Creating Extension After Contact

Written By: Tyler Zupcic

Creating Extension in Your Swing

What is Extension?

Extension is a hitting term that refers to the arms straightening out after contact of the ball. Often, extension work involves a lot of knob pushing and is not generally the best way to practice hitting. However, having a natural extension keeps the bat head in the zone longer and allows for more contact points and a greater margin for error.

Extension DOES happen after contact on nearly every swing. The release of the barrel or “extension” as most coaches call it helps the hitter keep their bat in the hitting zone longer. Because of this, it prevents them from pulling their hands across after contact and rollovers.

This article will show you the good and the bad of extension as well as multiple drills you can use with your hitters to help them swinging better today

Push to Extension?

While the concept of extension in the swing is correct, it is mostly taught poorly by coaches. What we see most from kids whose coaches tell them they need more extension is a very pushy swing where the arms push the barrel out towards the ball. In the video below check out how the arms of the hitter are pushed out very early. This will cause hitters to have minimal adjustability in their swing and lose power from not using their bodies.

Push to Extension

'Release' For Extension

The best hitters have their barrel release towards the middle of the field post-contact. The direction of extension is still somewhat dependent on where the hitter hits the ball. If the ball is away the barrel might be released more towards Right Center Field (for RHH). If the ball is pulled the barrel might be released more towards Left Center Field. In the video below you can see the hitter not push their arms out but instead use the direction of their turn to help achieve extension. 

Barrel Release for Extension

What to Look for in "Good" Extension

True, But Not Too Much Backspin

The hitter is generating more true backspin on the ball instead of sidespin. This is because the bat is getting behind the path of the ball earlier and staying on it longer allowing the barrel to ‘square’ up the ball better.

 

Good Direction

The hitter is getting to extension or release of the bat in the direction that the ball left the bat. And they are not pulling off the ball too early.

Topspin

Topspin balls to the outfield are okay too. Most people think topspin is bad but topspin shows that the hitter still swung up to contact, got extension, but just hit the top part of the ball.

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Samuel Ganse
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Samuel Ganse

Are the videos labeled correctly? Looks like pull and oppo may be backwards?

Samuel Ganse
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Samuel Ganse

I missed the thread above…it was very informative. It explained my questions. Awesome drill!!

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Sam,

Thanks for the comment! We are glad you enjoyed.