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Thread: Not squaring up the ball

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    Softball Junkie julray's Avatar
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    Default Not squaring up the ball

    So my DD went under a major transformation in her swing last year in order to "turn the barrel" more. Unfortunately she never did quite master this technique, much better but not working for her. I think she may be in her last season of travel ball, no interest in playing at the college level and she wants to concentrate more on studines. So I am just trying to simplify things for her. In previous years she was pulling everything hard, but not extending properly. When she got hold of one, it was a bomb, but outside low pitches were her Achilles heel. I have her extending better, but here are her current issues;

    1. Slicing and flaring the ball. Seems like a problem with bat angle to me and too much lateral tilt. This started occurring when she was learning to turn the barrel. She is not squaring the ball up, pitches down the middle and outside are being flared weakly to opp field, and pitches inside are being driven towards her shins. Every now and then she squares one up, but for the most part she is either on the inner half of the ball (outside pitches) or outer half of the ball (inside pitches)

    2. Inside pitches are fooling her. Inside picthes were always her strong point. Pitchers would not pitch her inside because she had a quick bat and turned on the ball well. Now she is just watching those picthes go by, and when I tell her that it fully caught the inside corner she thinks I'm crazy, lol. I believe she is starting to lean over the plate to much on her initial movement to get in position to hit the ball. Therefore the pitch is closer to her upper body which makes her think ball.

    I am posting in the practical section because I am no longer interested in getting too technical with her. I want her to have a fun year and have the same success she experienced in previous years. I don't think turning the barrel is working for her, she is a strong girl who can generate a lot of bat speed. I need to simplify her swing, and I have no idea how to do that. I think we need to eliminate some of the "turning the barrel" technique, I believe she has a lot of bad habbits from learning it improperly.

    I will post a video eventually, for now any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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    Softball Junkie Il softball fan's Avatar
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    Obviously without video, just guessing, but here goes. My dd was having a lot of the same problems, due to opening the front shoulder too soon. Lost a lot of power, and was hitting a lot o sliced balls and pop ups. Took her to a hitting coach to try to work it out.
    Drills that coach had her do to fix issue were: one handed hitting off of a tee. One bucket with each arm to start each practice. While she is hitting she is to concentrate on keeping front shoulder in and hitting back up the middle. It takes a little while for them to get used to swinging with one arm, but she will get the hang of it.
    Next she had DD do flamingo drill for a bucket of balls. Again concentrating on hitting back up the middle and keeping front shoulder in.
    Next bucket was the happy gilmore drill, again concentrating on the same. After that was front toss.

    Good luck. I am sure some more knowledgeable hitting gurus will be along to help after you put up some video.

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    Softball Junkie julray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Il softball fan View Post
    Obviously without video, just guessing, but here goes. My dd was having a lot of the same problems, due to opening the front shoulder too soon. Lost a lot of power, and was hitting a lot o sliced balls and pop ups. Took her to a hitting coach to try to work it out.
    Drills that coach had her do to fix issue were: one handed hitting off of a tee. One bucket with each arm to start each practice. While she is hitting she is to concentrate on keeping front shoulder in and hitting back up the middle. It takes a little while for them to get used to swinging with one arm, but she will get the hang of it.
    Next she had DD do flamingo drill for a bucket of balls. Again concentrating on hitting back up the middle and keeping front shoulder in.
    Next bucket was the happy gilmore drill, again concentrating on the same. After that was front toss.

    Good luck. I am sure some more knowledgeable hitting gurus will be along to help after you put up some video.
    Thank you. Was she hitting inside pitches hard previously (when opening the inside shoulder too soon)?

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    Certified softball maniac FP26's Avatar
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    Without video, it is hard to diagnose without guessing. But in my opinion, if she is slicing or flaring, it sounds like she may be utilizing a downward barrel path. A downward barrel path tends to undercut the barrel creating pop ups.

    "Once you stop learning, you start dying" -- Albert Einstein.

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    Always learning... Eric F's Avatar
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    The weak oppo flare pattern sounds like she may be pulling the barrel across the ball at contact, rather than driving straight through the ball. I've seen this happen recently with a hitter who was getting open with the front shoulder too early, and not fully completing her extension out-from the rear shoulder.

    Without video, however, I'm just guessing.
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    Softball Junkie julray's Avatar
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G5Wm67-DSw

    Tonight I asked not to forget about turning the barrel and she was squaring everything up and hitting it hard. Best I've seen her hit in a long time. I'm happy where she is now. I know her sequence and everything is off, but whatever she is doing now is working for her. Like I said, I want to keep it simple and not get too technical, she thinks too much.

    Sorry for the poor quality and it's a little too zoomed in. Also the tee looks way out in front of her, it isn't. I'm taking the video from behind her a little, so the perspective is off.
    Last edited by julray; 01-03-2018 at 07:19 PM.

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    Softball Junkie julray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
    The weak oppo flare pattern sounds like she may be pulling the barrel across the ball at contact, rather than driving straight through the ball. I've seen this happen recently with a hitter who was getting open with the front shoulder too early, and not fully completing her extension out-from the rear shoulder.

    Without video, however, I'm just guessing.
    Thanks Eric, I got her to work on some extension exercises tonight prior to taking a full swing. It seemed to help and her extension looked pretty good to me which helped reduce her pulling off the ball.

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    Softball Junkie julray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FP26 View Post
    Without video, it is hard to diagnose without guessing. But in my opinion, if she is slicing or flaring, it sounds like she may be utilizing a downward barrel path. A downward barrel path tends to undercut the barrel creating pop ups.

    Thanks FP26. She had that problem last year. I am no expert, but I am not seeing it in her swing right now. I think Eric F might have diagnosed it correctly, she wasn't extending. I read somewhere else today that this could cause the ball to flare and slice. So I did a few extension exercises tonight, kept it simple and she was squaring the ball up nice.

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    Softball Junkie julray's Avatar
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    Has she developed too much of an uppercut swing here, the tee is a little out in front, but not so much has it seems (video being shot from behind a little so the perspective is off). The bat path worries me a little, pitchers are starting to throw harder and the ball flattens out more. I worry if this bat path will result in her bat being in the zone for very little time. Should her swing be a little flatter, if so, how do I correct that? High Tee drill?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G5Wm67-DSw

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    Certified softball maniac FP26's Avatar
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    How similar is her live swing to her tee swing? In my experience, the two are often quite different.
    "Once you stop learning, you start dying" -- Albert Einstein.

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