One of my favorite aspects of online lessons is getting to see players from all over the country make improvements by simply following the Baseball Rebellion training progressions and drills that we prescribe. One such case involves Justin J. from Indiana. I trained Justin’s older brother Aidan. In those videos, Justin was usually the camera man but I have no doubt that he was learning as he watched his brother work to improve his swing. So in that sense he had a bit of a head start as he entered our program. Due to Justin’s prior knowledge and his athleticism, it did not take long for his lower half to work well. The most obvious flaw in Justin’s swing was his downward swing path relative to the ball. In the picture below from Ted Williams’ book “The Science of Hitting”, Justin’s swing resembled the bottom much more of the top image. This resulted in Justin mis-hitting more balls than he would like. One simple drill fixed this for Justin in less than a month!
Here is a video of Justin before we began using the noodle/tee swing path drill:
As you can see, his barrel continues downward after contact resulting in a glancing blow towards the bottom of the baseball. This type of swing often leads to shallow pop-ups and lazy foul balls.
While Justin understood what he was supposed to be doing and could do perform quality movements consistently in drills, he struggled to swing up when actually facing a moving pitch. In these cases, it can be really helpful to place obstacles in the way of a hitter so that they are forced to translate the movement or get immediate feedback if they don’t. For Justin the noodle/tee drill worked great! In this drill, the object is placed just above belly button height, slightly out in front of the hitter’s stride length. If the hitter hits the ball but also hits the object, they are likely swinging flat or down. It is important to make sure that the hitter is not cheating the drill by swinging inside the noodle instead of over it. Here is a video of Justin after working on the tee/noodle drill for about a month.
Once Justin got the hang of the tee/noodle drill, he is now able to swing upward on a consistent basis which is dramatically increasing the percentage of balls he is able to square up and drive to the outfield!
If you are interested in improving your swing like Justin, check out our online hitting lesson page here!
Gabe Dimock – Baseball Rebellion Hitting Instructor