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Mechanics - 5 yr old w/ stiff front arm

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  • Mechanics - 5 yr old w/ stiff front arm

    Three questions:
    1. What are the disadvantages of a stiff front arm?
    2. What is a good drill to correct it?
    3. Should it be changed if kid is hitting well?

    Basically, my son sets up with a stiff front arm (across his chest) when hitting. However, he's the best hitter on the team in regards to consistant contact and power. If I've noticed anything, it's that he hits a lot to right field...however it's allowed for multiple in the park homeruns as that's the weak side of the field. Should it be changed? Below is all his hits from last fall for reference:

    http://youtu.be/G4PmY9UBxLY

  • #2
    I can't see anything on the video. But, based on what you describe, this is called arm bar, and (the simple answer) is caused by the hands leaving the armpit/shoulder too soon.
    efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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    • #3
      Songtitle - thanks for the quick response and putting a name to the problem - "Arm Barring". The first 2-3 at bats in the video are shot from a distance. The rest of the hits are from behind the hitter and you can somewhat see it.

      Son starts his swing out, from the stance, with an arm bar. He has good hip rotation and form otherwise, and actually hits the ball pretty solid. There's not been a kid hit one out in our t-ball league in 7 years, and in our first practice he hit two off the fence. I'd hate to mess with the swing since it works, but wonder if he'd have that much more power w/out the arm bar.

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      • #4
        IMO, don't mess with it.

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        • #5
          Wow they let you guys use big barrels???? Don't mess with it. Only thing is that arm bar. That swing will last till 10 or 11. Even in travel ball.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Onebigwhitevan View Post
            Wow they let you guys use big barrels???? Don't mess with it. Only thing is that arm bar. That swing will last till 10 or 11. Even in travel ball.
            Yeah, we can use big barrels as long as they don't say "Coach Pitch" on the bat...not sure why they can't say "Coach Pitch". The bat in that vid is a Rawlings 5150 26/16. We got an Easton XL3 27/17 for him this year and the balls coming off a lot better. Huge difference actually.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by utseay View Post
              Songtitle - thanks for the quick response and putting a name to the problem - "Arm Barring". The first 2-3 at bats in the video are shot from a distance. The rest of the hits are from behind the hitter and you can somewhat see it.

              Son starts his swing out, from the stance, with an arm bar. He has good hip rotation and form otherwise, and actually hits the ball pretty solid. There's not been a kid hit one out in our t-ball league in 7 years, and in our first practice he hit two off the fence. I'd hate to mess with the swing since it works, but wonder if he'd have that much more power w/out the arm bar.

              He's 5 yrs old. Relax and enjoy all the hits he is producing.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tradosaurus View Post
                He's 5 yrs old. Relax and enjoy all the hits he is producing.
                lol, good point. Which I am, I just wanted to get some opinions on if I should pause in between my enjoyment and try to fix anything before it became a long term habit.

                Besides teaching him to stand up straight, use door knocking knuckles, and keep a wide stance (no long step) his swing is naturally good. He uses great hip rotation and finishes his swing well. Trying to teach / explain hip rotation to some of the other kids on the team has proven difficult.

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                • #9
                  Explain hip rotation to a 5 year old?? Really?? lol...how about just going out and throwing them the ball and letting them be kids??

                  And for the record, knocking knuckles are not necessary or always used at the higher levels so you can scrap that too...maybe rings...but I see lots of box as well.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Coach of Twins View Post
                    Explain hip rotation to a 5 year old?? Really?? lol...how about just going out and throwing them the ball and letting them be kids??

                    And for the record, knocking knuckles are not necessary or always used at the higher levels so you can scrap that too...maybe rings...but I see lots of box as well.
                    Well, by hip rotation, I mean he doesn't just swing with his upper body, which I see a lot at that age. That's not something I taught him, he just does it. And why would that comment lead you to believe I don't throw with him and have fun? This is a forum to ask questions, not come on here and tell you all the fun stuff my son and I do. But I can share that with you too if you have a few hours to spare.

                    Can you explain your rings and lots of box comment? I was taught to use door knocking knuckles in high school. Are you saying the term is old, or the technique?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Coach of Twins View Post
                      Explain hip rotation to a 5 year old?? Really?? lol...how about just going out and throwing them the ball and letting them be kids??
                      I think at this age, that hip rotation and intent to hit the ball hard seem to go together. A kid who is goes up there trying to knock the ball over the fence is going to get his hips engaged, but a kid who is tenatively brushing the ball off of the tee will be lacking in hip rotation.

                      With time and reps, I think all kids eventually get on board with hip rotation, some more and some less.

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                      • #12
                        Door knocking knuckles are 'taught' by most everyone but are only used by 1 or 2 MLB players. Skip it.

                        Keeping the back 'elbow slot' (connected to the back hip) will go a long way toward ensuring hip rotation. Ignore bug squishing and other 'leg' cues.
                        efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by songtitle View Post
                          . . . ensuring hip rotation. Ignore xxx xxxxxxxxx and other 'leg' cues.
                          Hmmmm, that's interesting, I think you're the first person I've ever met, who can rotate his hips without using his legs.

                          Sure would love to see video of a player of yours, that rotates his hip(s) without the help of his legs......cuz I can't seem recall a single MLB, or any other decent hitter that does it.

                          To the OP.......he's five, leave him be and let him have fun. Ain't a single thing that he could pick up now, or in the next five to seven years for that matter, that can't be corrected later, if it does supposedly turn into a "bad habit".
                          Last edited by mudvnine; 03-07-2012, 12:06 AM.
                          In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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                          • #14
                            Age 5, I'd leave the arm bar alone.
                            Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pthawaii View Post
                              Age 5, I'd leave the arm bar alone.
                              Thanks for all your opinions. I'll leave it be.

                              He and I get bored often, and spend a lot of time at the field in the spring (i.e. two team practices a week, then he and I may be down there two or three other days a week just goofing off). Changing something would be as easy as mentioning it to him from time to time.

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