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  • Hitting Drills

    Guys,

    I read lots of references on this board to various hitting drills, but quite often I don't have any idea what you guys are talking about. For instacne the "behind the back drill," what is that? I have never heard that expression before. I must have had pretty lousy coaches! So for everyone's benefit could you folks chime in on what drills you use, and how they are performed?

    Thanks,

    Tom

  • #2
    Tom,
    I would recommend Turtle Thomas DVD. He's a hitting coach at LSU. If you Google his name you should find it. His forte is hitting drills. I would not mind you borrowing mine for a few days, but I would like them back right away.

    If you go to Andy he can give you a bunch....
    "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
    - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
    Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

    Comment


    • #3
      "Behind the back drill" is one where kids take a bat and hold it horizontally behind their lower back, resting it in the crook of their elbows (the arms dangle down and are slightly bent, with the forearms held up enough to keep the bat from sliding). Then, the kids practice their lower body mechanics, particularly their rotation. It's just a common drill to isolate the lower body so that its mechanics can be focused on.

      A variation is to have the kid hold a very long (say 4 to 5 feet long) stick in the same position and stand in front of a tee. If the kid's posture is good when he rotates, he can knock the ball off the tee. This adds the additional teaching elements of posture and keeping the head in (because you make contact at a later point in your rotation than you would in a normal swing).

      Their are numerous sites where you can get drills. Some people poo-poo it as old fashioned (i.e., too linear), but Dusty Baker's site has the behind the bat drill and a bunch of other free video clips available here: http://digitalsun.us/dusty/interface.php
      Last edited by Ursa Major; 02-01-2006, 01:49 PM.
      sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Ursa Major
        "Behind the back drill" is one where kids take a bat and hold it horizontally behind their lower back, resting it in the crook of their elbows (the arms dangle down and are slightly bent, with the forearms held up enough to keep the bat from sliding). Then, the kids practice their lower body mechanics, particularly their rotation. It's just a common drill to isolate the lower body so that its mechanics can be focused on.

        A variation is to have the kid hold a very long (say 4 to 5 feet long) stick in the same position and stand in front of a tee. If the kid's posture is good when he rotates, he can knock the ball off the tee. This adds the additional teaching elements of posture and keeping the head in (because you make contact at a later point in your rotation than you would in a normal swing).

        Their are numerous sites where you can get drills. Some people poo-poo it as old fashioned (i.e., too linear), but Dusty Baker's site has the behind the bat drill and a bunch of other free video clips available here: http://digitalsun.us/dusty/interface.php
        Duhh, don't I feel stupid! I have done and used that drill many times.

        Comment


        • #5
          Haven't gone through them in some time, but eteamz has a whole bunch of drills listed:
          http://eteamz.active.com/baseball/in...fm?m=1,2,3,4,5

          Comment


          • #6
            Tadlock

            I was interested in your son casting. You must go long with the arms early to cast. If your arms go long they stay long and the swing radius be long. If you get to toe touch with a bent lead elbow and cocked hands you will have a short radius swing that connects to the core move

            Put his hands in front of the right collar bone and bottom hand under top. Lead elbow down by side and rear elbow up. Have the bat tipping to pitcher and in front of helmet not behind his back.

            Tell him to hit a ball off the tee and do whatever he wants. BUT he must start there.

            He should not cast from there. Your dead on ...his hands must stay in his arm pit area with bent elbows through the load/bend/ stride

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by swingbuster
              Tadlock

              I was interested in your son casting. You must go long with the arms early to cast. If your arms go long they stay long and the swing radius be long. If you get to toe touch with a bent lead elbow and cocked hands you will have a short radius swing that connects to the core move

              Put his hands in front of the right collar bone and bottom hand under top. Lead elbow down by side and rear elbow up. Have the bat tipping to pitcher and in front of helmet not behind his back.

              Tell him to hit a ball off the tee and do whatever he wants. BUT he must start there.

              He should not cast from there. Your dead on ...his hands must stay in his arm pit area with bent elbows through the load/bend/ stride
              It's been raining all day so we couldn't do much around here. I've grabbed a thunderstick that is always by my side for me to try and mock what folks on the board are saying. Is there a clip or illustration of what you are talking about? From what I can gather, with the bat starting in front it is hard to get a good plane path to the ball. The other day when working out, I tied a bungy cord around the bat and around his upper torso (under the arm pits) to try and keep him connected. Keep in mind, this is also my six year old son and is still having a hard time understanding the language so we go over things in slo-motion and try a build up to speed approach. When the weather clears, we'll try this drill to see if it gives him the "connected" feeling.

              Comment


              • #8
                That starting position will make his hands go back and turn over in the pitch plane without barring out long. Even Pujols said" that his hand set "starting point was the key to his swing".

                I say ...His hips and shoulders will lead, support, and power his intended hand path. That is the way to learn it.

                Previous post

                Getting the bat out of plane on purpose forces the hands to move back , the bat to flatten, as you launch and is what increases torque and bat speed through hips shoulder separation. The barrel will get acclerated back behind the body in aperfect circle. Why doesn't the pitcher just start with this hand back in the throwing position , turn and throw. What is the purpose of over lapping the upperbody take away and the lower body hips rotation to the plate

                Starting on the 45 works for some and for some they are actually too quick to the ball and tug the knob. It is hard to project the barrel from there. You also have a tendency to start early and more difficulty with offspeed.

                Again see Babe Ruth, Bo Jackson, Chipper, Kirby Puckett, Piazza, Giambi,Glaus. If you look close many start on 45, lower the lead elbow, cocking and making the bat go out of plane toward vertical and return to the 45 slot( as always ) at launch. Their hips **** , shoulders load, bat knob comes out toward oppo batter box, the barrel is perp to to ball flight.

                www.youthbaseballcoaching.com

                when you cross the bag from 2b to trun a double play from ss you have the top hand in front of your collar bone. Where does it go next. Your right...back and inside as your hips open to 1B...same thing will happen when he swings the bat.

                Follow the thread that is beginning and you will get the icing on the cake. Don't be mislead totally by the gurus at large. You need something you can take in the backyard that works for a kid that is already programed in his body

                http://www.batspeed.com/messageboard/
                Last edited by swingbuster; 02-01-2006, 06:14 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  URSA-

                  Thanks for the link to Dusty's site.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ursa Major
                    "Behind the back drill" is one where kids take a bat and hold it horizontally behind their lower back, resting it in the crook of their elbows (the arms dangle down and are slightly bent, with the forearms held up enough to keep the bat from sliding). Then, the kids practice their lower body mechanics, particularly their rotation. It's just a common drill to isolate the lower body so that its mechanics can be focused on.

                    A variation is to have the kid hold a very long (say 4 to 5 feet long) stick in the same position and stand in front of a tee. If the kid's posture is good when he rotates, he can knock the ball off the tee. This adds the additional teaching elements of posture and keeping the head in (because you make contact at a later point in your rotation than you would in a normal swing).

                    Their are numerous sites where you can get drills. Some people poo-poo it as old fashioned (i.e., too linear), but Dusty Baker's site has the behind the bat drill and a bunch of other free video clips available here: http://digitalsun.us/dusty/interface.php
                    I can't believe you actually would consider doing anything Dusty Baker says. That is how hitters hit in the late 70's through the late 80's and if you ask any of the SABRmetric guys on this site, they will tell you that batting averages and power numbers in that period were the lowest in the history of the game. Never before and never since have the numbers been so low. In MY opinion it's because for some unknown reason hitters actually thought that was an improved way to swing. Nobody swings like that anymore. Those demos on that site make me cringe worse than watching the Dave Hudgens videos. If you truly want to be the worst hitter in your league; do those drills. The power numbers from the mid 90's to now are higher than ever and I believe it's because everybody has gone back to the swings prior to the 70's with some new found improvements.
                    Last edited by jbooth; 02-01-2006, 09:03 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      JBooth said: I can't believe you actually would consider doing anything Dusty Baker says. That is how hitters hit in the late 70's through the late 80's and if you ask any of the SABRmatric guys on this site, they will tell you that batting averages and power numbers in that period were the lowest in the history of the game. Never before and never since have the numbers been so low. In MY opinion it's because for some unknown reason hitters actually thought that was an improved way to swing. Nobody swings like that anymore. Those demos on that site make me cringe worse than watching the Dave Hudgens videos. If truly want to be the worst hitter in your league; do those drills.
                      Jim, don't ever become a wanted criminal on the lam. Why? Because the FBI just needs to come to me and I'll know exactly what to post on hitting sites to make you come up from underground: "Dave Hudgens is one smart dude! Listen to Dusty Baker!" And you were exactly who I was thinking of as one of the poo-pooers.

                      I admit I didn't look back at the other drills before posting. I just wanted to confirm that the site had a demonstration of the behind-the-back drill in case my explanation was weak. And, I had the impression Tom wanted something simple for younger kids. Now that I go back and look at it, the instruction is pretty horrible. It's not the drills that are so horrible, but the acceptable swings that go with it. That girl in the fence drill does look like a bad extra from League of their Own, lunging the way she is.

                      So, Tominct, I apologize if I misled you into thinking that the swings depicted are what you want to aim at, or if Dusty's instruction is worth listening to. I think it's helpful in a way to look at some of those swings, because when you hear some of the tips in these recent threads and everything seems to make so much sense and be so obvious, you start to forget that there are people out there who think that those old-fashioned swings are acceptable.

                      Now Jim, shut up and help me to correct the really dangerous drill addressed in my next post.
                      Last edited by Ursa Major; 02-01-2006, 09:23 PM.
                      sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Swingbuster said: Put his hands in front of the right collar bone and bottom hand under top. Lead elbow down by side and rear elbow up. Have the bat tipping to pitcher and in front of helmet not behind his back.

                        Tell him to hit a ball off the tee and do whatever he wants. BUT he must start there.
                        Why in heaven's name would he want to do any drill with that kind of hand position??? There's no way he can be in the swing plane with that kind of start. And how does it prevent casting, which by definition involves to much use of the hands too soon. This drill promotes exactly that, albeit in a worse plane that in a "casted" swing.
                        sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Why in heaven's name would he want to do any drill with that kind of hand position??? There's no way he can be in the swing plane with that kind of start. And how does it prevent casting, which by definition involves to much use of the hands too soon. This drill promotes exactly that, albeit in a worse plane that in a "casted" swing.

                          Most great players are not in the swing plane with their lead shoulder on the load. In fact it prevents proper loading for many. You will see in that hand position that the lead shoulder will be down against the body relaxed as it should be. It will come up into the pitch plane after the load on approach to the ball


                          YOur exactly right about he couldn't possible hit from there AS he would wrist bind for sure. He will make the plane adjustment during his load/stride. The final product will be inside out , lead arm connected and casting gone.

                          The point is that you can be out of plane when you brain signals hit. Then you will take you hands back and reposition them naturally as you stride to hit . The hands can cock out of plane and then turn over into plane . The hips will get a few frames ahead of the shoulders and you will have some overlap in the load/ unload cycle. Many great hitter had their bats almost vertical in a weighless setup...bottom hand under top. The barrel can transition downward ( vertical to flatter) easily in the swing and many GOOD thing happen as evidenced by the HOF players that did it in one form or another.

                          Look at Bo Jackson, T williams, Puckett, Sosa, Bagwell( throws bat tip to 2B as did Ruth to ss) AAron Pujols, Bergmon, tejada, sheffield Chipper ...list to long that work bottom hand under top during load

                          Thread and images

                          http://s6.invisionfree.com/Hitting/i...240&st=0&#last


                          Yaz..watch his hands go from vertical stacked back on plane during the loading of the shoulder

                          http://dmcmillan.topcities.com/Yaz.gif

                          Watch Ruth's bat go out of plane

                          http://dmcmillan.topcities.com/ruth.gif

                          He will stop casting because he will do the right thing with this arms and hands in the preswing. You cannot tell a kid to stop doing something. YOu replace it with something else and he will stop immediately. I can stop him in 12 swings with a better hand set. The childs rotation will have begun when he gets his hands on plane and his lead shoulder will be engaged and in rotation and he will stop trying to hit the ball with his arms and hands. The fix is not what you think it is with all this restrictive tee drill. When you apply plane transition you will be inside /out ...guaranteed. Better try it before you know who gets here. He is left handed and they don't understand RH hitters well

                          Also...if that doesn't suit you...I have never seen a kid cast that formed the proper box, kept the lead elbow behind belly button and got to foot plant maintaining that box in that position. I would say it would be impossible to cast from there.

                          You cannot cast is you land in a torqued position and there are several wats to get there. Most kids casting have their lead elbow toward the front pocket at toe touch
                          Last edited by swingbuster; 02-02-2006, 05:16 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            [/QUOTE]
                            Also...if that doesn't suit you...I have never seen a kid cast that formed the proper box, kept the lead elbow behind belly button and got to foot plant maintaining that box in that position. I would say it would be impossible to cast from there.

                            You cannot cast is you land in a torqued position and there are several wats to get there. Most kids casting have their lead elbow toward the front pocket at toe touch[/QUOTE]

                            I am having a hard time visualizing, "keeping the lead elbow behind the belly button". Could ou help me?

                            I guess your taking about as one "loads" his box should be back far enough that the elbow of the left arm (for right handed hitters) should be farther back than the belly button. Is this correct?

                            Tom

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Right ..if the lead elbow is behind the belly button as you stirde the front foot open 45 you WILL HAVE TORQUE

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