My dd plays on a 14U travel team and she is struggling with pop ups at bat. She has a very strong swing but appears to get under the ball alot. Can anyone give tips on correcting dropping the arm when batting/swinging?
It sounds like the back hand is the issue. What happens is the elbow gets ahead of the hand when the back arm goes into the slot position. Some coaches will tell you she is dropping her back shoulder, but the above is the root cause. The back arm. Hand and elbow must be stacked or what we calls strong in the back side. Drill: Take tennis balls and put them on a T. Cut a pc of PVC pipe the length of her bat 32" ?. Now have her hit with the PVC pipe with just the back hand. Watch where the ball goes. Up means she is getting the back elbow ahead of her hands. Down means she is getting her hand ahead of her back elbow. Practice tell she gets her timing down.
put the arm of the shoulder she is dropping through a coat hanger and then over her head. when she goes to drop her shoulder the coat hanger will tug at her neck. i did this with one of my twins. she didn't like it, but it did help her from dropping her shoulder.
Are you sure that she's really dropping her arm during the at bat, or is that just what you've been told is always the problem when someone pops up?
In my experience there are more popups due to the front leg lunging and dipping forcing the back shoulder to drop at the last second than there are due to arms/hands. Reason I say that is that if she consistently dropped her arms, hands, shoulder her brain would eventually compensate and she'd self correct. There are tons of girls out there who have horrible mechanics with arms but they still hit the ball. However there is one thing that can't self correct ... The information that the brain receives. The brain interprets what the eyes are telling it. The eyes say "the ball is right here and is heading at this rate of speed." The brain then transmits signal throughout body to attack the ball at that spot. Suddenly the front knee bends near the end of the swing and "poof" out goes all of the information that the brain was told because at the very last second as the knee bends the rest of the body is then lowered 3-4 inches. There is no way for the brain to compensate or expect that sudden drop in height so her powerful swing continues at the same attack it was taking but now it is under the ball instead of in the middle of the ball.
It's easy with a video camera to capture and then play back slowly what is occuring. It's also very easy to work on swinging with a firm front leg if that is the problem and she can see it clearly on video tape.