Help to fix 'Bat Drag'( or is it excessive Bat Lag ? )
Have been working with my 15 year old for a few years on Rotational hitting , first using Epstein Drills , and some heavy bag drills .. definitely helped her numbers last year , and made a big difference , power-wise ( for a 100 pound kid ) .. somewhere along the line she developed this bad habit of dropping her hands , and flattening out her bat to get on the plane ...
Just bought a video camera , and in taping her today I noticed that her back elbow gets in front of her hands as she initiates her swing .... she still seems to hit the ball Ok, but struggles on the high fastball , which is the kiss of death in softball .....
I remember a clip of a Little Leaguer a while back on the hitting-mechanics site that had the same symptoms, even though he seemed to rotate well ..,,,I thought it was labeled 'bat drag ' ,but it was a while back ....
My question is ...anyone have any advice on drills that can help fix this ?
Thanks in advance .....
Yes, that's bat drag.
Originally Posted by handyman11
Keep the elbow in its original position longer. She has to keep it up at the initiation of the shoulder turn. Also, she just has to have faith that the bat will get to the ball without any arm or hand action. Keep the hands in their original location at the start of the turn and don't push or pull the bat.
Tell her to just turn the shoulders and forget about the arms and hands. Leave the hands at the armpit and think of hitting the ball with your back shoulder. The old cue "keep the elbow up" is not totally incorrect. It just means to keep it up until rotation starts, don't drop it before rotation and don't make it drop, just let it take its natural path with the shoulder turn.
"Keep the hands back" is an old cue that is not totally incorrect either. It means let them turn with the shoulder and not move independently. The hands stay back at the shoulder until they naturally move. They cannot be pushed or pulled away from the armpit on their own.
Last edited by jbooth; 02-12-2006 at 07:39 PM.
You might consider posting a clip... all advice (mine included) is suspect - especially without actually seeing the swing. I think you mentioned working with Steve in one of your previous posts. Personally I'd start there.
Originally Posted by handyman11
My suggestion would be to review/work on her posture first. Those who stand tall seem most prone to dragging. Often a hitter that tilts the torso over the plate and sticks their butt out such that their swing plane is properly aligned at the beginning of their rotation will not drag the bat. (Properly aligned means bat perpendicular to the spine would meet the ball's path if all she does is rotate the torso around the spine.) You mentioned hands dropping - frequently another tell-tale sign of standing too erect. Drills include a long stick across the front of her shoulders/chest and hit a ball at varying tee heights to get the initial feel; lower the pitch, the more tilt. Once she has the idea, go to the bat off a tee, then soft toss, etc. while varying heights.
Assuming posture adjustments aren't the problem, the other thing is to make sure she understands that when she begins rotating, the knob should be moving with the body (staying connected) - bat draggers drop the bathead and the knob sits idle for a frame or two as the elbow tucks. Jim's suggestion to keep the front hand at the rear shoulder and think of hitting the ball with the back shoulder is a good one. Open-top-hand swings (front-arm swings with the rear hand just supporting) can help and might be worth a try.
Bat drag can be a pain to get rid of... I see a lot who improve quickly at practice but go back to it at game time, so film her game swings. Good luck.
Last edited by jsiggy; 02-13-2006 at 07:41 AM.
Thanks for the great advice .... I'm going to tape some live swings also , but you hit it right on the head when you say that the bat head drops while the elbow is tucking .... I'm still a novice with the video camera , but I'll try to post a clip , once I get a better understanding of using the camera ...