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Trying to evaluate a 9U swing

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  • Trying to evaluate a 9U swing

    Now that my boy's season is over, I'm trying to break down his swing from the few videos I have from this season to find things to work on. It's so busy during the season that I find it's easier to correct his swing in the off season. One thing that shoots out at me after watching video is that he needs to improve extending through the swing. He doesn't seem to be finishing his swing well. I was hoping that a different set of eyes would see things that he can work on that I don't see. I know there are some experienced coaches/dads here who have a good eye for hitting mechanics. He recently turned 9. Thanks.

    [/QUOTE]

  • #2
    At toe touch, he looks good.

    From toe touch to 'elbow at back hip', he looks good.

    At this point, he looks better than 90% of players.

    Then, instead of rotating around (with his head still), he bends over (forward) at the waist. It's very very close to the right thing.

    Maybe just have him take swings (without a bat) in front of a mirror, so he can see it happening.

    If this doesn't fix it, maybe just let him go for another season and try again. He's very close.
    Last edited by songtitle; 07-08-2012, 10:35 AM.
    efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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    • #3
      very good swing for that age. seems like he swings down through contact though
      I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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      • #4
        Pretty nice swing for his age. I love his free swinging attitude. He is arm barring his front elbow and not getting extension once his hips face the pitcher. In essence his power is going to his right instead of up the middle. Have him keep his front elbow bent and the back elbow near his back hip until the hips face the pitcher and then let the hands explode toward the pitcher.

        This is causing him to get a lot of hits off the handle instead of the barrel
        Last edited by Baseball gLove; 07-08-2012, 01:54 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CoolHandLuke View Post
          Now that my boy's season is over, I'm trying to break down his swing from the few videos I have from this season to find things to work on. It's so busy during the season that I find it's easier to correct his swing in the off season. One thing that shoots out at me after watching video is that he needs to improve extending through the swing. He doesn't seem to be finishing his swing well. I was hoping that a different set of eyes would see things that he can work on that I don't see. I know there are some experienced coaches/dads here who have a good eye for hitting mechanics. He recently turned 9. Thanks.

          IMO, that's a darn good swing. Not perfect, but he's 9.

          The reason his finish looks off is because he is not throwing the barrel at the ball. He is bringing the bat around with tight, locked hands. He isn't getting the top hand through. In high level swings the hands are lined up at contact, but the top hand is in the process of getting in front of the bottom hand. After contact the top hand should be in front of the bottom one. He is pushing the bat through contact instead of throwing it.

          Watch Bonds' top hand move through contact and past the bottom hand.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by songtitle View Post
            At toe touch, he looks good.

            From toe touch to 'elbow at back hip', he looks good.

            At this point, he looks better than 90% of players.

            Then, instead of rotating around (with his head still), he bends over (forward) at the waist. It's very very close to the right thing.

            Maybe just have him take swings (without a bat) in front of a mirror, so he can see it happening.

            If this doesn't fix it, maybe just let him go for another season and try again. He's very close.
            Agree....it is too close to perfect to start screwing around and making it worse...especially considering the age

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            • #7
              He looks good, I wouldn't touch this swing... I wouldn't be concerned with his lead arm at all. It has flexion... I think what you're seeing is a young kid with minimal strength because of his age. Good approach to hitting.

              Good luck.
              I don't like my balls to smell like pickles.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jbooth View Post
                Watch Bonds' top hand move through contact and past the bottom hand.
                Cool, you might have him take some easy dry swings (with no ball) and try to swing (his hands) from shoulder to shoulder.
                efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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                • #9
                  Here is my son 12U slightly early, but he is able to square up on the ball

                  http://s282.photobucket.com/albums/k...seball2006.mp4

                  The GIF clip is when he was 8 years old.
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the feedback. A lot of good stuff there to think about.

                    Originally posted by songtitle View Post
                    Then, instead of rotating around (with his head still), he bends over (forward) at the waist.
                    I'm seeing this too, he's definately leaning forward with his top half. I think he's being impatient and trying to go get the ball instead of letting it come to him. I definately need to address this.

                    Originally posted by Baseball gLove View Post
                    Have him keep his front elbow bent and the back elbow near his back hip until the hips face the pitcher and then let the hands explode toward the pitcher.
                    I agree that he needs to let his hands travel toward the pitcher farther prior to rollover. I just have to find a que or drill to encourage this move.

                    Originally posted by jbooth View Post
                    The reason his finish looks off is because he is not throwing the barrel at the ball. He is bringing the bat around with tight, locked hands. He isn't getting the top hand through... He is pushing the bat through contact instead of throwing it.
                    I'm seeing this too. I actually tried to get him to loosen his wrists and get a more hinged action to contact but for some reason his wrists don't seem to have the flexion that I would expect. He has limited range of motion for that wrist action, maybe have him skipping rocks at the lake will help. I'm hoping this is due to his age but not sure if that's it. I always assumed you lose flexibility as you get older.

                    Originally posted by Bolts-Baseball View Post
                    I wouldn't be concerned with his lead arm at all. It has flexion... I think what you're seeing is a young kid with minimal strength because of his age.
                    I've been getting on him about extending that lead arm further out and finishing higher over his shoulder. I haven't considered the possibility that he's just physically not strong enough to do it. I'll cut him some slack, but I would love for him to be able to have a higher finish to facilitate a better swing plane.

                    Originally posted by songtitle View Post
                    Cool, you might have him take some easy dry swings (with no ball) and try to swing (his hands) from shoulder to shoulder.
                    I just had him to this. His range of extension looked to be lacking when I have him keep both hands on the bat, he's so used to top hand release. I may have him practice for a while with both hands on and see if this helps him.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CoolHandLuke View Post

                      I agree that he needs to let his hands travel toward the pitcher farther prior to rollover. I just have to find a que or drill to encourage this move.
                      I wouldn't do that.

                      I'm seeing this too. I actually tried to get him to loosen his wrists and get a more hinged action to contact but for some reason his wrists don't seem to have the flexion that I would expect. He has limited range of motion for that wrist action, maybe have him skipping rocks at the lake will help. I'm hoping this is due to his age but not sure if that's it. I always assumed you lose flexibility as you get older.
                      I don't think it's anatomical. He's probably been told not to roll before, or into contact, and he's just holding the "axe to a tree" position too long.

                      I've been getting on him about extending that lead arm further out and finishing higher over his shoulder. I haven't considered the possibility that he's just physically not strong enough to do it. I'll cut him some slack, but I would love for him to be able to have a higher finish to facilitate a better swing plane.
                      Extension is a follow through. You shouldn't force extension. It happens AFTER contact. If he throws the barrel and gets the top hand through and simply lets his hands go, they will follow through.

                      I just had him to this. His range of extension looked to be lacking when I have him keep both hands on the bat, he's so used to top hand release. I may have him practice for a while with both hands on and see if this helps him.
                      Get him a tee-ball bat, and choke up on it, and have him just use his right hand and learn to throw the barrel. Tuck the back elbow into his back hip and have him throw the barrel by taking his hand from back shoulder to front shoulder. Do it with easy swings, so he feels the barrel pull his hands after the contact point. The elbow should release and extend naturally. The palm should be facing down when it gets to his front shoulder. Up at the contact point and down at the end.

                      Don't hit any balls or use the tee at first. Just swing through the air and get the feel of the top hand throwing the barrel and the hand going to the front shoulder. Do NOT push the elbow to extension. Let it release as part of the follow through.

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                      • #12
                        Get him a tee-ball bat, and choke up on it, and have him just use his right hand and learn to throw the barrel. Tuck the back elbow into his back hip and have him throw the barrel by taking his hand from back shoulder to front shoulder. Do it with easy swings, so he feels the barrel pull his hands after the contact point. The elbow should release and extend naturally. The palm should be facing down when it gets to his front shoulder. Up at the contact point and down at the end.

                        Don't hit any balls or use the tee at first. Just swing through the air and get the feel of the top hand throwing the barrel and the hand going to the front shoulder. Do NOT push the elbow to extension. Let it release as part of the follow through.
                        I'm much more a fan of "turning the barrel" than "throwing the barrel", but if you're going to throw the barrel, I would forget the top hand only swing with a small bat (for a 9U) and literally THROW the bat while swinging. Much more effective in teaching the path.

                        But, in general, I'm lukewarm on throwing the barrel. I think the language of "throwing" (hey it's just like a sidearm throw) is effective for young kids understanding the action, but focusing on pull backs and turning the barrel with the rear elbow going toward the hip in order for the top hand to turn; the whip effect.

                        Basically, I prefer the HI method/teaching to Yeager (throw the barrel).

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CircleChange11 View Post
                          I'm much more a fan of "turning the barrel" than "throwing the barrel", but if you're going to throw the barrel, I would forget the top hand only swing with a small bat (for a 9U) and literally THROW the bat while swinging. Much more effective in teaching the path.

                          But, in general, I'm lukewarm on throwing the barrel. I think the language of "throwing" (hey it's just like a sidearm throw) is effective for young kids understanding the action, but focusing on pull backs and turning the barrel with the rear elbow going toward the hip in order for the top hand to turn; the whip effect.

                          Basically, I prefer the HI method/teaching to Yeager (throw the barrel).
                          The problem with turn the barrel, is that no MLB hitter who has ever played the game, or is playing, does that. But, hey what do they know?

                          When I explained and showed the HI "turn the barrel action" to HOFer, Orlando Cepeda, he just said, "Did this guy ever PLAY? Why are you even talking to this guy? Stop talking to him."

                          If you think that's correct and it's working, fine, but I'm not going to debate it with you. I'll take Orlando's advice. I know it doesn't work that way, and I'll take Orlando's confirmation of that, and the research of Yeager who has a PhD in human movement, over what you or anyone else thinks they see or feel.

                          Every MLB hitter says keep the barrel up, lag it, and throw it. I've NEVER heard any of them say they turn the barrel rearward immediately.

                          I'm not going to debate it anymore, or try to prove it to you. I'm just saying what I believe, and that it can be proven. If you believe something else, so be it.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jbooth View Post
                            The problem with turn the barrel, is that no MLB hitter who has ever played the game, or is playing, does that. But, hey what do they know?
                            Seriously?

                            When I explained and showed the HI "turn the barrel action" to HOFer, Orlando Cepeda, he just said, "Did this guy ever PLAY? Why are you even talking to this guy? Stop talking to him."
                            Firstly, I'm not interested in Cepeda's comments on your explanation/demonstration of the action, for the same reasons I don;t want to be involved in a discussion where I only hear one side of a divorce. I'm going to hear a lot of info and almost all of it is going to be biased, jaded, and possibly inaccurate.

                            Almost every MLB hitter "tips" the barrel as they bring the hands back. Which direction does the barrel move right after this? As the rear elbow moves toward the rear hip and the front elbow raises? No matter whether one explains it as "turning the barrel" or "throwing the hands" the barrel moves the same way. The terminology and teaching methods differ. The barrel movement of the MLB hitter is the same.

                            If you think that's correct and it's working, fine, but I'm not going to debate it with you. I'll take Orlando's advice. I know it doesn't work that way, and I'll take Orlando's confirmation of that, and the research of Yeager who has a PhD in human movement, over what you or anyone else thinks they see or feel.
                            I don't want you to debate it with me. But, I would prefer to stop appealing to authority based on what one batter of Viva El Birdos said to you in response to YOUR explanation of the turning action. It's disingenuous, IMO.

                            Every MLB hitter says keep the barrel up, lag it, and throw it. I've NEVER heard any of them say they turn the barrel rearward immediately.
                            Isn't that what happens right after the tip?

                            Again, I'm not asking for a debate, but I'm not a big fan of you just saying "Well, Orlando Cepeda says ..." and "Dr. Yeager explained ...." and "I don't know of any ...." and then walking off not wanting to discuss it. It's far too Bill O'Reileyish for my taste. "I said it's .... and these 2 guys agree with me ... and I don't want to hear anymore about it."
                            Last edited by CircleChange11; 07-09-2012, 01:40 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Mr. Cepeda
                              Cepeda_front.gif Cepeda_highrear.gif
                              Last edited by NoonTime; 07-09-2012, 01:41 PM.
                              @noontimegifs

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