Buy the Right Bat: Bat Recommendations | How Bat Weight & Swing Speed Affect Velocity
Hammerheads Hitting Program: Batspeed Program | Hitting Stations
More Hitting Stuff: Hitting Drills | Hitting Tips | The Tee | Fix My Swing | Common Flaws
There are so many things that young hitters will do incorrectly with a bat in their hands. We will try to cover the most common swing flaws and then tell you how we would fix these swing flaws.
Dropping Bat & Back Elbow
So many youth hitters drop their back elbow and the barrel as they load. It really isn’t a load for them. It’s more of a step at the pitch and then they just lose control over the bat. So many youth hitters do this and it’s a terrible swing flaw. These hitters need to learn how to load. You can use a few different drills to help. The Load, Stride, Pause drill works great. The Sideways Walking Drill is a good one too for the younger kids.
Stepping In Too Much
You can hit from a closed position, but many younger hitters will close themselves off too much and if they struggle with their lower half, they are going to have a hard time hitting the baseball, especially when it’s inside. However, some hitters hit extremely well in a closed off position, so I wouldn’t consider this a swing flaw unless it’s affecting them from getting to inside pitches.
Stepping Out Too Much
Most hitters that step out too much will be terrible hitters. However, there are some hitters at the professional level that can be seen striding out a little bit, so you can do it and still hit high level pitching, but this can be a huge problem for younger hitters. Most younger hitters that do step out will usually step out a lot and their weight will go with them, which is the bigger problem. If they stepped out a little bit and still stayed athletic and leaned in a little bit with their upper body, they would probably be fine.
Keeping Weight Back Too Much
Some hitters just don’t transfer their weight back to their center before swinging. For some hitters, it is a minor swing flaw and they still hit well, but for other hitters, they stay way too far back and this becomes a huge problem. Using the Load, Stride, Pause drill, we can usually clean this up quickly.
Lunging Forward at the Ball
The players that lunge forward too much are going to have a very hard time hitting higher level off-speed pitches. We usually use the Load, Stride, Pause drill combined with a Stop at the Ball drill to fix this problem.
The chop swing can work, but it is not an ideal swing by any means. Some big league hitters like Ichiro and Tony Gwynn have had some success with slightly down angle swings at times, but for the most part, the chop is going to get you a lot of ground balls. Getting on line with the pitch is a better way to hit, however, some hitters with chop swings will hit the high pitch well and inside pitches well, especially low and in.
Popping up the High Pitch (Too Uphill)
If you have a swing that is too uphill, you will know it when pitchers go up in the zone on you. Understand why this swing doesn’t work for high pitches and what you need to do to flatten out your swing to hit these pitches better.
Many hitters will roll over the baseball, however, some hitters roll over too often. For some hitters, they are trying to pull pitches that they shouldn’t and others will just roll their wrists too early. Learn how to prevent your wrists from rolling over too early and understand how to stay back and let the pitches down and away get deeper in the zone.
So many young hitters have swings that are too long and just won’t work as they get to the higher level. These hitters have swings that go way out and around the baseball. This makes it hard to keep inside pitches fair and usually leads to pulling a lot of outside pitches weakly on the ground to their pull side. Learn how to shorten up your swing so you can make your hot zone a lot bigger.