that. I used that w/ my daughter, modifying it as I went to get the right effect.

    The Epstein drill basically entails hitting a ball off a tee but with the hips already turned (belt buckle facing center field or right center, front foot or both feet pointing toward pitcher) but with the hands and shoulders held back at the start. Then swing, having shoulders and hands catch up w/ the hips. This helped my daughter get the feel of the hips leading the hands and shoulders.

    I should note that one side effect for my daughter was that, as she was learning the hips-shoulders-hands sequence, she would not let her hands catch up by contact and subsequently hit most balls to RF - not because she was opening too soon, but because her hands were late. Once she figured out the hands part, she began hitting to all fields.

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    HYP
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    Honestly, if she has a hitting coach, my suggestion would be to let him do his job. Not trying to sound negative but he should have a plan for helping her and the things we could suggest may go against or negatively effect what he is trying to do.

    Just my thoughts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rdbass View Post

    This was a suggestion for my DD. This will give you a good base:This alone ...
    the transition from 'stance' to 'launch' ... is something worth practicing nightly for 10-min/night for 2wks. Can't emphasize enough how getting this portion perfected can lead to a healthy repeatable swing.Extra brownie points if you can arrive at the launch position with the shoulders angled downward.
    Been thinking about this one today. .... Is the shoulder dip part of loading the hands? Or does it serve another purpose?

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    Certified softball maniac CoogansBluff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HYP View Post
    Honestly, if she has a hitting coach, my suggestion would be to let him do his job. Not trying to sound negative but he should have a plan for helping her and the things we could suggest may go against or negatively effect what he is trying to do.

    Just my thoughts.
    Good point. I didn't process that part.

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    Dummy Dad rdbass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoogansBluff View Post
    Been thinking about this one today. .... Is the shoulder dip part of loading the hands? Or does it serve another purpose?
    "Shoulder dip" is at toe touch it is part of down and in to the ball. All 1 motion "loading'' of the hands creates stretch/seperation as the hitter goes to toe touch"down and in" to ball.
    "Time the arm to stride, time the ball to swing".

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    Quote Originally Posted by rdbass View Post
    "Shoulder dip" is at toe touch it is part of down and in to the ball. All 1 motion "loading'' of the hands creates stretch/seperation as the hitter goes to toe touch"down and in" to ball.
    Thanks. ... Seems like it might help w/ balance in loading hands. That's our off-season project - hand loading & stretch/separation. But she's in a foot boot for 2-3 weeks, so we're on hold.

    Like your new avatar. I'm growing a little weary of the show, but did enjoy seeing Uncle Poodle get the pumpkin stuck on his head.

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    When your DD is better. Balance w/loading hands. Coil,Stretch/seperation and stride all in one.
    "Time the arm to stride, time the ball to swing".

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    Quote Originally Posted by rdbass View Post
    When your DD is better. Balance w/loading hands. Coil,Stretch/seperation and stride all in one.
    Yeah, I've been using that drill. The sequence has been hard for her to get. Been getting some bat wrap. She wants to take her hands back while loading instead of while striding. But she'll figure it out. Interesting how this seems simple until you try to install it.

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