Initiating Proper Sequencing with the Banded Slot Drill

Written By: Garrett Gordon

Initiating the Swing Sequence

We have talked before about the Initial start of the swing. It is crucial for a hitter to understand how to sequence properly in order to hit the ball harder and farther. Understanding the first initial moves and why you need to get your barrel slotted is crucial for success at the plate.

What is the Slot?

After reading the article that I tagged in the paragraph above, we know that the swing starts with the hips.  After that, the torso, the back knee, and the elbow begin to move as well, creating "the slot". These movements allow hitters to sequence properly in their swing. Getting the bat connected to a hitter's turn is mandatory and if not done properly the hitter will struggle.  One of the most important aspects of the swing that is affected by proper sequencing is swing direction. Check out the video below for further information.

Bubba Nichols Sequence GIF

The Slot Simplifies

As hitters gain a better understanding of how to slot the barrel they can improve their decision making in the box. When hitters get to this "slotted" position they can then worry about just two other things, contact point, and side bend. Contact point and side bend help hitters get to and through the ball much more efficiently.  The contact point is dictated by your timing and the location of the pitch. The height of the pitch will determine how much a hitter will have to side bend.  High pitches require less side bend. A lower pitch requires the hitter to initiate more side bend. With the proper slot and sequence of the swing, hitters can keep it simple and become more effective.

The Banded Slot Drill

Three Drill Benefits

  1. Sequence- Many hitters often times turn the hips, torso, and shoulder together.  This will cause an improper bat path.  As a result, the barrel will come in and out of the zone too quickly. Therefore, you must pay close attention to how I do this drill so that you can reap the benefits of getting your sequence right.
  2. Early Connection- Another important part of the swing is getting the barrel connected to the hitter's turn.  This drill, when done properly, will help hitters feel the initial start of the swing and also get their bat slotted properly. Get slotted and get connected.
  3. Swing Direction- My favorite thing to help hitters with is creating a better swing direction.  It starts with the sequence but without proper slotting of the bat with the back elbow and back knee, swing direction will suffer.

Simple and Subtle

This is a simple drill to help hitters gain an understanding of how to find the slot in their swing. The move itself is subtle and shouldn't be overdone.  The front shoulder shouldn't drastically rotate away from home plate when learning this move. The goal is to get the hips turned then let the knee and elbow move together.  The front shoulder should move upward instead of outward.

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