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  • When To Deal With Bat Drag?

    While I haven't videotaped my 8YO, 2nd grade, son's swing yet this year, I'm sure there's some bat drag in there. However, I'm reluctant to deal with it right now because he hit his first Home Run yesterday (a long line drive to CF that went over the CFer's head and just kept rolling).

    Needless to say, that was fun!

    It's the first HR any member of our family has ever hit.

    The bat drag isn't an issue b/c we're doing coach pitch right now and maybe for next year as well. After that, he's probably got a couple of years of kid pitch before the pitching velocity starts to become an issue.

    When would you start dealing with bat drag, understanding that if I deal with it too soon I'm going to rob him of some power due to the transition?
    Last edited by Chris O'Leary; 05-18-2008, 11:00 AM.
    Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

    I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

  • #2
    Coach pitch?? When did that start? When I was in LL as an 8yo, players pitched. Is this part of the "everyone gets a trophy" mentality?

    Congrats to your son on his homer
    See ball, hit ball.

    Comment


    • #3
      If he's hitting the ball hard I wouldn't mess with it. Since there is such a fine line between a great swing and bat drag you might screw something up if you aren't careful.

      Particularly at this age. Contact and fun. Hitting baseball's hard and far keeps them coming back. I don't know what the perfect age is to fix it.

      Incidentally there is a common misconception on "the internets" that so many youth sluggers are just bat drag killers, but in taping some of the 12-13 year old sluggers, I was surprised to see how many of the big power guys were not dragging the bat, and these kids' and their dads wouldn't even know what the term meant.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by PhilliesPhan22 View Post
        Coach pitch?? When did that start? When I was in LL as an 8yo, players pitched. Is this part of the "everyone gets a trophy" mentality?

        Congrats to your son on his homer
        My son plays little league coach pitch for two years. I believe the ages kind of overlap. Like coach pitch is 7,8 and 9. Minors is 9,10 and 11. I know my sons friend is 9 and had no experience in baseball. He played coach pitch and now is playing minors. He will be 10 next year but his coach told him that he can go and play coach pitch again next year. So I think it has to do with experience also? I dont know.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm in the same situation. My son's 7, and is finally putting things together and learning how to use his power. He hit his first homer yesterday as well, a line drive to right field. He was rounding third when the fastest outfielder finally got to it.

          I know for a fact he has some bat drag, but haven't even considered dealing with it until we get some other things ironed out.

          Very curious when you guys think is a good age to address this.

          Comment


          • #6
            It's too early to fix a flaw?

            My son is in his second year of coach pitch. He's actually only supposed to be in his first year, but I moved up from T-Ball early. He's 7, and will turn 8 in late June.

            He's suffering from several hitting flaws that I'm getting after now. Bat drag, or casting is maybe the most major one. He hits just about every ball to the left side. With most of them being grounders to third, due to his hands rolling over too soon (which can happen when the hands get away from the body.)

            He's getting on base, and most times hits the ball hard enough that third can't make a play. But, I'm trying to adjust him now. I figure the earlier he fixes the problem, the sooner he can settle into the swing he'll have for the rest of his career. The coach pitch years are the perfect time to work on things. Once a kid gets to the level that they're pitching to each other...it's going to be tougher to change something.

            Right now, you could work with him, and ask the coach pitching to him to throw it to the area that would be most helpful for him to work on the problem.

            Comment


            • #7
              Chris,

              Congratulations to your son and your family, what a great day! He will never forget this day. Did you save the ball?

              I do one drill to fix any drag problems, the batters press is magic for this age group!
              Primum non nocere

              Comment


              • #8
                I think that, like Jesse suggests, it depends on whether you've got more important issues to address first. But, I think it's a basic flaw that can be addressed without screwing up the other parts of his swing. But, in that age group, a more common problem is kids not loading up into the swing plane (or not loading at all), and I'd probably tackle that first if it's a problem.

                I think that one arm (bottom arm, that is) swing drills can be a nice way to gradually enhnace his swing and slip a young hitter away from bat drag. Also, hitting into a large, soft object (like a homemade version of a boxing "heavy" bag) can be a good way to check to see if that back/top arm elbow is too far forward (bad) or in a "power-L" (good) at contact.

                There's always a little room for improvement -- even for little sluggers with a big home run to their credit. Congrats to the Bambino!
                sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by PhilliesPhan22 View Post
                  Coach pitch?? When did that start? When I was in LL as an 8yo, players pitched. Is this part of the "everyone gets a trophy" mentality?
                  We're playing in a rec league (Catholic Youth Council) for his grade school.

                  There's no Little League around here (St. Louis, MO).

                  There is a local select league that is machine pitch or kid pitch at this age, but the kids from his grade who are on that team are playing in the gold level and are playing a ton of games, including tournaments.

                  We're not ready for that yet (nor do I think it's a good idea at this age).
                  Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

                  I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Encinitas View Post
                    If he's hitting the ball hard I wouldn't mess with it. Since there is such a fine line between a great swing and bat drag you might screw something up if you aren't careful. Particularly at this age. Contact and fun. Hitting baseball's hard and far keeps them coming back.
                    That's my thought.


                    Originally posted by Encinitas View Post
                    Incidentally there is a common misconception on "the internets" that so many youth sluggers are just bat drag killers, but in taping some of the 12-13 year old sluggers, I was surprised to see how many of the big power guys were not dragging the bat, and these kids' and their dads wouldn't even know what the term meant.
                    Good point.

                    I guess I should video him just to see exactly what's going on in his swing. He is a relatively strong kid and is swinging a 28/19, which is a little big and heavy of a bat for his age.

                    I'm just assuming there's bat drag in there, but I don't know for a fact.
                    Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

                    I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jesse View Post
                      Very curious when you guys think is a good age to address this.
                      Bat drag really became an issue for my older son last year in 12U/6th grade, and is the thing that forced me to educate myself on hitting, but in retrospect I think it was starting to affect him in 11U/5th grade.

                      We have been working on it a lot this year, with good results. His power isn't there yet, but he's not striking out very much and he's back to hitting the ball to all fields rather than pushing everything.
                      Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

                      I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ursa Major View Post
                        I think that, like Jesse suggests, it depends on whether you've got more important issues to address first. But, I think it's a basic flaw that can be addressed without screwing up the other parts of his swing. But, in that age group, a more common problem is kids not loading up into the swing plane (or not loading at all), and I'd probably tackle that first if it's a problem.
                        I haven't worked on loading at all with him, so he probably is leaving some power on the table.


                        Originally posted by Ursa Major View Post
                        I think that one arm (bottom arm, that is) swing drills can be a nice way to gradually enhnace his swing and slip a young hitter away from bat drag. Also, hitting into a large, soft object (like a homemade version of a boxing "heavy" bag) can be a good way to check to see if that back/top arm elbow is too far forward (bad) or in a "power-L" (good) at contact.

                        There's always a little room for improvement -- even for little sluggers with a big home run to their credit. Congrats to the Bambino!
                        I'll try the botom arm swings with both of my boys.

                        Thanks.
                        Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

                        I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dirtberry View Post
                          Chris,

                          Congratulations to your son and your family, what a great day! He will never forget this day. Did you save the ball?

                          I do one drill to fix any drag problems, the batters press is magic for this age group!
                          Could you please describe the "batters press"?

                          Also I am interested in other drills that you guys use to correct bat drag. I've seen alot of discussion of this issue in other threads but very little if any drills to help eliminate this from the swing.

                          TIA

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by STM4UA View Post
                            Also I am interested in other drills that you guys use to correct bat drag. I've seen alot of discussion of this issue in other threads but very little if any drills to help eliminate this from the swing.
                            I am working on a few things with my older son...

                            1. Turning the hands with the back should (e.g. establish, turn, and maintain the box) and other connection-related cues.

                            2. Not teaching him to slot the back elbow. We focus on keeping the hands connected to the back shoulder as long as possible and let the back elbow take care of itself.

                            3. Focusing on getting power from the core, and not the arms.

                            The bat on the delt/side of the shoulder drill has also helped with my older son, and he is using it as his game swing right now. As Mark H has implied, it probably IS costing him some power. However, right now I'm more concerned with shortening up his swing and focusing on making solid contact and hitting for average. His swinging K's were getting really bad last year, but we have pretty much eliminated that problem. His OBP is north of .850 right now, so I'm happy.

                            We'll add the power-producing stuff (e.g. load and weight shift) back in later this year or next year.
                            Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

                            I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              STM4UK,

                              The "batters press" is explained in the thread called, good indoor drills or
                              One armed drills....Worth doing?

                              Drag initiates from the break down of the hands at initial forward force application.
                              Last edited by Dirtberry; 05-19-2008, 10:04 AM.
                              Primum non nocere

                              Comment

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