2 Common Mistakes That Limit Space for Your Barrel to Turn

Written by on January 12, 2017 in Hitting Methodology, Methodology / Mechanics - 8 Comments

2 Common Mistakes That Limit Space for Your Barrel to Turn

While a hitter may perform many quality movements, the energy that is created can be lost before it reaches the barrel or can be released in the wrong direction. When the swing is all said and done, the action and energy of the barrel is truly what matters. In today’s article, I am going to highlight two common mistakes that can result in sub-optimal barrel movement.

1.) Landing With Your Hands Too Close To The Shoulder

In the video below, I will show how many hitters tie themselves up by landing with their hands too close to their shoulder. This is often coached into players who have had a previous problem with bat drag or arm bar. While this type of hitter may have a better technical look on slow motion video, they tend to look tight and rigid as they swing. If you have an excessively pushy swing, exhibit early roll over, or consistently make contact with the ball too close to your body, this landing position could be your problem. A better solution is to use your rear scapula to move your hands closer to bicep depth. During this move you will feel the front arm lengthen (but not completely). This movement will allow you the space to turn the barrel deeper into the zone as well as to keep the barrel in the hitting zone longer through the barrel release.

2.) Landing With Your Head and Torso Too Forward Relative To The Lower Body

In this section I will show a common mistake that can limit the ability to create space for an ideal swing path and launch angle. When players land with their head and torso too far forward (relative to their body), they must either move their head and spine as they turn to create space or push down and forward to create space. Neither of these solutions are ideal for power or swing path. At Baseball Rebellion, we want you to move forward but to land with your head closer to the back hip. This creates the space for the barrel to turn deep and to enter an upward motion earlier in the swing. This helps players achieve ideal launch angles. Two symptoms of landing too forward are:

    1. Inability to pull middle-inside pitches with power
    2. Inability to lift the ball with power

I hope you have enjoyed these videos and that correcting these movements leads to a better swing and more extra base hits this upcoming season!

Gabe Dimock – Baseball Rebellion Hitting Instructor

About the Author

Gabe Dimock is the 2nd instructor to be certified in Baseball Rebellion and I.T.S. Baseball’s Hitting System. He has worked at Baseball Rebellion since 2013 and in that time has built a solid local reputation as a gifted hitting and catching instructor. Gabe Dimock’s first article was published on BaseballRebellion.com in 2014 and his contribution to lessons and technique has been invaluable since joining the staff. Gabe is the coordinator and head instructor of the I.T.S. Baseball Catching Class, helping develop catching technique behind the plate for kids of all ages. Gabe Dimock played catcher at Appalachian State University with a great story of work ethic and perseverance. Gabe originally started playing for the club baseball team, leading the team to 2 regional berths, the team’s first ever World Series, and earned team MVP his sophomore year. Gabe, then made the varsity team, and started his senior season and was named team MVP. He graduated from Appalachian State University with a B.S. in exercise science. Wish you could learn and train with Gabe Dimock? Now you can by signing up for Baseball Rebellion's Online Hitting Lessons!

8 Comments on "2 Common Mistakes That Limit Space for Your Barrel to Turn"

  1. Michael Hall January 14, 2017 at 11:50 am · Reply

    Hi Gabe: When I compare your landing frame in the second video with my database of hundreds of hitters, it It looks like your head and shoulder angle are off. Most pro hitters land with a flat or down shoulder angle and have their head centered between their legs rather than over their back hip. Guys like Bautista even have their head a little forward of center. It’s their subsequent hip thrust which gives the head over back hip look you are seeing.

    • Gabe Dimock January 16, 2017 at 3:52 pm · Reply

      Hi Michael,

      This can be a tricky topic in that the positioning changes drastically in a very small amount of time and space. This position is also variable based on the timing the hitter has on that particular swing. My point in the article is that there is a transition where the rear hip turns closer to the head, and eventually under the head. The frame on the second video (that is on the video before pressing play) shows my head between my belly button and my rear hip. I believe this is consistent with great hitters who have opened their pelvis (but not thrusted the hips yet). This is achieved at landing when the timing is good. Also make sure you are looking at when the hitter is fully into the ground vs. when their front toe hits.

      -Gabe

  2. dominik January 15, 2017 at 4:48 am · Reply

    Good article Gabe,
    Regarding the first problem I read a nice cue that the front elbow should be behind the midline (from side view). You don’t even need to straighten the arm that much if you can protract the front scap enough.

    • Gabe Dimock January 16, 2017 at 3:44 pm · Reply

      Dominik,

      That is a nice cue. I’ll be sure to try it out!

      -Gabe

  3. Steve Black February 4, 2017 at 11:00 am · Reply

    Gabe – on your landing too far forward video – I would love to hear your comments on the Thoracic extension: For Pitchers it seems you land with front side up and (I’m switching to the throwing ‘back’ shoulder) we turn with an Up and Over move. There’s a complex up frontside load and down backside load then a multi gear Up and over turn to throw down to your target as you finish the turn post landing. And for hitters you land with the front side (Thoracic) down and loaded so when we turn I can add the extra ‘gear’ and power of the Thoracic musculature and go from (frontside) low to high – launching the ball up (unless I hit the top half of the ball).

    I probably haven’t explained it as much as I would like – but I know the BR’s work on adding the thoracic complex through back shoulder row, landing with a loaded thoracic, and allowing some of the most powerful and fast twitch muscles of the body (thoracic complex) to join into the turn.

    Thanks – just looking for your comments,

    steve

    • Gabe Dimock February 6, 2017 at 11:47 am · Reply

      Steve,

      Check out KC’s revision article that talks about a hinge move. This setup is key to thoracic extension during the unload move. I believe thoracic extension in hitting is less about the catcher to pitcher direction and more about the dugout to dugout direction. That being said, it is happening in a turn so identifying the directions can get a little tricky.

      -Gabe

  4. Tyler March 16, 2017 at 10:50 pm · Reply

    What’s a good drill for driving the heel into the ground, because I’m always driving into my front toe?

    • Gabe Dimock March 17, 2017 at 9:30 am · Reply

      Tyler,

      Take some exaggerated swings where your toe comes up This should force your heel to stay down. Also, make sure you are finishing with most of your weight over your back leg.

      -Gabe

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