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Need Help Correcting 8 Year-old's "Golf" Swing

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  • Need Help Correcting 8 Year-old's "Golf" Swing

    I've got a terrific, little athlete on my team that's struggling at the plate - he loads, strides and then drops his bat head resulting in an uppercut swing - back shoulder low, front shoulder high. He's convinced that swinging up is the only way to get the ball into the air.

    Before I totally mess him up, considering the he's an 8 year-old, do you have any ideas or easily absorbable tips or drills that I could put him through to correct this flaw? I realize that a proper swing is a complicated beast, but this is a rec team and my time with him is limited. We got the load and stride down - how do I direct him to a proper swing path?

    Thanks in advance for your input.

  • #2
    A little uppercut is actually a good thing... it would be nice to have some video here for the experts to weigh in on whether this guy is uppercutting too much or not.

    Comment


    • #3
      "He's convinced that swinging up is the only way to get the ball into the air."

      He understands physics better than the folks that have told kids you have strike down on the ball to get a back spin that will create a line drive.

      Drills...
      I love the tee. Put the ball in the kids sweet spot. Usually thigh high, just in front of the plate, right where the meat of the bat should connect with the ball. This helps to correct swings because they see the results.

      For the kid that has too much uppercut, he sees the blooper pop-ups.

      For the kid that swings like he has an axe, he sees driving down leads to grounders.

      For the kid that has it just right he sees the line drives as they come off the tee. They might not leave the infield, but that's a matter of strength and getting the lower half behind the swing.

      Comment


      • #4
        [QUOTE=JCincy;2012984Drills...
        I love the tee. Put the ball in the kids sweet spot. Usually thigh high, just in front of the plate, right where the meat of the bat should connect with the ball. This helps to correct swings because they see the results.[/QUOTE]

        I totally agree. Tee work is great. While sometimes we place the tee behind a backstop and hit into the fence while someone else takes live pitching, I think they get a better idea if you place the tee where they can see the actual results of their contact.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Melliman View Post
          he loads, strides and then drops his bat head resulting in an uppercut swing - back shoulder low, front shoulder high. He's convinced that swinging up is the only way to get the ball into the air.
          You just described an MLB swing.

          Is he dropping his hands as he strides to toe touch? (my guess) Make sure his hands are going to his armpit/shoulder as he strides forward.
          efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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          • #6


            This animation, used repeatedly on this site, has been one of my favorites to use as a benchmark for analyzing my own youth player swings. I think I like it because of the visual reference of the swing plane (the disk.) The most important points that I take from it:

            1) The spine is tilted during the swing (to varying degrees) based on the height of the pitch. The key drill point is to have player work on tilting more for lower pitches - not dropping the hands off plane. One of the worst coaching cues of my (ignorant) past was telling players to "stand tall" etc. - leading players to try to swing around a vertical spine orientation. If they try to hold a vertical spine angle throug the swing, then even the player with the most average of athletic ability will make subconscious adjustments with the hands (dropping them off the optimum plane) to make contact with the pitch.

            2) The plane of the swing is set by the relation of the lead arm to the shoulders. At the front side armpit, there should be roughly a 90 degree angle between the arm and the torso. Starting the hands near the rear arm pit is a good place to begin this set up. Again, as the pitch height varies, the batter tilts spine to meet it - lead arm / hands never leave this shoulder plane.

            3) Note that (to the player) this swing style can still meet some of the popular swing cues. The key combination is the spine tilt. Lots of folks say "swing down on the ball", when in reality the optimum swing plane used by the best hitters is an upward path (at and after contact.) However, the swing shown in this animation can "feel" like swinging down in the beginning as the rear shoulder turns the hands from the 9 o'clock to the 6 o'clock position (if viewing the swing plane disc as a clock face with 12 o'clock directly behind the head/spine.) You've just got to realize that the tilt of the spine turns this same "downward" path into an upward one from the 6 o'clock position on through.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by UAME View Post


              This animation, used repeatedly on this site, has been one of my favorites to use as a benchmark for analyzing my own youth player swings. I think I like it because of the visual reference of the swing plane (the disk.) The most important points that I take from it:

              1) The spine is tilted during the swing (to varying degrees) based on the height of the pitch. The key drill point is to have player work on tilting more for lower pitches - not dropping the hands off plane. One of the worst coaching cues of my (ignorant) past was telling players to "stand tall" etc. - leading players to try to swing around a vertical spine orientation. If they try to hold a vertical spine angle throug the swing, then even the player with the most average of athletic ability will make subconscious adjustments with the hands (dropping them off the optimum plane) to make contact with the pitch.

              2) The plane of the swing is set by the relation of the lead arm to the shoulders. At the front side armpit, there should be roughly a 90 degree angle between the arm and the torso. Starting the hands near the rear arm pit is a good place to begin this set up. Again, as the pitch height varies, the batter tilts spine to meet it - lead arm / hands never leave this shoulder plane.

              3) Note that (to the player) this swing style can still meet some of the popular swing cues. The key combination is the spine tilt. Lots of folks say "swing down on the ball", when in reality the optimum swing plane used by the best hitters is an upward path (at and after contact.) However, the swing shown in this animation can "feel" like swinging down in the beginning as the rear shoulder turns the hands from the 9 o'clock to the 6 o'clock position (if viewing the swing plane disc as a clock face with 12 o'clock directly behind the head/spine.) You've just got to realize that the tilt of the spine turns this same "downward" path into an upward one from the 6 o'clock position on through.
              The animation is from Paul Nyman
              "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


              • #8
                Originally posted by UAME View Post
                One of the worst coaching cues of my (ignorant) past was telling players to "stand tall" etc. - leading players to try to swing around a vertical spine orientation.
                Do you know why people use this cue? What were you thinking? What did you think you were fixing?

                I ask because I hear lots of people say this, and see it have similar problems, but I'm not sure why they are saying it.
                Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chris O'Leary View Post
                  Do you know why people use this cue? What were you thinking? What did you think you were fixing?

                  I ask because I hear lots of people say this, and see it have similar problems, but I'm not sure why they are saying it.
                  I probably used "stand tall" most often as a counter-thought to swings where either the player:

                  a) pre-pitch, sets stance with the back side collapsed (front shoulder set noticeably higher than the rear, bat laid off and back almost assuming a drag position)

                  b) during the swing, allows back side to collapse (spine tilted toward catcher more than over the plate) and rotates around the REAR leg rather than the front one

                  I don't know if that's an adequate description, except I know that I tend to say "Stand Tall!" when I want a player to show more "ownership" of the batter's box and orient the swing toward the plate or pitcher rather than fall off the plate or backwards.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I had this problem with some of my kids and I bought this big blue thing from amazon that was like a sideways U where you could adjust the angle of their swing plane. I think its called a "griffey tee" The kids hated it at 1st but its actually one of their favorite toys now

                    Comment

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