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Is swinging down to swing up a teach?

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  • Is swinging down to swing up a teach?

    I'm wondering if high level batters actually swing down to gain momentum so they can swing up with power. Not exactly like golf, but you get the idea if you see someone swing a golf club. They swing down which gives them momentum to swing up. The reason I ask is when I tell my son to not swing down, swing armpit to armpit, swing slightly upward, his swing doesn't seem right. When I look at video, I notice that a pro player will have their bat lower than the ball before contact, while my son does not. My son also likes to keep his front elbow slightly elevated. It made me think that he needs to have his front elbow pointed more down and as he turns, the barrel takes a more downward path such that he can get the barrel lower faster. Also oddly enough, his bat path seems much better when he wraps his bat more (points barrel of bat towards pitcher). But I digress. I guess I'm simply asking, are there cases with youth players where you teach them to swing down in order to swing up before you make contact with the ball. I'm looking for the teach or actual instructions, not a debate on whether you should swing down or slightly upward on a pitch (my question comes with the acceptance that you want the swing to be going slightly upward through the hitting zone).
    Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

  • #2
    It's an arc. first down, then up. you dont drop the barrell and the swing up.
    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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    • #3
      make sure the "downswing" (they call it like that in golf but is not as pronounced in baseball) is relatively shallow. try to softly match the plane of the pitch instead of crashing down.

      here is jake epstein on that topic

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjlrLwq7qM0
      I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

      Comment


      • #4
        The "up-down" in the swing is, IMO, a one-dimensional description of a three-dimensional motion.

        The path of the bat is an arc and, once up to speed, it stays in a single plane. The swing plane must be angled "side-to-side" to allow adjustment for high/low pitches. It also should have some angle "front-to-back" to provide a bit of upswing -- this is the "match the plane of the pitch".

        I don't like the phrase "match the plane of the pitch" -- I think, geometrically, it really means "match the swing plane to the pitch vector".

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        • #5
          These pics pretty much answer the question.



          efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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          • #6
            Originally posted by pthawaii View Post
            I'm wondering if high level batters actually swing down to gain momentum so they can swing up with power. Not exactly like golf, but you get the idea if you see someone swing a golf club. They swing down which gives them momentum to swing up. The reason I ask is when I tell my son to not swing down, swing armpit to armpit, swing slightly upward, his swing doesn't seem right. When I look at video, I notice that a pro player will have their bat lower than the ball before contact, while my son does not. My son also likes to keep his front elbow slightly elevated. It made me think that he needs to have his front elbow pointed more down and as he turns, the barrel takes a more downward path such that he can get the barrel lower faster. Also oddly enough, his bat path seems much better when he wraps his bat more (points barrel of bat towards pitcher). But I digress. I guess I'm simply asking, are there cases with youth players where you teach them to swing down in order to swing up before you make contact with the ball. I'm looking for the teach or actual instructions, not a debate on whether you should swing down or slightly upward on a pitch (my question comes with the acceptance that you want the swing to be going slightly upward through the hitting zone).
            The first movement is a downward movement from the back armpit, but the instant after you make the first move, the shoulder tilt and turn will change the geometry to start to level out the barrel. The effort to keep the hands above the ball will make it arc slightly up. You don't swing down, down, down.

            It is down, flat, up. Caused by the geometry of the entire upper body moving.

            Watch how his spine and shoulder tilt, combined with making the hands stop going down, gets him on a slight upward path.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by pthawaii View Post
              I'm wondering if high level batters actually swing down to gain momentum so they can swing up with power. Not exactly like golf, but you get the idea if you see someone swing a golf club. They swing down which gives them momentum to swing up. The reason I ask is when I tell my son to not swing down, swing armpit to armpit, swing slightly upward, his swing doesn't seem right. When I look at video, I notice that a pro player will have their bat lower than the ball before contact, while my son does not. My son also likes to keep his front elbow slightly elevated. It made me think that he needs to have his front elbow pointed more down and as he turns, the barrel takes a more downward path such that he can get the barrel lower faster. Also oddly enough, his bat path seems much better when he wraps his bat more (points barrel of bat towards pitcher). But I digress. I guess I'm simply asking, are there cases with youth players where you teach them to swing down in order to swing up before you make contact with the ball. I'm looking for the teach or actual instructions, not a debate on whether you should swing down or slightly upward on a pitch (my question comes with the acceptance that you want the swing to be going slightly upward through the hitting zone).
              Put a tee even with his back foot, on outside of the plate, waist high. Have him drive lines drives. Once he has that move the tee to his rear hip and repeat. Then to his belly button and repeat and then front hip and repeat. Then keep going back and forth. He will learn to get the barrel behind the ball deep in the zone.

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              • #8
                I have set the tee up to armpit height and had the hitters swing, keeping their hands up with the barrel parallel to the ground at contact. Then we move the tee down get them to adjust to the lower pitches via tilt instead of chopping down or dropping the hands. I think starting with the tee high can get them to feel the proper swing plane.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jbooth View Post
                  The first movement is a downward movement from the back armpit, but the instant after you make the first move, the shoulder tilt and turn will change the geometry to start to level out the barrel. The effort to keep the hands above the ball will make it arc slightly up. You don't swing down, down, down.

                  It is down, flat, up. Caused by the geometry of the entire upper body moving.

                  Watch how his spine and shoulder tilt, combined with making the hands stop going down, gets him on a slight upward path.

                  Interesting you mention the tilt, because I suspect the lack of tilt might cause some of the problem. Also interesting that you posted the gif of Manny, cause I looked at that same vid against my son. Manny's bat gets lower than my sons at the 4th dot. My son's barrel is still high at that point, thus by contact, my son's bat is headed in a downward path. It got me thinking, I'm giving him the wrong cue. Telling him to not swing down, or to swing up, he keeps the barrel up, then HAS to come down to hit the ball, then the momentum is already down. So I thought to cue him to swing down 1st build up speed, that way you can be swinging up by the time you are at contact. Seems to work against the pad, but with live pitching, he still tends to go back to his old swing, slightly down. I'm just hoping the cue of swinging down to swing up is okay and safe to use. I gotta work in the tilt, I think that will aid getting onto a more correct bat path.
                  Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by HYP View Post
                    Put a tee even with his back foot, on outside of the plate, waist high. Have him drive lines drives. Once he has that move the tee to his rear hip and repeat. Then to his belly button and repeat and then front hip and repeat. Then keep going back and forth. He will learn to get the barrel behind the ball deep in the zone.
                    Excellent drill. I'm going to use that with a girl I have that was taught the downward wood chop and she can't stop it.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by azmatsfan View Post
                      I have set the tee up to armpit height and had the hitters swing, keeping their hands up with the barrel parallel to the ground at contact. Then we move the tee down get them to adjust to the lower pitches via tilt instead of chopping down or dropping the hands. I think starting with the tee high can get them to feel the proper swing plane.
                      That's a good one. I've used that, but I'm going to add HYP's drill also.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by HYP View Post
                        Put a tee even with his back foot, on outside of the plate, waist high. Have him drive lines drives. Once he has that move the tee to his rear hip and repeat. Then to his belly button and repeat and then front hip and repeat. Then keep going back and forth. He will learn to get the barrel behind the ball deep in the zone.
                        Hyp, does it matter where the line drive goes? With the tee on the outside of the plate at the back foot, I'm thinking it will tend to go to 1st base, but I'm wondering if the expectation is that you hit line drives back up the middle for all of these ball locations or it doesn't matter.
                        Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jbooth View Post
                          Excellent drill. I'm going to use that with a girl I have that was taught the downward wood chop and she can't stop it.
                          Awesome drill. One of those "why didn't I try this already" moments.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pthawaii View Post
                            Hyp, does it matter where the line drive goes? With the tee on the outside of the plate at the back foot, I'm thinking it will tend to go to 1st base, but I'm wondering if the expectation is that you hit line drives back up the middle for all of these ball locations or it doesn't matter.

                            Normally with the ball at it's deepest point the line drive will go oppo. As you move the ball further out front the lin drive will start going more up the middle. The drill is designed to teach getting the barrel in the zone early and then staying in the zone. As mentioned by others, I also put the tee high sometimes. As high as chkn level at times.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by HYP View Post
                              Normally with the ball at it's deepest point the line drive will go oppo. As you move the ball further out front the lin drive will start going more up the middle. The drill is designed to teach getting the barrel in the zone early and then staying in the zone. As mentioned by others, I also put the tee high sometimes. As high as chkn level at times.
                              You mentioned setting the back foot tee on the outside part of the plate. By the time you get to the front hip, are you on the inside of the plate? Or stay outside? Or doesn't matter?
                              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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