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Timing is everything: Got a strategy for knee lift struggles?

May 19, 2016
48
6
Didn't want to hijack Shawn's high knee lift thread below, but it did get me thinking about my DD's swing.

After encouragement from her hitting instructor, first year 12U DD added a knee lift/kick to her swing this past winter for the first time since she started playing four years ago. It's not quite a la Josh Donaldson, but she does bring her front (left) knee back to her right leg, though not as high as he does. Her instructor just wanted her to have some backward movement with the front foot before she went out to toe touch, whatever my DD thought was comfortable, even if it was just an inch. She chose the full monty.

When she squares one up she seems to hit the ball a bit farther now, but she struggles, more than she did pre knee lift, trying to time faster pitchers, which in our travel circle would be girls throwing 46-50ish mph.

My question is: during a game, how long should she stick with this leg kick if she is struggling to make contact against the pitcher? Should she:

a) Stick with it for the duration of every at bat because she needs the experience using it if she hopes to get better at timing with it, even though she may have many o-fers during tournaments (and risk losing confidence)?

b) Use it for the first one or two swings during an at bat and if she feels she can't catch up to the speed she should use a different strategy for the remainder of the at bat: such as ditching the knee take back and just go forward to toe touch like she used to, or maybe even just go out early to toe touch.

c) Some other strategy.

If she continues to struggle for the next few weeks I think it's her instructor's intention to reevaluate and likely dial back the knee lift a bit, even if just temporarily.

Obviously lots of cage reps and hitting live pitching in practice would go a long ways to helping her, but the reality is the only reps she'll be getting hitting a pitch in a typical week during the season are:

- a roughly once a week instruction for 45 mins (tee, front toss and machine)
- maybe a 30 min session or two of front toss from me
- 25-30 coach pitches during team hitting practice once a week (weather has made this less frequent).

Any suggestions?
 

Jun 17, 2009
15,129
0
Portland, OR
I'd go with 'C'.

I don't expect any of my hitters to keep what they are being instructed if it can't be shown during the hitting session to make them more productive.

During the hitting session I expect hitters to learn what makes them more productive ... and then to take responsibility for working on it between hitting sessions.
 
Jan 6, 2009
1,902
38
Pacific NW
The knee lift is secondary to the hip/coil. It doesn't matter what the front leg does really. The knee lift is a style thing as compared to the coil that is really happening.

Here is a modified knee lift, not real high (more of knee tuck). Forget there is even a front leg and focus on the coil that is happening. It's the coil your really after.

 

rdbass

It wasn't me.
Jun 5, 2010
8,518
38
Not here.
Knee lift, step back, hand pump ect.....All 'styles' that a hitter may use to help with timing the ball in the air. Shouldn't the hitter chose their own 'timing style'. I don't like to teach a hitter a 'style'. Let your DD figure out what 'style' allows her enough time in and on her own time. That style doesn't seem to be 'allowing' enough time. Maybe, as your DD develops her own style she may return to it...maybe not.

Side note:

Man, talk about 'holding the hinge angle' and 'swinging around' the body.......
 
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Apr 17, 2012
793
16
Wi
Side note 2: check out the target the catcher is giving. Thanks for the thigh high pitch.

Sent from my LGLS775 using Tapatalk
 
Jan 6, 2009
1,902
38
Pacific NW
Knee lift, step back, hand pump ect.....All 'styles' that a hitter may use to help with timing the ball in the air. Shouldn't the hitter chose their own 'timing style'. I don't like to teach a hitter a 'style'. Let your DD figure out what 'style' allows her enough time in and on her own time. That style doesn't seem to be 'allowing' enough time. Maybe, as your DD develops her own style she may return to it...maybe not.

Side note:

Man, talk about 'holding the hinge angle' and 'swinging around' the body.......
On the side note, Is that a good thing (holding hinge angle and swinging around the body) or bad thing in your book?
 
May 24, 2013
9,228
48
So Cal
My DD has recently gone to a tap-back. She wasn't even aware she was doing it until I asked her about it and showed her the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7eL2zUHpsg

Shawn - Your clip looks like she made an adjustment for an inside pitch which resulted in a chopped-off swing. Sometimes you just gotta do the best you can.
 

rdbass

It wasn't me.
Jun 5, 2010
8,518
38
Not here.
On the side note, Is that a good thing (holding hinge angle and swinging around the body) or bad thing in your book?
holding hinge angle:Bad thing. Unhinge the wrist. Unless inside pitch.
swinging around the body:Bad thing. Unless swinging on an inside pitch.
clip looks like she made an adjustment for an inside pitch which resulted in a chopped-off swing
Looks to be a down the middle pitch to me. I guess we will never know because I would need a umpires view.
I won't even mention the bat 'draggy' thing going on.
 
Jan 6, 2009
1,902
38
Pacific NW
I think the swing is a total adjustment. An inside/out swing or just getting the barrel to the ball swing. This is one of the best HR hitters in history.
 
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rdbass

It wasn't me.
Jun 5, 2010
8,518
38
Not here.
I think the swing is a total adjustment. An inside/out swing or just getting the barrel to the ball swing. This is one of the best HR hitters in history.
Yeap...........guessing like the rest of us.

While you're thinking....show me a hitter that has time too drop their hands then swing on an inside pitch.
This is one of the best HR hitters in history
I could be wrong but, who do you think this hitter is.....
 

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