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Teaching a High Level Swing

Jul 21, 2008
415
0
I would like to here from hitting coaches out there about how you teach the high level swing. For the sake of this thread lets say we have a group of 10 year old kids (boys and girls) that have never had any instruction on the mechanics of hitting. Lets assume the grip and Stance have been taught since most of us can agree on this.

What are the first 3 steps in the process. Any Cues you use would be great.

Step 1: ???????
Step 2: ??????
Step 3: ??????

Lets keep in mind that these are 10 yr old kids so lets try to keep it as simple as possible and not to many technical terms.
 

obbay

Banned
Aug 21, 2008
2,201
0
Boston, MA
Not to be difficult, but I think you would approach 10 y.o. boys and girls differently, and my experience has been teaching girls.

There's a lot of things girls need to learn but I'd say an important place to start is swinging like you're chopping into a tree rather than playing badminton. Getting power from the body not the arms and turning the upper body and following thru with the swing. Hitting off a tee is good for this. You can do some soccerball/basketball off the tee too, just to get the idea. Don't overdo this though as they will develop incorrect mechanics over time, pushing the ball rather than exploding at contact.

I also do a 3-step drill (From a Sue Enquist video) where 2 and 3 become one action once they get it. Oversimplified it goes like this:
1) hands and bat move back toward catcher in pre-launch while front foot steps slightly forward, shifting weight to back foot.
2) swing and stop just at the point of contact with rear elbow close to body (arm forming an "L"), lead elbow up, Palm up/palm down, upper body turning forward, rear leg bent at the knee and forming "L", weight distributed evenly, bend at waist as required to adjust for height of pitch.
3) follow thru with swing, upper torso turning, weight shifting to front foot (difficult to get this when broken into 3 steps like this).

Again too much of this will result in difficulty converting steps 2 and 3 into one fluid motion. The point of this is to teach them to pre-launch and to learn the correct position they need to swing thru at contact.

Keep it simple.
 

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
8,507
38
Tucson
I don't believe that you are saying that you want to teach a level swing, are you? I think you are saying that you want to teach an advanced swing.

So you would want, to teach torso tilt and front shoulder up.

Explain that the path of the bat goes up and you want to get the ball up and "out of there."

Make sure that they finish the swing and pop the bat against their opposite shoulder.

Don't let them hit and then whip the bat back around towards the catcher. The swing ends when the bat hits the back of the shoulder.
 
Jun 20, 2008
10
0
Boise, Idaho
Be like Mike

Amy,
Don't know if you rememeber me but I used to be the head softball coach at Marana. I'm in Idaho now. Bottom line. Get Mikes (Candrea) team USA video on hitting. Then NEXT year when he has the coaches clinic, go to it. Mike is the absolute best at hitting. When he and Sue and Don Slaught teamed up with Right View Pro, it was like forming the Justice League of America.

Here is a simplified version of what I have learned from Mike over the years, assumming that you already have kids set, balanced and with proper grip:
1) Kids load straight back (slowly and early, as pitcher releases) toward catcher. They may or may not pick up their front toe off the ground as long as the front heal comes up. The load should NEVER go back farther than the back knee (stay between the knees always to maintain balance)
2) To trigger, the back elbow moves forward (front heal will plant all by itself) and try to get it on the plane of the pitch, as it "connects" with the hip, then the hip drives (the movement is hip driven, but starts with the elbow trigger).
3) Keep head "in" and quiet (not too much bouncing and minimal back to front movement during weight transfer).
4) Finish high, at or above the front shoulder.

There is much more to it, but these are most of the key points to get someone started.
Go Tigers!!!
 
Jul 21, 2008
415
0
Amy, You are correct not a level swing but an advanced swing....The swing should not be level to the ground but level to the plain of the pitch.

I can agree with you about the torso tilt and front shoulder up but the finish I have to question. If the bat pops against the front shoulder you would be rolling the wrist to soon and not finishing the swing. I believe you hands should finish at or above the front shoulder but the bat should be much higher and only rolling the wrist well after contact.
 
Jul 21, 2008
415
0
obbay, I like your idea of stopping at contact, this give you a chance to check your position. I have found a good way to do this is to use a old punching bag or something that will stop the bat at contact but allow you to still go hard to contact point.
 
Aug 4, 2008
2,364
0
Lexington,Ohio
We no longer have kids hit soccerballs or basketballs. We have found out this can cause wrist problems, since when you hit a softball your hand path doesn't stop. Kind of like back when kids were taught to hit a swinging tire. Just to add to the top post. Your hands are always above the ball, and you should never as coachdan stated hit your back. We have created a special bat to correct back slappers and hitters that release the hands early. Straightleg I think posted about it earlier.
 

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
8,507
38
Tucson
Steg, yes I remember you. The Candrea stuff is great and easy to follow. He has changed a little over the years, which is good. We all need to do that. Same thing with Enquist, she had revised her stuff, too.

I have never taught anything except that the finish involves the bat hitting across the girl's back. Yes, high and around the shoulders. Then, you drop it there and proceed to the base.

There are a lot of cues to use in hitting. Connection, Firm front side, Extension, Contact, Wrist roll, Finish, etc.

Here is a link to some older Candrea stuff, but it is all good. I can attest to how well he got his catcher hitting in the last few years.

Softball

Steg, I have several little girls coming to pitching lessons from Marana. Many girls have had to abandon the local Little League and are either just doing lessons or are traveling great distances for a team. I have met the Wengerts and they say great things about you.
 
Aug 1, 2008
2,176
38
ohio
Amy
On RVP look at the long zone.


Slapping the back. If you hit a ball and fold your arms back to slap your back, I would say you are loosing some distance on your hits.


Amy look at mlb hitters. Any of them slap there back.
I think you are going short through the zone if you do.
Give it some thought.


Can we teach the girls to hit like the boys. I sat yes
Is a boys swing the same as a girls / mechanics wise. I say yes.





Grip.

Bottom hand fingers, pulling the bat.
Top hand - top of palm.


Food for thought.
When you swing if you are top of palm with top hand it rotates to palm up in swing at impact.
If you put the top hand using your fingers like the bottom, you have to change how you line up your knuckles to get palm up during the swing at impact which changes were the elbows go / closer to the body , then you do not slot right because your elbows are too close to your body.

Try it with a bat.
Let me know






Straightleg
 
R

RayR

Guest
I would like to here from hitting coaches out there about how you teach the high level swing. For the sake of this thread lets say we have a group of 10 year old kids (boys and girls) that have never had any instruction on the mechanics of hitting. Lets assume the grip and Stance have been taught since most of us can agree on this.

What are the first 3 steps in the process. Any Cues you use would be great.

Step 1: ???????
Step 2: ??????
Step 3: ??????

Lets keep in mind that these are 10 yr old kids so lets try to keep it as simple as possible and not to many technical terms.

Coach Dan,

Step 1: Get your players into an athletic stance at the plate and learn how to turn the hips without coming out of that athletic position.

Step 1 should keep everyone busy for a while.
 

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