Staying Through the Ball: The Extension Drill

Written By: Chas Pippitt

Is "Extension" Staying Through the Ball?

Staying through the ball is extremely important for any hitter of any age. Many coaches talk about extension but we are going to show you the best drill we've come up with. We will show exactly how we practice staying through the ball and the one weird drill that has helped many hitters feel extension.

Stay Through the Ball. What Does it Mean?

Staying "through the ball" is constantly talked about by hitting coaches at all levels. Obviously, pulling off the ball is bad, causes weak hits, and limits hitters' success. Staying through the ball, however, keeps the barrel behind the ball after its hit and allows for straighter hits to all fields.

Many coaches talk about extension when they're talking about staying through the ball. Being able to extend is good, but always hitting at extension is bad.

Extension causes the stopping of the rotation of the shoulders to support the arms extending the bat. While this can keep the bat head in the zone longer, it also can slow the bat head down.

Stay Through the Noodle, Stay Through the Ball.

In the drill video below, you'll see how we use a pool noodle on a couple of Launch Angle Tees to help hitters understand staying through the ball.

Keys to the drill:

  • Make sure the noodle is angled upward, for bat path.
  • Watch the flight of the noodle, if it's flipping sideways, you didn't stay through it.
  • Make the drill a game!  Mark the top distances or the straightest flight and flips
  • Get a FAT pool noodle, they last longer.

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