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Any advice or suggestions welcome

I took this video of my DD last night at practice and have analysed it myself and have made note of her bat drag and her dropping her hands. We have just come back from the District Tournament where she hit .650 over a five game period. Alot of her success stems from her speed, she beat out alot of infield hits. That is my problem, she isn't able to generate that gap power that I am hoping for. I was hoping to get some more feedback from those of you who have a little more "expertise" in this area. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

<a href="http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=58782270">Autumn practicing hitting</a><br/><object width="425px" height="360px" ><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"/><param name="wmode" value="transparent"/><param name="movie" value="http://mediaservices.myspace.com/services/media/embed.aspx/m=58782270,t=1,mt=video"/><embed src="http://mediaservices.myspace.com/services/media/embed.aspx/m=58782270,t=1,mt=video" width="425" height="360" allowFullScreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent"></embed></object>
May 7, 2008
Just out of curiousity, what is the bat? I see Easton, but which one? If she is making good contact, I might try a hotter bat.
That is one of the things that I have strongly considered Amy! She is currently using a 30 inch 17.5 ounce Easton Havoc. I started considering a new bat sometime during the season but didn't want to throw her off by doing it so we've just stuck with the same one. But a new bat is definately going to happen next season.
May 12, 2008
You are right Ron. Standard fan the front leg open, stand up and whip the bat through with classic bat drag. Bad news-she needs a whole new pattern. Good news-she's young. If she's that fast, you might consider leaving her alone on the right side and work on a whole new swing on the left side figuring to add the short game later.


One cue that may help is keeping the hands above the ball - she is dropping them to the level of the ball which allows the back elbow to lead. Try this with tee swings with the end goal of being at contact the hands are above the ball.

Plant the front heel and swing keeping the hands above the ball at contact - see what happens. Don't let them drop!!
May 13, 2008
I see a the wrists rolling at contact. This will result in a lot of weak ground balls. I agree with Mark H, a new pattern is in order.
Jan 14, 2009
Atlanta, Georgia
Your daughter starts with her hands above her shoulders with both elbows pointing down in an inverted "V". This is the traditional FP starting position that is commonly taught. I have no idea where this starting position originated from, but IMO it is not a very efficient setup and needs to go the way of the dinosaurs.

Your daughter instinctively knows that she doesn't have time to launch her swing from her high hand position and hit the ball. So what does she do? She drops her hands and slots her back elbow early, to get a head start.

Why not have your daughter start with her hands at her rear armpit with her front forearm level with the ground and her rear elbow relaxed and slightly elevated approximately 4 inches from her back ribcage? This setup positions her hands and arms very close to the universal launch position. It dramatically simplifies the swing.

Williams, Ruth and Bonds setup this way as well as many modern day players like Chipper Jones. IMO it is by far the best way for young hitters to position their hands in their stance. Young kids do not...I repeat...do not, have the motor skills to hold their hands up at their ear with relaxed elbows and get their hands and arms properly repositioned in time to consistently hit decent FP pitching.

Once she gets setup in this position she needs to learn to load her upper body by turning her front shoulder down and in as she strides. When the front shoulder turns down and in, the back elbow will naturally poke up some.

Setting up like this will help her bat drag. However in my experience the best way to totally eliminate bat drag is to learn how to properly weight shift. You may want to go to HI.com and check out their one legged hitting concept.

I've experimented a lot with bat drag. What I have found is that when I shift my weight to my front side and then swing, I can recreate bat drag. When I swing as I shift, it is virtually impossible to recreate bat drag.
Thanks to all of you who for giving me such insightful advice and suggestions! I plan on "tinkering" with her tonight at practice. I don't want to hit her with everything at once so I guess I'm going to begin with her initial setup and hand placement and then go from there. Thanks again and keep it coming!
May 12, 2008
That would be the opposite of what I said. She has a pattern. Tinkering with it is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. This fan and drag is what she does. It's what kids like this do to get on plane and create bat speed. You have to break this pattern and start all over. Doing it on the left side might be a good idea. No old pattern to overcome. I wouldn't fool with this swing at all till after the season and then I sure wouldn't tinker. There isn't anything here to tinker. There is a young athlete with a completely wrong pattern. Use the strengths you speak of like the speed and make a new plan-after the season.
That makes alot of sense! I would definately prefer her batting from the left side next year anyways. I just didn't know if it was to late "in the game" to do so. She is 14 and will be a freshman next year and I would like for her to have a foundation of hitting from the left side before she starts JV practice.

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