Here at Baseball Rebellion, we are big on hitters swinging slightly up to match the pitch coming down. We know for a fact that this is the most efficient way to drive balls hard and far. This also allows hitters to have the greatest chance of making contact as well. This article is going to help you decipher if you are attacking contact or attacking the bat path.
Hitter's who attack contact straight at the ball will not hit the ball consistently. They will create a lot of backspin and the ball won't go anywhere. In addition, they get on top of the ball pounding it straight into the ground. This also limits the range of contact through the hitting zone leading to inconsistent results. As a result, the hitter's bat path will look more like a checkmark. Steep down and then fast up.
When hitters learn how to turn the barrel in the hitting zone deep a couple of positive things will happen. First, the will notice how much harder and easier it is to make solid contact. Since the bat is on plain earlier it allows them to meet the ball going up as it's going down. Secondly, hitter's will be able to drive the ball further due to making solid contact. Lastly, the hitter will have the greatest chance to make contact because the bat is through the zone longer. The hitter will have a bat path that resembles a "Nike swoosh"
Below is a video of myself demonstrating poor bat path and better bat path. The reason I mentioned better is that my swing obviously is not perfect. The goal of this video breakdown is to show you the subtle difference that truly makes all the difference. When I first started working here my swing was very similar to the one you see on the right. My bat path was steep and down not allowing me to use my strength and speed in my swing. After working here for well over 6 months now, my swing has improved and so have my numbers on the Hit Traxx. Improving your swing is tough if you don’t know what you look for it makes it even harder. This video will give you a good idea of where to look and decipher if you’re attacking the ball or attacking the path.
By now you have a better understanding of what attacking contact and attacking bat path is. You may be wondering if this can be taught to younger kids. I believe that this needs to be taught as soon as possible. Hitter's who have a solid bat path will have success at any age. Given how hard they hit the ball will determine how high they can hit it. Therefore every hitter is different and you should adjust accordingly. Below is an example of a 7-year-old kid who attacks the barrel path pretty well. It just so happens he hits the ball over 150ft. That's pretty good at such a young age. If you don't believe me I'd be happy to send you their Hit Traxx numbers!
This is an email I received from a concerned citizen. In my other articles, I have used kids at all ages demonstrating what we teach here at Baseball Rebellion. Don't be like this guy, educate yourself, people. Lastly, make sure if you're going to call someone out be specific and deliberate on what part of the swing we are talking about.
Chances are if you are reading this article you know someone who plays baseball or softball. Another thing that this shows me is that you are willing to learn the correct mechanics of the swing. If you are seeking additional help you can sign up for online lessons. The sooner you get the mechanics of the swing right the sooner you will start hitting better. Getting better comes from taking ownership of your craft if you don't do that nobody can help you, not even yourself. I hope this article sheds some light and gives you a better understanding of what your bat path should be. If you have any questions don't hesitate to drop a comment below!