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Common Problems of Young Hitters
Here are some common problems Young Hitters have:
1. Sometimes young hitters tend to start their swing by wrapping their bat around their head. The bat should never go past the head. In fact, in a great swing the bat won’t go past 90 degrees to the ground. I think some young hitters have this problem because they are trying to swing too hard. They really wanna crush the baseball. Therefore they think if they wind up like this (wrap the bat) they can swing harder at the baseball. This is not true. Wrapping the bat actually makes the swing longer and slower. You are actually hurting yourself by doing this. Now you may say “well there is a bunch of big leaguers that wrap their bat” and that may true. The only difference is that they use their wrap as a timing mechanism. They still get their bat back to the correct position before they start their swing. Another reason that some young hitters may wrap the bat is because they are told to keep their back elbow up. This is also incorrect. Both elbows should be relaxed, forming a triangle if you were to draw a line from elbow to elbow.
2. Sometimes young hitters tend to step into the pitch instead of transfering their weight. The problem with this is there is too much head movement and hip drift. When you step into the pitch you tend to get over on your front side and your weight is transferred forward (this is not the weight transfer we are looking for). We want a stride that keeps our weight back and head level and hips closed until we explode the hips open and start the hands. Getting out there too early means our hips will be drifing and we wont have any core strength to use to hit the baseball. Also we will be on our front side. This means we would be screwed on off speed pitches. To fix this problem focus on striding with your weight back, keeping your hips and head back too. It will feel funny at first but you will have a much better swing once you figure it out and put it all together.
3. Sometimes young hitters will cast their hands when they swing. This means their hands go away from their body when they start the swing. This creates a much longer swing and is very hard to hit the inside pitch. Hitters that cast their hands are usually top hand hitters. This means their top hand is stronger than their bottom and the top hand tends to roll over on the swing. One way to fix this is to practice more bottom hand drills and get that bottom hand stronger. This will help with a more direct path to the baseball instead of the casting.
4. One of the most common problems that young hitters sometimes have is the upper cut swing. The main reason for the upper cut swing is that the batter is trying to lift the baseball (they are usually trying to lift it over the fence). This is not the way to hit homeruns. Another reason for the upper cut swing may be that the batter is not strong enough to keep the barrel above the hands throughout the swing. This can be fixed by working on drills that strengthen your upper and lower hands through the swing. If the batter is upper cutting because they are swing too hard then you need to work on keeping that front shoulder down on the baseball. Other than that, work on a direct path to the baseball and keep the barrel up. In the end you will have more power and homeruns without the upper cut swing.