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Stop Swaying Back In Your Swing For More Power

Stop Swaying Back In Your Swing For More Power

Many times when a hitter sways back they think they are loading but in reality, they are not.  Hitters who have a tendency to swing back also spin off the ball, have a steep bat path, and inconsistent weight transfer in their swing.  Along with all that their perception of the ball will also be compromised.  This simple constraint drill makes the hitter accountable when they load.

Eliminate Sway Back Drill

  • I use the term “fake loading” to describe this as well because that is exactly what happens when a hitter sways back excessively. 
  • Hitters feel their weight sway back and they get very quad dominant into their back leg. 
  • This can cause hitters to jump forward, get caught on their backside and so much more. 
  • Below is a video of one of my hitters who was doing this same move that we ended up fixing.  Since then he has been doing so much better and practicing more efficiently!

 

Sway Back Constraint Drill

Making hitters feel something new and holding them accountable to do the right moves is how you create an environment for change.  The drill below is easy to set up and gives hitters instant feedback. 

3 Drill Benefits

 Pay attention to how I set everything up and then practice! There are other ways that this can be accomplished without even hitting. But since we always have to hit the ball this is a drill that allows you to do both!

Swing Direction

  • Since the hitter is no longer stuck on their backside now they are in a much more athletic position. 
  • This is free’s up the hitter allowing them to have a better swing through all pitches. 
  • Better swing direction allows for better adjustability in games.

Weight Transfer – 

  • Although we want to keep weight in our back hip we still have to transfer some of that weight forward into the front leg. 
  • This allows for better deceleration in the swing instead of hitters sitting back and spinning off. 
  • As long as your hitter isn’t lunging at the ball they need to get comfortable with that forward move the right way.

Bat Path

  • Since your hitter is no longer sitting back and spinning off their bat path will now stay through the zone longer and towards the pitcher versus yanking to the pull-side. 
  • This will increase chances for more hard-hit balls and even more power in games!

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Stop the Front Shoulder From Pulling Off

Stop The Front Shoulder From Pulling Off

Eric reviews one drill that he likes to use to cure a hitter from pulling off the ball. Pulling off the ball is one of the most common swing mistakes and usually comes from a hitter’s aggression. When coaching this flaw it is important not to eliminate the aggression, however, teach the hitter where the aggression needs to be.

Having Trouble Elevating the Ball_ This Could be Why

Having Trouble Elevating the Ball? This Could be Why

If you are having trouble elevating the ball, you could have a number of issues but one that can really hinder that ability is a forward landing and/or a forward pulling of the upper body.

Front Shoulder Flying Open During The Swing

As a hitting instructor, I have had many people reach out to me about drills to help their hitters stop spinning off the ball. First, we have to understand why this happens. Secondly, we have to understand how to correct it. 

I’ve used various drills for this problem to help hitters. For this issue, I use these two specific “cues” to stop them from spinning off the ball.

Keeping things simple with these two cues will make your hitters more efficient in the cage and on the field. 

Flying Open Cue #1- “Back Shoulder to Second Baseman”

Without Rack Bat

Flying Open Cue #2- "Front Elbow Up"

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3 Tee Drill

Get Consistent Hard Contact with the 3 Tee Drill

If your hitter struggled to make contact to all fields last season check out our version of the 3 tee drill series & how it can help them develop a consistent bat path

Should You Swing Up or Down? It Depends

Understanding the Difference Between a Swing Down or Swing Up Approach

One of the biggest debates in hitting is to swing down or swing up.  Each hitter is different and has a different approach in mind.  Learn how thinking to swing up or even swing down may drastically improve hard-hit balls.

Everyone in the hitting world wants the best for their hitters.  Whether you coach at a high level or just do lessons on the side for extra money.  If you are trying to help each individual hitter you're going to have to tailor your approach differently for that hitter.  Some hitters think swing up and some may think straight down.  What if I told you both work and both swing paths may turn out to be quite similar.  

“Swing Straight To The Ball”

Many great hitters such as Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Mike Trout all claim they swing straight down to the ball.  Now for them, this is something that they feel but it isn't what is happening in reality and that's ok.  For some hitters to crush the ball consistently they have to feel like they are staying on top of the ball hence swinging down.  Each of the athletes I mentioned are strong and physical guys who can turn the bat up a little later to get on plane and crush it.  The video below is a prime example of what many big league hitters think:

When You Should Teach a Hitter to Think Swing Down on the Ball

Knowing when to say “swing down” or “stay on top of the ball”  truly depends on what the hitter may be doing.  Often cues like this are spewed out of a coach or instructor's mouth with no explanation behind it. 

Then you may get kids chopping straight at the ball and that will only hinder their development.  This cue does however have merit for some hitters and can actually help them square up the ball a lot better.

"Swing Down Cue"

3 Things The "Swing Down Approach" Can Help Certain Hitters

Posture -
  • Oftentimes when hitters want to hit the ball in the air they lift their front shoulder away from the ball and then the bat gets disconnected. 
  • When hitters have this issue they think down through the ball or staying on top of it keeps their chest down and in line with the pitcher. 
  • If you have better posture with your upper body then the bat path will get better
Realistic Swing Path -
  • Hitters who try to lift the ball too much tend to have a bat path that comes in and out of the zone mainly towards their pull side. 
  • Chances are they need to try and lift the ball less and think down and through the middle to allow the bat to release properly towards the pitcher. 
  • This flattens out their bat path and they are now actually swinging up the right way! 
Adjustability -
  • Due to the fact that hitters have a better idea of posture, swing path, and swing direction along will come adjustability. 
  • Meaning that the hitter's ability to cover the zone will be better and will also be able to adjust to pitches on the outer half of the plate. 
  • The goal with anything is to become consistent in the games. 
  • Sure you may be able to rip your bat across the hitting zone and tank a couple in batting practice by flying open and swinging up like crazy but in the game your chances of crushing the ball will be much lower.

Key Takeaway 

  • At the end of the day, every hitter and coach wants the ball to be hit hard. 
  • Whether you think swing up or swing down it does not matter if you get the results that you want. 
  • In my case, as a hitting instructor who works with all ages, I have to do what the player needs not what my personal opinion is about whether the swing is up or down. 
  • The only reality that's true is the results and if I need some of my hitters to think down on the ball then so be it. 
  • The trick is to know when what, and how to get players to do what they need to do!

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Mike Trout Practice Analysis

Feel vs. Real- What Makes Mike Trout Great?

Check out what Mike Trout does that makes him arguably the best hitter of all time? See how his practice helps HIM and what it could do to your swing.

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Should Hitters Have a Barrel Tip in Their Load?

Vertical bat angle is something that some hitters have a major issue with.  Hitters who excessively tip their bat forward have a major tendency to hit pop-ups and foul pitches straight back.  In this article, you will learn how to fix this problem with a simple constraint drill.

The Issue With a Barrel Tip

A Lot of youth hitters watch players in the big leagues and see how much MLB hitters wave and tip their bat.  When the bat tip is done correctly it allows for whip and speed through the zone.  If done incorrectly it can cause hitters to get loopy and disconnected early in their swing.  The drill below allows hitters to feel and become aware where their bat is at launch position so they can get connected and stay connected when they go take some hacks!

Prime Examples

Below in the video, you will see two longtime Baseball Rebellion clients.  After getting their turn speed, posture, and overall intent with their swing I began to introduce something new with how they want to wield their bats. 

Both hitters had a tendency of missing under the ball due to the fact their bat angle was too steep at launch.  Causing them to work way to vertical through the zone.  By fixing their bat angle you will see that their bat works more horizontally through the zone which allows them to catch more barrels.

Vertical Bat Angle Constraint Drill

With this drill, hitters will have to force their bat angle in the right position.  When trying to get hitters to feel something new sometimes getting them in a position where they may feel uncomfortable is what is needed. 

Anything new will take time and hitters who have been tipping their bat way too far forward will not get the most out of their swing.  Try this drill out about and let me know what you think!

3 Things this Drill Will Help

1.Early Connection - Getting connected early in the swing will let hitters have that bat path they truly need.  This allows hitters to get on plane earlier and keeps the bat in the zone for a long time.  This is something that is ideal for hitters of all ages and will help them adjust to different speed pitches.  

2. Smashing High Pitches - Pitches up in the zone is something that a lot of hitters struggle with. Missing under the ball is common when attacking high pitches.  If the bat angle is way too vertical crushing the high pitch will become non-existent.  Therefore when this drill is done correctly it will allow hitters to stay on top of the high pitch so they can crush it!

3. Power - Since the bat is now connected to the hitter's body much better you will gain some more power.  Due to the fact that the body is what makes the bat go fast, which speeds up the hands allowing for more force to be delivered into the ball!

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My Post (2)

Fixing Direction in the Swing

Fixing Direction in the Swing Do you find yourself constantly missing barrels, hitting balls off the cap, top spinning balls over to the pull side, or flaring balls to the…

Stop Swaying Back In Your Swing For More Power

Stop Swaying Back In Your Swing For More Power

Stop Swaying Back In Your Swing For More Power Many times when a hitter sways back they think they are loading but in reality, they are not.  Hitters who have…

Movement Work

Here at Baseball Rebellion, we are big on movement work before hitting.  This is something that a lot of hitters neglect.  The main goal here is to learn how to get into a better position at launch and then turn the body correctly. 

If a hitter pulls off or turns his shoulder the incorrect way they crush the noodle.  Avoid the noodle or choose the alternate way that I showed in the video to help your hitter understand better posture and correct shoulder movement.

Front Arm Constraint Drill 2.0

The drill below is something that I have been doing the past few weeks during my lessons.  It has helped many hitters feel the correct move when they start their swing.  Since the band and front arm are placed at the back hip it somewhat restricts the hitter to fly open

The hitter can now focus on working behind the ball and through versus around the ball and open.  This drill has become one of my favorites for helping hitters who fly open and pull across.

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My Post (2)

Fixing Direction in the Swing

Fixing Direction in the Swing Do you find yourself constantly missing barrels, hitting balls off the cap, top spinning balls over to the pull side, or flaring balls to the…

Stop Swaying Back In Your Swing For More Power

Stop Swaying Back In Your Swing For More Power

Stop Swaying Back In Your Swing For More Power Many times when a hitter sways back they think they are loading but in reality, they are not.  Hitters who have…

How Far Should a Hitter Stride?

We get a lot of questions weekly on how far a hitter should stride.  It all depends! Mainly body size and starting stance width will help determine where a hitter should stride. 

But first, you have to understand if you are under striding or overstriding.  By using a band or rope this can help hitters understand where they need to be and how to get there!

Take Pride in Your Stride

Youth hitters tend to neglect how important their stride is.  The stride is more than just stepping forward.  It's your timing, rhythm, load, the setup and so much more.  With that being said sometimes with younger kids you have to get creative. 

Barking at them to stride more or stride less while they are trying to hit can be quite annoying for a hitter.  Getting them set up by using a band or rope will help them understand what they need to do!

Stop OVER Striding

The overstride in a hitters swing isn't as common as hitters failing to gain ground and move forward.  But on occasion, I will have a hitter who overdoes it and gets into an extremely unathletic position

With the feet and legs being so far spread apart it makes it very hard for a hitter to gain hip extension through the ball.  Due to the fact that being that wide locks their lower body up. By using a rope and tying two loops at the end can literally stop a hitter from doing this bogged down move.

Stop UNDER Striding

This is more common than understanding, especially when hitters are timid to move forward.  The right stride allows hitters to create space and get athletic.  When you don't gain ground in your stride you lose that ability to get fully loaded. 

Rhythm and timing are then somewhat compromised and then hitters compensate with their upper body to then regain some space then never created.  By using the band looped around your legs hitters have to create that tension and space to get the most out of this drill/concept.

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My Post (2)

Fixing Direction in the Swing

Fixing Direction in the Swing Do you find yourself constantly missing barrels, hitting balls off the cap, top spinning balls over to the pull side, or flaring balls to the…

Stop Swaying Back In Your Swing For More Power

Stop Swaying Back In Your Swing For More Power

Stop Swaying Back In Your Swing For More Power Many times when a hitter sways back they think they are loading but in reality, they are not.  Hitters who have…

How to Stop Popping Up On High Pitches

A lot of youth hitters who see the high pitch tend to dip their barrel under causing swings and misses, and also poor contact.  If your hitter struggles to hit the high pitch this will help understand how to turn to the high pitch. All while using a high tee and this simple barrier drill will help correct poor swing path.  

Turn Pitches Up in the Zone into Line Drives Instead of Outs

The high pitch is something that I think a lot of young hitters have trouble crushing.  But once a hitter understands how to turn high and recognize the pitch up, these pitches up in the zone will be crushed.  Staying on top of the high pitch is a good cue for hitters to not over tilt. 

Staying a little taller will also accomplish the same goal.  Problems happen when you try to lift this pitch instead of just turning and meeting it.  The simple set up I have my hitters do when they have those issues are below.  Giving hitters visuals as well as a barrier to avoid during the swing will help them understand how to crush these pitches up in the zone.

Hesitated Side Toss High Pitch

Setting a tee up high and hitting off it will give hitters a good feel.  But the ball still isn't moving like in the game.  Side toss is a great way to understand where your body is going in your swing.  But creating a barrier and working on pitches up in the zone as you see here

Front Toss

After your hitter executes this drill from a hesitated position from the side, move on to front toss taking full swings.  This is where if you are a bad front tosser things will get tough. 

The hitter is looking up in the zone therefore if a ball is thrown lower he will be forced to lay off.  Due to the fact that a barrier will be there. Keep the font toss firm and on a line forcing the hitter to crush it right back up the middle! (If you want to learn how to throw proper front toss check out the video at the end!)

How to Throw Side Toss

How to Throw Front Toss

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Stop Flying Open

Hitters Stop Flying Open With These Two Cues

The front shoulder flying open is one of the biggest mistakes hitters make. Check out two cues you can use to help your hitters stay on the ball longer

Stay Through the Ball Longer

Stay Through the Ball Long with the Ping Pong Drill

The purpose of this drill is to slightly exaggerate the idea of “staying through the ball”. As we know, it requires not only barrel speed to hit the ball hard, but barrel accuracy.

One Tool To Stop Roll Over Groundballs

One of the biggest frustrations as a hit and parent is roll over groundballs. Recently, we found one tool to stop roll over groundballs, and we love it.

The Half bat has been around since as long as I can remember but I never understood why a hitter should use this.  Since introducing this into my lessons hitters have made great strides in regards to understanding how to move their body and bat correctly. 

From rollovers to weak pop-ups these three flat bat variations will help cure them all.

Why the Half Bat?

The Bonsail Bat Company and Trey Hannam customized some really cool flat bats for us and since then we haven't looked back.  Although they are cool looking they serve a great purpose, helping our hitters achieve the swing they need.

Three Things the Half Bat Will Help Correct

Hand Path (Click for More Info)

The hands in the swing are somewhat of a guide to the ball.  Many hitters struggle to feel the right move because they are punching or pushing their hands to the ball. 

Every time a hitter punches or pushes with the flat bat their bat path becomes compromised and weak or no contact will happen.  The goal is to focus on a smooth turn behind the turn giving hitters a slight uphill swing to help maximize hard-hit ball and power.

Swing Direction (Click for More Info)

Oftentimes swing direction is lacking due to incorrect posture and sequencing of the swing.  With the flat bat and these simple side toss variations, it can help hitters feel the correct movement of the body and bat

Putting the hitter in situations where they have to adjust and make changes is truly when they will reach their potential.

Body Control (Click for More Info)

Sometimes taking a step back and slowing things down can really help a hitter.  If there are any spastic moves or lack of fluidity the hitter will struggle. 

The goal is to take smooth controlled swings feeling the path and barrelling the ball each swing.  If your hitter only uses their upper body their swing will be slow and poor contact will be made.

Drill Videos to Help Stop Roll Over Groundballs

Level 1- Regular Side Toss

Level 2- Angled Side Toss

Level 3- Drop Down Toss

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My Post (2)

Fixing Direction in the Swing

Fixing Direction in the Swing Do you find yourself constantly missing barrels, hitting balls off the cap, top spinning balls over to the pull side, or flaring balls to the…

Stop Swaying Back In Your Swing For More Power

Stop Swaying Back In Your Swing For More Power

Stop Swaying Back In Your Swing For More Power Many times when a hitter sways back they think they are loading but in reality, they are not.  Hitters who have…

Many hitters seem to hit well in the cage but not in games. It comes down to how the hitter trains their pitch selection and most importantly their adjustability. By simply doing front toss with a twist you can change how a hitter adjusts from pitch to pitch.

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Two Drills to Barrel More Balls

The bat path of all great hitters gets in the zone and stays through the zone for a long time. The direction of the swing must stay through the middle of the field. Choking up on the bat 4-5 inches or using a short bat can help hitters feel the right move. The screen placed over the middle of home plate will also help hitters stop hooking around balls all while keeping their direction through the pitcher. In this article, you will see very simple drills to help accomplish the tasks at hand!

Working Around the Zone v.s. Working Through the Zone

Hitters wonder why they seem to pull off the baseball time and time again. There are many reasons why that may happen but it simply can be described working around the zone. This means the hitter’s body and bat are usually open up and pulling across to their pull side. The margin for error is low due to the fact the bat is not staying in the zone. This can also happen when a hitter pulls their hands across their chest. Because of this, it takes the bat farther away from where the ball is coming from.

Working through the zone means that hitters maintain their connection in the initial part of the swing or in other words barrel dumping. The body and overall posture are in a much better position to allow such moves to happen. The bat gets in the zone early and stays through the zone all the way through contact. Making the most efficient way to crush the ball!

Short Bat Drill

Using a short bat can help a hitter in many ways. From there barrel awareness, hand path, and overall swing direction. This is something that I utilize with my players on a daily basis. Since the bat is short and if you pull across the ball you will run out of barrel. If you don’t have a short bat choke up 4-5 inches and find a better path to the ball!

Net in the Middle of Home Plate

This drill is one I saw years ago done by Robinson Cano. The goal with this drill is simple, maintain early bat connection by staying inside the ball better. If you hit the net you are casting your bat and not keeping things connected. The goal is to crush the ball right back up the middle!

Drills for Better Upper Body Mechanics

The upper body plays a vital role when it comes to the swing. Many hitters struggle with upper body control and direction. This article gives you a simple training plan to help understand what role your upper body and how it can help with swing direction.

Often a hitter will miss-hit the ball due to poor upper body direction. This upper-body direction plan gives hitters a simple layout on how they use their upper body properly to hit the ball. If your hitters struggle with flying open or issues understanding how to properly side bend, then this article is for you.

Pre-Hitting Movements

Turn Work with the Rebels Rack

The Rebel’s Rack is a staple in our program here at Baseball Rebellion. Teaching rotation the right way and understanding the direction of the shoulders throughout the hitters swing is vital for a hitter’s success. In the videos below you will not only see how to use the Rebels rack but will also gain some more insight on further ways to use it.

Perform 10 repetitions at each pitch height. Make sure you are striding and moving the same way for each turn. Make sure you move at full speed and turn with the intent to crush the ball.

Med Ball Throws

Another tool we use here at baseball rebellion is Medicine Ball throws. This helps the hitter feel something heavy and truly gives them a good feel on what their rotation should feel like. It also makes things fun due to the fact the hitter is chucking something with their rotation.

Perform 5 repetitions at each pitch height. Throw the ball explosively into the wall and try and limit the pushing motion of your hands. Focus on your posture and hip rotation while keeping the correct side bend throughout your turn.

Tee Work

Opened Stance Tee Drill

This is a great drill For hitters who truly struggle with upper body direction in their swing. Move the tee up down, in and out. I would start taking 5 swings at each pitch location might be around 30-45 swings total, depending on how dedicated you are to getting better. Take the time to do the reps with the focus on being what I talked about in the videos!

Front Toss

The same rules apply here as well but now you are hitting a moving ball. It is key to get someone who is somewhat competent at throwing a front toss or you will get frustrated. Take 10 swings driving the outside, middle, and inside pitch.

Final Thought

Everyone says they want a good swing and wants this, that, and whatever. Most fail to actually do anything! These drills will help you understand what you actually have to do as a hitter to create a good swing. Include this routine in your training to get full benefits and focus on what i talk about in the videos and it will help. This is a simple way to get in some quality reps

Hitting for Power and for Average We can all agree that Baseball is a numbers game.  With the technology that is available today, it makes it easier for us to...

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