Front Arm Chain

The Front Arm Chain

Today we will look at the Front Arm Chain.  This drill is meant to isolate the front arm for those hitters who might be:


  • Pulling off the ball early with their front shoulder
  • Pulling the barrel path downward through the impact zone
  • Working on releasing more energy through impact
  • Avoiding rollovers 


It is important to remember that while we are looking at a specific part of the swing, this particular action is late in the swing.  Therefore can only be worked on once or consistently in a good place. 

Thanks for watching!

In the world of hitting certain words can invoke certain movements, good and bad. It’s not really the words that matter as much but how the individual athlete interprets those words and how they manifest those words into a particular movement.

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The Importance of Swing Sequence

If you have been following Baseball Rebellion at all, you know the importance of swing sequence.  Simply put, the right moves in the right order. Today we will examine a hitter’s first move after the loading sequence. Now I can’t understate how important it is to have a quality and consistent loadI have said it many times before, you can not have an A+ swing with a D- load. So, assuming a player loads well, let’s look at how the first move out of that load can be different and drastically affect a hitter from that point forward. 

*Note:  If a hitter loads properly they have a great opportunity to begin their swing efficiently.

We look at the three most common moves after the load.  The first two will be the most common incorrect starts of the swing.

Swing Sequence: The Push

We will start things off with the “push”.  This swing sequence will generally start with an improper loading of the hitter’s rear leg as opposed to coiling the hips, however, it can still happen after a proper load.  Here is what can happen with a “push” to start swing.

  • Head/body movement up and forward
  • Vision loss
  • Forced to drop arms and hands to contact
  • Altered swing path, usually down, through and/or across the hitting zone
  • Timing issues due to body closing distance to the ball

Here is an example of the push move out of the rear side.

JK push gif
JK push pic

Swing Sequence: The Spin

The next swing-start flaw we will look at is the “spin”.  The spin swing sequence can come from the idea of “squishing the bug” or a hyperactive front side pull off the plate.  Either way, this can be aggressive yet cause many issues once the hitter strikes the ball. Issues that arise from a spin can be:

  • Head/body movement away from zone and ball
  • Vision loss
  • Hands/arms forced laterally and down away from body
  • Barrel path drastically across the body
  • Very little to zero body weight into contact 
  • Virtually zero quality contact on any pitch middle to away side of plate

Let’s take a look at the spin move out of the rear side.
JK spin pic

Swing Sequence: The Pull

This is the most important swing sequence that all hitters should aspire to have at some degree. While some have it more than others, this move is there for all good hitters. Mainly because it sets into motion quality movements that fall into place like dominos. Now, it’s important to know that flaws can still happen but the chances are dramatically reduced when this move occurs first in a hitter’s swing.  Here is what you can get from this move:

  • Stable head/body position through entirety of the swing
  • Correct biomechanical sequence of body to ensure maximum bat speed
  • Body weight transfer into ball
  • Barrel path that stays in the hitting zone as long as possible
  • Barrel path that is slightly up on pitch path creating high impact quality
  • Ability to hit to all fields with power(relative to hitter’s size)
  • High rate of adjustability to all pitch types

Here is a look at the pull move out of the rear side. 

JK pull gif small
JK pull pic

While nothing can guarantee you a hit of any kind, this move will open up the opportunity to do more damage especially on mishits.  Remember, you’re only as good as your mishits.  Any swing type can generally hit the ball well if everything works out.  But we know that things lining up in a perfect way for that to work out doesn’t happen often.  Load properly and make sure your swing starts the right way with a pull from the backside through the rotation of the core. 

Thanks for reading and if you or your player has any of these issues, please check out our fantastic online training program!

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Pre-Throwing Movements

Pre-Throwing Movements for Young Pitchers

Baseball Rebellion’s Kory Behenna takes young pitchers through all the movements they should be doing BEFORE they throw.

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The #1 Move Hitters Should Make To Adjust To Higher Velocity

Chas Pippitt demonstrates the one move hitters of all ages should be making at the plate when they start seeing faster pitching. Plus, Chas shows a few drills you can work on!

Having Trouble Elevating the Ball? This Could Be Why!

Most of us know that it doesn’t take a lot to severely mishit a baseball. This is what makes hitting well so incredibly hard.  As we get older and advance to higher levels of competition, it gets even harder and more important that certain things happen in our swings.  The ability to elevate the ball out of the infield is one of those things that gets more difficult and more important that we do well. If you’re 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.  

Upper Body – Forward Pull

In the video and picture below, you will see an example of a player with a forward pull of the upper body.  This will create:

  • Spacing Issues: negatively affecting rotation and barrel accuracy 
  • Attack angle loss
  • Timing issues as the player gets close to the incoming pitch
  • Inability to elevate all pitch locations
  • The bottom half of the ball is lost

Upper Body Chest Forward Upper Body Chest Forward Upper Body Chest Forward

It’s important to notice here that the player above is very quick and strikes the ball true, his ability to elevate this ball is severely limited.  While the ball is hit hard, he is limited to low angles and therefore at best a single when he is capable of much more. 

Upper Body – Maintained Back

Now let’s look at the same hitter maintaining a good upper body position and increase his ability to elevate the same ball.  Maintaining his upper body position created during the load will:

  • Increase his rotation thereby increasing barrel speed and power
  • Spacing stays the same
  • Improved attack angle – leading to more extra-base hit opportunities

Visual of the bottom half increases

Upper Body Maintained Back Upper Body Maintained Back Upper Body Maintained Back

Here is the side by side comparison of the two upper-body positions.

Chest Forward Chest Forward Chest Back Chest Back

As you can see, the slight upper body differences can dramatically impact the hitter’s ability to elevate and drive the ball. While this player’s swing on the left side isn’t bad in many ways, he will always be severely limited in his production.  

I hope that you now can better identify this mistake in yourself or your hitters and begin making the necessary adjustments to improve their swing. If you need any help with this, please check out our online hitting program!

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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…

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.

Creating the Engine to Your Swing

There are two key factors that determine the exit velocity of every ball that you hit.

  1. Bat Speed
  2. Square Contact

Both of these are vital to your swing's longevity and should be trained equally.  Today we will take a look at bat speed and how to understand and feel where your swing engine truly is.

The Load/Stretch for Creating Bat Speed

All great swings start with great loading phases.  If your training doesn't start with this phase, you have no chance to create great bat speed. The keys here are:

  1. Coil
  2. Move the coil
  3. Stretch with back elbow

Watch as Javy Baez sequences these movements flawlessly.

Javy Baez Loading The Back Elbow

Javy is always a great template for this movement because it's so easy to see. All great hitters some form or version of this or else they wouldn't last at that level.

This pattern should be slow and controlled as you move especially if you have a leg kick or more vertical stance.  If you start wider and lower, it might be less pronounced but it still has to happen. All these things are used for creating the engine to your swing

The Trigger

This is GO TIME!  The start of the swing must be quick and immediate (early bat speed).  Any flaw or delay here will seriously cost you.  Pulling the "trigger" of a swing is very similar to a gun.  It comes from a very specific place that should always be the rear hip/knee.  Yes, both hips rotate but the rear hip/knee is the driver.  The front hip will clear in a passive move out of the way and then be driven back by the front leg.

Watch as Javy shows us exactly how this should be done.

Javy Baez Trigger Move

I can't stress the importance for your hitters to connect these specific parts of their bodies. If the trigger doesn't start here, the body will compensate and the swing will suffer.

The Brakes

The last action of the engine is the "slamming of the brakes".  The front leg must counter the back leg-pulling forward with an equally aggressive and quick push back. Keys are:

  1. Use the heel
  2. Drive the quad/front hip back

Notice here how Javy's front knee and back knee close the gap.

Javy Baez Front Leg Drive

The role of the front leg is huge.  Don't deny it or the back leg will override the entire swing.

Like a car engine, each of these parts is essential to the performance and health of your swing as a whole.  On our site, you can find lots of ways to isolate each of these movements if one of them is lacking in your swing.  Connect with your engine, and watch how much your bat speed skyrocket!

Stay Through The Ball With The Ping Pong Drill

In case you miss it in BR Weekly, I wanted to share with you a drill that has worked extremely well for almost all my hitters recently.  It’s a simple yet effective idea because it connects well with something that we almost all have done at some point in our lives, ping pong!  

How to Stay Through the Ball Better

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.  If only one of these ingredients is present, the hitter can not be their best. This drill will help the hitter feel a barrel path that allows for a large margin for error and increase the likelihood of a well-struck baseball even if their timing is slightly off.  We know how important this is for long term success.

In this drill, the focus should be placed on:

  • Upper body posture
  • Vision
  • Proper upper body rotation followed by especially lead arm
  • Barrel/lead arm release tracking towards the middle of the field to slightly backside
  • Good stability through the swing

The Ping Pong Drill

I hope that this drill helps many of you, especially those with barrel path issues. If needed, use a ping pong paddle and try to keep the ball going over the centerfielder’s head. If you pull your lead arm across, you’ll put too much side spin on the ball for it to carry.  The feedback should clue you into how well you struck the ball. 

Thanks for reading!  If you would like help with your swing, please check out our online program!

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Pre-Throwing Movements for Young Pitchers

Baseball Rebellion’s Kory Behenna takes young pitchers through all the movements they should be doing BEFORE they throw.

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The #1 Move Hitters Should Make To Adjust To Higher Velocity

Chas Pippitt demonstrates the one move hitters of all ages should be making at the plate when they start seeing faster pitching. Plus, Chas shows a few drills you can work on!

Coaches and Parents: Learn What You Need To Be Looking For In Your Hitter's Swing

Evaluating Hitters

When evaluating hitters what are you looking for? Do you even know what is important or vital for hitters to be doing? We want to help make it easier for you to breakdown your hitter's swings. There are certain mechanics that are a MUST when it comes to being an elite hitter. We're here to show you what those are.

By now you guys know me and have a pretty good handle on how I explain ideas and concepts at Baseball Rebellion Headquarters or here in my articles.

I'm a huge analogy guy.  The reason for this is because I really enjoy simplifying movements to their core and getting rid of the grey area.  For players of all ages but especially younger players, analogies do a great job of cleaning things up inside their heads.

The Important vs. Vital Analogy For Hitters

The important vs. vital concept is no different than anything else.  Like the human body, there are parts of us that are vital to our health and therefore living.  These things are measured as "vitals" in the medical world.

The four main ones are body temperature, heart rate or pulse, respiratory rate, and blood pressure.  Anything other than those four vitals would be listed as important.

In hitting, vitals are concepts or movements that can not be compensated for. Without them, players can "stay alive" in baseball but will ultimately not last.

Important aspects of the swing are things that are nice to have and can really help, but are necessities to be great long term.

I'm sure at this point you're wondering how this relates to hitting.  Well, here it goes.

NOTE: All GIF's are courtesy of and credited to Craig Hyatt (@HyattCraig)

Important Mechanics To Look For When Evaluating Hitters

Now don't' get me wrong here.  We teach footwork until it's really good but you can find tons of examples in the big leagues of guys doing all sorts of things with their feet in games.

Strong Positioning

It's important to have a solid base of footwork but at the end of the day, if the bat is fast and going up pitch plane, you'll do damage.  Proper footwork will, however, allow hitters to get the most out of what their hips are trying to do. Proper footwork can help you maintain a strong balance throughout your stride and your swing.

Vital Mechanics To Look For When Evaluating Hitters

Nothing new here.  If the player does not want to do damage mentally and emotionally at the plate, no mechanical fixes will matter.  They MUST shed any fear or doubt before mechanical adjustments can really help them in games.  Intent starts at practice and reveals itself in games.

Key Takeaways When Evaluating Hitters

The key thing to take away from this is that "vitals" should not be compensated for what might be only "important".  For example, if your back foot is moving so far that it changes your angles/posture than eliminate your back foot move or lessen it.  If you like your stance but cannot load your body properly, change your stance and make it easier to prepare. If trying to have "perfect footwork" keeps you from being explosive then stop worrying about being perfect and smash the ball!

Understand what is vital and what is important and it can really clarify your thoughts when you might be struggling to find answers.

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Pre-Throwing Movements

Pre-Throwing Movements for Young Pitchers

Baseball Rebellion’s Kory Behenna takes young pitchers through all the movements they should be doing BEFORE they throw.

Adjusting to High Velocity - YouTube Cover

The #1 Move Hitters Should Make To Adjust To Higher Velocity

Chas Pippitt demonstrates the one move hitters of all ages should be making at the plate when they start seeing faster pitching. Plus, Chas shows a few drills you can work on!

Want to learn how to repeat a powerful swing? It all starts on how you practice in the cage and how that transition to BP and live game at-bats.

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MLB Prospect Series- Royce Lewis

For today’s 2020 prospect breakdown we will be looking at former first-rounder, Royce Lewis.  Royce is a plus speed shortstop with a good average. 

I believe there are some things about his swing that limit his decision-making ability and it will be interesting to see how he continues to handle professional pitching. 

As we know, Royce was drafted out of high school and certain things that work at that level don’t always translate to the professional level. 

MLB Prospect Series- Adley Rutschman

For today’s 2020 prospect breakdown we will be looking at the switch-hitting catcher of the Baltimore Orioles, Adley Rutschman. 

Following an outstanding career at Oregon State, Adley was drafted number one by the Orioles in 2019. 

He is obviously a very young player and is just getting started but there might be something in his swing that could hinder his movement upward in the organization. Watch to find out if this might apply to you as well.

MLB Prospect Series- Louis Robert

Today we will look at Louis Robert of the Chicago White Sox.  Louis stands at 6’3 185 pounds.  Louis is a big guy whose power potential is off the charts.  While he does hit the ball extremely hard, I did find a slight issue when I watched a good number of his swings. 

I saw a good number of pop-ups and foul ball tips.  There is a chance that his slightly forward head position could cause some issues as he moves up the ranks. 

MLB Prospect Series- Gavin Lux

Number two on our 2020 Prospect List is Gavin Lux of the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Gavin is a middle infielder standing at about 6’2 and 190 pounds.  Gavin has been great for most of his young career with some actual MLB appearances.

Though Lux went 20th overall in the 2016 Draft, that made him only the second-highest pick in his family behind uncle Augie Schmidt, the No. 2 overall pick and Golden Spikes Award winner in 1982. After signing for $2,314,500, Lux struggled for most of his first full pro season but has dominated since. He batted .347/.421/.607 in 2019, becoming the first middle infielder age 21 or younger to post a 1.000 OPS in the upper Minors since Gregg Jefferies in 1987 and coming within .001 in OBP of topping all Minor League shortstops in all three slash stats for the second straight year (Via

We will be looking at one of his post-season home runs as we break down what makes him a top prospect. 

What Makes Gavin Lux's Swing Great

For any of you taller hitters, really pay attention to his ability to set certain angles from which to rotate on.  This will be key as you get older and pitchers begin to locate down and away more often. 

Gavin does a phenomenal job of setting his hinge and turning up behind a well-located pitch in this video.  Yes, he pulls and outside pitch.  It can be done!

MLB Prospect Series- Wander Franco

Today is the first day of my 2020 prospect series.  In this series, I will dissect baseball’s best up and comers.  I will review their swings and highlight the things that I like and if needed, comment on what I think might hold them back. 

My goal for this series is to show how some of the best young players in the game use their bodies.  I want everyone who watches to pick up on something and perhaps be able to apply that to their own swings.

Boy Wander

We will start with Wander Franco of the Tampa Bay Rays.  Wander is a switch-hitting shortstop who has had an incredible start to his career. Just recently, he was tabbed as Baseball America's #1 Prospect to start the 2020 season. 

As one of the hottest names coming up through the baseball ranks in a while, I thought it would be cool to look back at all of the #1 Prospects from the past decade:

2019 Vladimir Guerrero Jr, 3B Blue Jays
2018 Ronald Acuna, OF Braves
2017 Andrew Benintendi, OF Red Sox
2016 Corey Seager, SS Dodgers
2015 Kris Bryant, 3B Cubs
2014 Byron Buxton, OF Twins
2013 Jurickson Profar, SS Rangers
2012 Bryce Harper, OF Nationals
2011 Bryce Harper, OF Nationals
2010 Jason Heyward, OF Braves

As you can see, he's put himself into some ELITE company. Does Wander have the swing right now to make in an All-Star? Our answer to that question might surprise you. Check out JK's breakdown below:

Wander Franco Swing Breakdown

Want Your Swing Broken Down by JK? Take an online lesson with him today!

Top 5 Ways Player's Get Worse From Team Practice

With the season about to kick off here in the southern states. We wanted to highlight a few things about team practice.

The way team hitting / batting practice is organized, and the culture that is created during practice can be either very helpful or damaging to your baseball/softball player's ability to take quality swings and not feel afraid to take them.

How Do They Get Worse in Practice?

Here are just a handful of situations or batting routines that might be happening to your player at practice. If you are a coach, let's take some time to perhaps rethink how your baseball/softball team's hitting time is being used.

1. Too Much Defensive Work

Yes, this does happen! Before I get too critical on coaches and their practice plans here, it should be said that I love defense. I was a catcher my whole career and loved making defensive plays and stopping runs from scoring.

It's crucial for the outfield and infield to be able to communicate and work well together, but do we really need to skip hitting so that there can be 3 hours of bunt coverage? Especially on a play that gets ran once a year! Every baseball and softball player in the lineup will get at least two at-bats in a game. The one secret play, that never works, is not worth the time. Do the math, get some swings in.

2. Throwing Bad BP or Front Toss

One of the more frustrating things for us to see is a player that has a good swing but gets worse because his coach can't throw front toss or batting practice. It is even more frustrating when the coach who just bounced five balls in a row gets mad at the hitter for not swinging. Most young players are afraid of their coaches already and don't want to"talk back."

What Happens Next?

The player will undoubtedly start taking awful swings at awful pitches just to appease the coach. Which ruins his own practice time. Every time the coach throws a bad pitch, the player should take it. Which can even be used to the hitter and coaches benefit. If the coach continues to throw poorly, the player should then be allowed to go work off the tee. Or they can go through dry swings where they can practice good movements.

3. Batting / Pitching Machines

If you are not currently an in-person or online client of the Baseball Rebellion, it's challenging to visualize practicing a baseball/softball swing without hitting a ball. All of our clients know how to train at home with no bat, and no-ball. While having huge gains in their swing. Taking your team or player to a batting cage or even bringing in a "portable" batting machine to practice seems like a good idea in theory.

The Machine Problem

The problem with certain machines and creating a good swing occurs in the timing of the pitch. Especially if your swing has a good loading phase.  For the hitter to properly execute the start of this move, they must use the load phase of the pitcher as a visual to know when to start. Since most pitching machines have zero to very little pre-release action, the hitter can struggle at getting started. Therefore throwing off their entire swing pattern. This is especially difficult for baseball and softball hitters who have just started to learn this type of movement.

Bad Baseball / Softball batting or pitching machine

We have talked about pitching machines that we like and the best ways to use them in training. Any machine that shoots the ball out without any warning is one to watch out for. These can be extremely frustrating to a hitter with movement. The ball will suddenly appear which gives it the perception as fast. However, the speed of the ball is normal to slow, causing the hitter to suddenly jump forward but then realize they are super early getting their front foot down. Unless you are very in-tuned with your body and timing, there is very little hope for consistent or powerful contact.

Keep it Simple

No baseball or softball player out there wants to look bad in front of his teammates and coaches. So they will begin to strip away movement from their swing. Ultimately the once good swing is now sliced down to a panic-induced wrist snap. Months of training and money has been wasted.

4. Situational Batting Practice ONLY

A lot like bunt coverage practice, there is a definite time and place for situation hitting practice. But often baseball and softball teams spend countless hours of hitting/batting practice time on nothing but hit-and-runs, slashes, bunting, two-strike approaches, etc. Again these are times that may only happen one or two times a game, hence the name situational.

STOP slash bunting in Baseball or Softball

Now if you are dedicating the opening round of batting practice to a few bunts and one or two hit-and-runs. That is one thing, but making entire rounds dedicated to hitting the ball backside on the ground can be detrimental to a good swing.

The 'Backside' Approach

In rounds like those, the hitter is forced by the demands of the coach to hit every pitch, even inside pitches, to the backside of the field. Again, the hitter, being afraid to disappoint the coach, will adopt a weak backside mentality. This is creating a slower delayed turn of the barrel to flick the ball that way. Then when the game comes around, the coach wonders why his team can't drive the ball.

The "backside approach" round can work for very specific cases of timing issues but usually not for the whole team.

If you want a solid batting practice plan, click here. 

5.  Quick Pitching the Hitter

I chose this topic to close because it seems to be what all of my clients have in common. We spend months before the season getting their swings to be powerful and consistent. During this process, they are allowed to move freely through the entire swing then reset before the next pitch.

In this resetting time, they have they can regain their composure, think about and make adjustments, and then take another good swing. 

Coaches have to remember that practice time is the hitter's time to get better. Not their time to see how many swings they can take in two minutes.

Too many of our hitters will see us during the season, after months of training, and all of a sudden they have a shorter yet weaker swings with no finish. Before they even finish their swing, they are slowing down and hopping back into their stances.

They cut out their rhythm, their forward motion, and their finish to get ready for the next pitch. Time and time again they fall victim to the "practice culture" in baseball and softball.

When they finally do take a full and aggressive swing at practice, the coach will already be throwing the next pitch before the player has a chance to reset. So when the player decides not to swing because they are not ready, they get yelled at. Now fear has been installed in the young player, and they cut down their swing to make the coach happy.

It's the Players Career, Not the Coaches

To sum it all up, I understand how difficult it is to be a coach at any level. Every level of baseball and softball has its obstacles to hurdle when it comes to practice.

Things like field time, coaching assistance, even balls can be hard to come by. I don't want this article to bash on all coaches, everywhere, who try hard to do it right. But trying hard and not knowing, are two different things. We have tons of FREE articles on here that can help you become a better coach. If more coaches took the time to improve upon some of this issue, everybody and the sports of baseball and softball would benefit.

Lastly, if one of your parents is taking a player on your team to see a professional instructor, please respect their choice to outsource their information and invest their money. Let their players focus on his or her specific goals and work on their swing regardless if you think it's right.

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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

Remote Training for Hitters

No Place to Train this Off-Season? Check Out How Remote Training Lessons Can Work For You!

At Baseball Rebellion we have been doing remote training hitting lessons (as well as pitching lessons) for over six years and have worked with over 500 online clients from all around the country and the world!

We wanted to give Baseball Rebellion readers inside access to what our remote training is all about. In the video below, I highlight the improvements that can be made to hitters over time using the Baseball Rebellion methodology and how we utilize Hudl Technique to make it happen.

This video highlights one of my online client's improvements over a six-month period. He has been one of my hardest working clients online and continues to improve! Enjoy!

Highlights of the 6 Month Swing Improvement from Remote Training

Front Foot, Leg, and Hip

Closed Front Side
Closed Front Side
Open Front Side
Open Front Side

Head Position

Head Forward
Head Forward
Head Back
Head Back

Back & Balanced on Finish

Upright Finish
Upright Finish
Back and Balanced Finish
Back and Balanced Finish
Learn 3 ways that your hitters can learn to swing at better pitches and a few drills to help them lock in on how to read pitches vs just see pitches.

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