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Bat Barrel Position

Oct 6, 2015
11
3
I’ve been coaching fastpitch for 10+ years at the Rec and B Travel levels, from 6’s through 16’s. My older daughters have grown with me as my coaching style has evolved, and they are well established and very successful in their hitting disciplines. One thing I’ve been consistent on is barrel position.

My younger daughter is 8U and I’ve been having some discussions with some of the younger dad coaches about bat position, specifically barrel straight up, or barrel down. I am a “barrel down” coach, they say “barrel up.” They don’t know why and can give reason other than “it’s what I did when I played ball.”

I teach bat on shoulder, lift hands up, knob to catcher. Most of my 16U’s who approach barrel up consistently swing under everything. My theory has always been, the more you have to move the barrel onto plain, the more likely for barrel drop on the back end, especially younger

I’m just wondering if there are any theories or explanations for a barrel up approach, advantages/disadvantages, etc. I’ve seen some higher level coaches go both ways, just never given an explanation. My younger 8U players who have a barrel up will always golf. My 8yo who I teach barrel down, always hits beautiful line drives.

Just something that’s been on my mind and thought I’d come here for some perspective and experience. Thanks all!
 
Mar 28, 2014
775
93
I’ve been coaching fastpitch for 10+ years at the Rec and B Travel levels, from 6’s through 16’s. My older daughters have grown with me as my coaching style has evolved, and they are well established and very successful in their hitting disciplines. One thing I’ve been consistent on is barrel position.

My younger daughter is 8U and I’ve been having some discussions with some of the younger dad coaches about bat position, specifically barrel straight up, or barrel down. I am a “barrel down” coach, they say “barrel up.” They don’t know why and can give reason other than “it’s what I did when I played ball.”

I teach bat on shoulder, lift hands up, knob to catcher. Most of my 16U’s who approach barrel up consistently swing under everything. My theory has always been, the more you have to move the barrel onto plain, the more likely for barrel drop on the back end, especially younger

I’m just wondering if there are any theories or explanations for a barrel up approach, advantages/disadvantages, etc. I’ve seen some higher level coaches go both ways, just never given an explanation. My younger 8U players who have a barrel up will always golf. My 8yo who I teach barrel down, always hits beautiful line drives.

Just something that’s been on my mind and thought I’d come here for some perspective and experience. Thanks all!
You talking about vertical bat angle? That's going to vary based on the location of the pitch.
 
May 12, 2016
3,745
113
I think you are talking about barrel path.. barrel up through the ball vs barrel down through the ball?
 
Apr 20, 2018
1,971
113
SoCal
" I teach bat on shoulder, lift hands up, knob to catcher. "
I would think that would be neither up or down but more dissecting the head with barrel at about 45 degrees. A good starting point.
 
Jan 6, 2009
3,841
113
Chehalis, Wa
" I teach bat on shoulder, lift hands up, knob to catcher. "
I would think that would be neither up or down but more dissecting the head with barrel at about 45 degrees. A good starting point.
Yes ,barrel dissecting the head has the barrel in the shoulder plane. So the theory is it’s better or one last step you have too worry about. Compared to starting vertical and then getting on plane of the torso tilt.
 
Oct 13, 2014
3,309
113
South Cali
In theory, the bat angle whether vertical or horizontal or neutral at set up, will have pitches that are tough to get too. Horizontal has issues with down and away and down and in. Vertical has a tougher time with high pitches. Not saying you can’t hit them, it’s just a bit tougher to get to and takes a longer route or a more out front contact point to square.
 
Jul 29, 2013
1,187
63
Barrel down/flat or aligned to the shoulder plane, is the easiest way to get the barrel on the rotational plane and merely requires the batter to align her shoulders to the ball path.....posture....and also coincides with what all the pros who say swing "down" are trying to communicate.
Barrel up allows for more pre-swing bat speed but can be difficult to learn/control....especially for 8U.
 

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