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How to Fix a Long Swing

Written By: Chas Pippitt

How to Fix a Long Swing

Coaches, parents, players, and instructors: We have all seen players or had at one time a long and loopy swing. 

Recently, I was working with an All-American Level player and she was having trouble with her on plane and on plane efficiency scores on the Blast Motion (At Baseball Rebellion/Softball Rebellion we prefer the Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker, but they do similar things).

So We made a simple change to improve her scores. **Because she’s a current college athlete, I cannot use her video, name, or where she goes to school, So I have to re-create it.**

Vertical Bat and Hand Cast

So this player, we will call her Lexi, tends to have a vertical bat and a front to back load. Obviously, this can lead to the hands pulling down or going ‘at’ the ball and reaching out and around anything that’s low or inside. Coming around the ball can be an issue for Lexi, so we wanted to address that.

Also, the higher her bat is vertically, the more she cannot turn the bat around her head/body. This leads to a very direct path, bad early connection scores, and on plane scores that are not good. Also, this can lead to a large “C” in your swing by your hands. Check out what that means in the video below:

Large “C” hand Path

The “C” of the hands can work down to the ground or out to the opposing batter’s box. Either way, this ‘casting’ movement creates a long swing and bad plane and direction issues. Hands ‘dropping’ down causes lots of ‘cut’ balls with tons of bad backspin as well as a huge vertical angle late in the swing path.

The ‘casting’ out away from the body causes the hands to get over the plate instead of the barrel. This leads to either a hard pull across the chest/stomach or lots of rollovers and grounders pull side. For powerful hitters especially ones with less than optimal speed, this really hurts the slugging of the player as well as just turns many hard hits into singles.

The Loopy Swing Fix

Flatter Bat Loading Around the Body

What we changed was simple: we flattened her bat out in her stance and load. This allowed her hands to stay high during the turn. We emphasized her connection to her body in her swing, creating a smaller ‘hand path “C”’ which made it much easier to barrel balls both up in the zone and limit pull side rollovers.  Here are her blast scores from before and after the change on her Plane Score, which is just how long her bat stays in the hitting zone. 

Before
Before Diamond Kinetics
After
Diamond Kinetics 22

As you can see, Lexi still has room to grow her plane score higher, but this was a clear jump in a metric she and her coaches had been working on for over a year.

Today, she reached out to me and said she’d gotten up into the 60s! A major milestone for her. Just another way that rotational skill and understanding how the body should move will help your hitters get better and better.

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