Hitters need to use their legs to produce force. Check out the Directional Depth Leap drill to help hitters understand force direction using their front leg.
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Maintaining a side bend is crucial for the hitter’s ability to decelerate and prevent over-rotation. Yet many hitters struggle with not only creating side bend but maintaining it through the turn. While working on this skill, it can be very difficult for the hitter to feel the correct posture in a full swing.
The upper body rotation happens so fast and there are so many different factors that go into the swing that side bend often gets overlooked. However, if the hitter comes out of side bend too early, the bat path goes with them and causes over-rotation and a poor bat path.
One way we have found to be beneficial when teaching not only creating side bend but also maintaining it through the swing is to isolate the upper half in the swing. By widening the hitter’s feet out just beyond shoulder width and then forcing them to not use their lower half in the swing, the hitter’s upper body is magnified.
If they don’t create side bend and then hold it properly through the swing, they will overrotate or rollover. By eliminating the stride it forces the hitter to use solely their upper body to swing the bat successfully.
Make sure to avoid lower body rotation in this drill. The isolation of the upper body is the key to this drill and that can’t be achieved with the lower body rotating. We want the hitter to feel the need to be perfect with their posture and hand path in order to have success with this drill.