My asst coach (our hitting guru ) approached me this holiday season about working with my DD on what he calls "a dead pull hitter'. Since he played at a better D1 school than I and is 10 years younger ( using the newer drills ) I trust his judgement.
He said my DD will run into problems next year when we run the 18 gold circuit. He said the coaching and pitching will be better and they will soon learn they can't pitch straight at her for the K. He said they will work her outside to take her power away. ( hoping she will hit off the end of the bat).
INFO SINCE I HAVE NO VIDEO
She hits good. 2009 ( first year as 14u ) travel season she had 5 HR, and her slugging % and batting avg were both over .500 But she pulls everything to left and left center. She has been swinging a new model Rocketeck 34/25 for the past 2 years. Anything lighter she goes foul. Her bat speed is average, to me she is what we use to call in my day a muscle hitter, the bat speed is not carrying the ball she is just muscling it out. RT batter.
He has been doing drills to teach her to let the ball get deep to go opposite field. But she doesn't seem to have the power she does pulling. Soooooooo, any advice and drills, any links to drills that might help?
So any drills to 'fix'. The hips may be the problem now that you mention it.
Will the adjustment to go opposite field mess with her power. That's what I'm worried about the most.
GD- your DD should be using the same swing on inside & outside pitches, but the point of contact will be deeper in the zone for an outside pitch. You cannot hit an outside pitch with the same power as an inside or middle pitch that you pull...thats just a fact of life, but a corrrect swing is not going to cost her power, but rather enhance it. Theres lots of guys here who can give you better advise on her swing... I am interested to hear the causes & fix as well because I have a girl on my team with the same trouble. She never hit 1 ball to the right side all last year.
One thing I do know is that if she is swinging the bat correctly she will not be pulling outside pitches.
Last edited by JC heir; 02-01-2010 at 08:39 PM.
Reason: forgot something
Regardless of her problem, you can't just change someone. They have to make the change. If you say she is muscling everything, you might convince her to not swing so hard and see how well she hits the ball with less effort. This is one reason why hitters talk about just reacting to the inside pitch (don't muscle up)
Excluding technique and mechanics.
Work on hitting the ball at least up the middle or right center, just to the right of the pitcher. Work on fouling of close pitches breaking away. If you make it into a major issue, you must hit a certain way, you might run into many issues.
You can pull an outside pitch as long as it isn't breaking to far away from you and it as to be up above the knees at least mid thigh high.
I don't know what kind of competition you see in your area, altough if she is going from 1 year of 14u to 18u Gold, you might not have a problem at all. Since she isn't going to get around as quickly on 18 year old pitchers.
Well Jami Lobpries started for the Aggies in the WCWS as pretty much a dead pull hitter so it's not the worst thing in the world. If she wants to change, how about we see a representative game swing video before we start prescribing medicine for the patient.
We are staying down 14u this summer. Then making the jump because in our area the 16/18 mostly combine. Since 16u have moved to 43'. Speed of the pitchers is not a factor, we moved up to 16/18 this past fall still pulled 60+ pitching. So IDK.
But I do realize what the coach is saying. We have to learn to let it get deep when we need to hit the right field gap. Most teams that know her will move the outfield over because they know she pulls.
We do a lot of tee work on the pitch locations, hitting the inside pitch in front of the front foot, the middle pitch even with the front foot and the out side pitch between the legs. We work on the low pitch, pitch down the middle and the high pitch each location with pitches inside,middle and outside.
The outside pitch we work on contact deeper in the strike zone or between the legs. Keep the bellybutton more toward the ball and then extend the bat head more toward the opposite field. We have a practice bat with white tape on the sweat part of bat for feed back on barrel contact.
We do this in the open field not into a net, this gives feed bak on distance and correct conact, if the ball tails away then we hit it too deep in the zone if we hit around the ball then we were too far out front. Some days my daughter hits the inside pitches best and some days the outside pitches better.
This same issue came up at a clinic in Columbus Ohio a few weeks ago. Dead pull hitter and we had five kids per station and dad was frantic! She was using an RT so I asked one of the other girls to borrow a Louisville Slugger bat and within two swings she was hitting it up the middle and the tee was set up to hit up the middle! Then I borrowed another balanced bat and it went up the middle and I gave her the RT back and she pulled it. Dad could not believe.Time for a new I guess!
To appease Mark lets call this preventative medicine. Get a bat and stand belly button to belly button with her and put the bat head at her belly button as if hitting a ball up the middle and stop. Now tell her you will not move your hands and only rotate your hips more towards the pitcher and watch what happens! The bat moves away from her bally button not because of my hands, but because of my hip rotation or over rotating. Then repeat starting off from the same distance and have her raise her left arm up and them start your swing from your stance and show her how you rotate as needed and because the ball is further as to what we term depth in box we must release early as to the swing to allow the bat head and barrel to hit the ball squarely so the ball is not sliding off the bat. I then slowly swing the bat and touch her rib cage and she can feel the pressure I am applying. I then stop and say watch my hips and belly button and I over rotate and tell her if this was a sword I would slice her in half as I pull away from her as I over rotated my hips. We start from the ground up to build our swings and if that is not correct do not waste your time talking about hand path to the ball or inside the ball as it will change once you get the rotate as needed understood. I also put a ball on a bat and pull the bat away and they see the side spin I can put on the ball and they get a better idea of what the hips did or did not do to facilitate this to happen.
We then explain using a softball on a stick what we mean by the ball being further in on us or depth in the batters box as to ball travel. We show how to rotate and where the hands MUST go to hit a ball to the opposite field and releasing the bat head early to hit the ball squarely. You will hear the difference in sound the bat makes when this is done verses hips over rotating or the bat being released too late as it makes a muffled sound.
Then we show a ball up the middle and belly button towards the pitcher and hitting the ball about 2 to 3 inches in front of home plate.
Then we show hitting a ball inside and explain the belly button will be directed to the shortstop or third basemen s normal playing position as we must catch the ball further out in front of us and travel further with the knob of the bat and release later verses the outside pitch because of the balls depth in box.
All tee work for us is done from the back corner of the tee as we measure off from there and the tee is located up the middle and about 2 to 4 inches forward of home plate. Then we move it to the outside and start from the outside back corner and move the tee about 4 inches forward of the back corner.
And yes even a 10 year old understands it explained this way.
This is why we teach bat control at the clinics and hit up the middle first and then teach outside next as we feel almost anyone can hit an inside pitch.