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This vs. That – Early Head Pull vs. Late Head Release

Written By: JK Whited

This vs. That - Early Head Pull vs. Late Head Release

For this week’s installment of This vs. That, I wanted to hit on a subject that I see a lot of coaches and parents get confused about.  That would be the issue of loss of vision due to pulling the head out.  You hear it all the time, “you're pulling your head out!”  A common phrase you might hear anytime a young player misses the ball. While this can definitely be a possibility, it’s not always true. The problem is that in real time, it can seem as though the player is in fact pulling their head out way too soon.  When in actuality, it happens so fast that the coach or parent can’t see that their head is actually right where it needs to be. Let’s take a look.

Early Head Pull

Let’s first look at an example of me attempting to pull my head out early.

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Jk head pull
JK head pull out

As you can see from the pictures above, the early outward rotation of my head is easily there.  This early head rotation can cause:

  • Extreme vision loss
  • Guessing
  • Lack of barrel accuracy
  • Loss of barrel coverage in the hitting zone
  • Miss hits on pitches that should be struck well

Oftentimes this issue arises because the player is aggressive, yet hasn’t learned or practiced head control.  They must take the time to understand that the head needs to counter rotate slightly past contact.  This way they will be able to pick up the ball during the last 10 feet of it’s path to the plate. The Baseball Rebellion Rack Bat is an excellent tool to use for this issue. 

 

Now let’s look at how it should be done.

Late Head Release

Here is an example of the hitter’s head “releasing” late.

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Keeping the head rotated inward will allow:

  • Deep vision tracking
  • Picking up any late movement
  • High barrel accuracy
  • Barrel staying in the zone late

So is it okay for the hitter to be watching the ball after they hit it? Yes, absolutely.  If you want to know if there is any “early head pull” then I suggest you do some video work to be sure.  Try not to be tricked by the speed of the swing and the finish.  It’s all about where the nose of the hitter is facing before, during and slightly after contact.  Once the hitter’s rear shoulder comes through the head can release out. We want to promote fast and full swings so make sure that you and your player know the difference between these two very commonly misunderstood movements.  If you or your hitter is having issues with this or any part of their swing, please check out our awesome online program!

Thanks for reading!

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