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Launch Angle Training To Reach Your Full Potential

Written By: JK Whited

Launch Angle Training

As with most hitting methodologies these days, there can be a lot of controversy surrounding new ideas. Even though launch angle isn’t anything new, training it is still looked down upon in certain realms of hitting.

Any aspect of hitting can be taken too far and using launch angle is no different. There certainly can be too much scrutiny placed on it to when the player or coach takes it too far.  However, if done correctly, a player can realize their full potential.  To do this the coach and player need to take in multiple factors.  These factors include:

  • Average Exit Velocity (how hard the hitter hits the ball)
  • Field Size
  • Swing Quality and Repeatability
  • Hitters Athletic Ability
  • Bat Rules

Launch Angle Hitter example

Let’s take a look at a softball player that started training with us back in July.  When she came in, she had some technical issues but had a really good engine already.  Her top end and average exit velocity were already really good. 

Even though I know she will eventually be able to hit the ball harder as she tweaked her mechanics, the issue that jumped out at me was her inability to hit the ball further on average.  She was hitting the ball way too hard at her age and on 200-foot fences to not be hitting more extra-base hits. So because she had never been taught how to properly elevate the ball, she certainly was never going to reach her full potential.  

Let’s take a look at her HitTrax comparison from her first day in our facility and her latest lesson.

Launch Angle Hit Trax

Now, there are a lot of numbers here but let's take a look at a few things. On this particular day, her max velocity was a little better, her actual new highest velocity is 75 which was hit on another day. 

Increase In Launch Angle

The important thing here is that her average launch angle went from 13 to 30 degrees.  The only mechanical changes we made in her swing were posture and swing plane changes in order to create a slightly more positive attack angle to the ball.  By doing this you can see how much it made a difference in almost all of her numbers. 

There was absolutely no loss in average velocity but so much more gained in AVG distance, MAX distance, batting average, slugging percentage, etc. On a side note, even her ability to work the ball hard to all fields went through the roof. 

Launch Angle Zones

As I stated above you must take in multiple factors when trying to get players to understand their “launch angle zone”.  This just means what degrees in the air do I have the largest margin for error. 

For instance, if her average velocity was only 60mph I would have never asked her to attempt raising her average LA.  Those would have just resulted in flyouts. It’s vital to remember the factors that I listed above when implementing LA in your training. Remember that it can change over time as the player gets bigger and more technically skilled but needs to be monitored closely in training. 

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