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Having Trouble Elevating the Ball? This Could be Why

Written By: JK Whited

Having Trouble Elevating the Ball? This Could Be Why!

Most of us know that it doesn’t take a lot to severely mishit a baseball. This is what makes hitting well so incredibly hard.  As we get older and advance to higher levels of competition, it gets even harder and more important that certain things happen in our swings.  The ability to elevate the ball out of the infield is one of those things that gets more difficult and more important that we do well. If you’re having trouble elevating the ball this could be why. 

If you are having trouble elevating the ball, you could have a number of issues but one that can really hinder that ability is a forward landing and/or a forward pulling of the upper body.  

Upper Body – Forward Pull

In the video and picture below, you will see an example of a player with a forward pull of the upper body.  This will create:

  • Spacing Issues: negatively affecting rotation and barrel accuracy 
  • Attack angle loss
  • Timing issues as the player gets close to the incoming pitch
  • Inability to elevate all pitch locations
  • The bottom half of the ball is lost
Upper Body Chest Forward Upper Body Chest Forward Upper Body Chest Forward

It’s important to notice here that the player above is very quick and strikes the ball true, his ability to elevate this ball is severely limited.  While the ball is hit hard, he is limited to low angles and therefore at best a single when he is capable of much more. 

Upper Body – Maintained Back

Now let’s look at the same hitter maintaining a good upper body position and increase his ability to elevate the same ball.  Maintaining his upper body position created during the load will:

  • Increase his rotation thereby increasing barrel speed and power
  • Spacing stays the same
  • Improved attack angle – leading to more extra-base hit opportunities

Visual of the bottom half increases

Upper Body Maintained Back Upper Body Maintained Back Upper Body Maintained Back
Here is the side by side comparison of the two upper-body positions.
Chest Forward Chest Forward Chest Back Chest Back

As you can see, the slight upper body differences can dramatically impact the hitter’s ability to elevate and drive the ball. While this player’s swing on the left side isn’t bad in many ways, he will always be severely limited in his production.  

I hope that you now can better identify this mistake in yourself or your hitters and begin making the necessary adjustments to improve their swing. If you need any help with this, please check out our online hitting program!

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