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Stop The Front Shoulder From Pulling Off

Written By: Eric Tyler

Stop The Front Shoulder From Pulling Out

Oftentimes with youth hitters, a lack of aggression is prevalent. Whether be it from a fear of the ball, fear of mis-hitting and the sting and vibration of the bat hurting their hands, or just a passive personality, aggression is needed in hitting. On the opposite end of that, a hitter’s aggression can be used in the wrong areas and lead to swing flaws. 

Pulling off the ball can be associated with a hitter’s aggression. However, we have to be careful as parents and coaches not to coach the aggression out of them. Instead, focus on where that aggression and speed should be used. The front side isolation drill does just that. 

How to Create Power to All Fields

What is Pulling Off the Ball? 

“Stop Pulling Off!”. Sit at a baseball field long enough and you’ll run out of fingers and toes trying to count how often this is shouted towards a hitter. This cue comes from a good place as every coach or parent wants their players to produce at their highest capacity. What the parents and coaches are seeing and trying to fix is the hitter starting their swing with their front shoulder rotating out. This first move creates a pulling towards the hitters pull-side and forces the backside to drag through and around, in an attempt to catch up to the front side. 

Top-spinning hits to the hitters pull-side can be a common result of this swing flaw. The front side dominant move can cause a hitter to pull their bat above and across the incoming pitch creating end over end spin on the ball as opposed to backspin. 

How to Create the Swing From The Back Side 

The opposite of the front side dominant swing flaw is the hitter creating rotation from their backside. You will often see this as a hitter’s back arm/elbow beginning a move downward before their front shoulder begins rotating out. This squeeze of the back arm allows the shoulders to stay “on-line” or in line with the pitch, while the core is beginning to rotate. This move allows the bat to stay through the hitting zone for the longest amount of time. Because barrel direction is improved, the ability for a hitter to impact the correct part of the ball increases.

What Does This Drill Improve?

Swing Direction

  • As explained above, this drill forces the hitter to create rotation from the backside of their body. This move allows the shoulders to stay directed to the ball and allow the barrel to stay on plane and back through the line of the pitch for longer. Make sure that while doing the drill the hitter forces their front arm to stay against the wall and their front shoulder doesn’t move. 

Posture

  • Because the front side isn’t creating rotation the spine is able to hold its positioning better. Posture has a large impact on how the bat moves and the direction in which it does. While doing the drill have someone look from behind and make sure the hitter’s head isn’t moving up or down during the turn. 

Ball Flight

  • Efficient body movements make it easier to impact the ball correctly and not have to compensate for poor mechanics. Because the hitter is moving more efficiently, they will be able to create the proper backspin and avoid hooking or topspinning the ball. 

Create the Feel, Crush the Ball 

This drill is for creating the feel of starting rotation from the backside. This drill should be done during a hitters prep work or outside of hitting. Create the feel of this move to create a better feel for the barrel.

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