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Get Rid Of A Hitter Dropping Their Hands At Stride Landing Once And For All Using RNT

 

Let me ask you a question:

“Does your hitter (or hitters) swing and miss, foul back, or pop-up on pitches up in the zone abnormally often?”

The video above may have the fix.  One of the pro hitters I work with was told by his team’s hitting coach that he must be able to “catch-up” to pitches elevated in the zone.  And I agree.  Weak spots, or holes in the hitting zone, can and will be used by pitchers as a weapon.  I tell my hitters to turn a pitcher’s weapon against them.

The challenge I find watching slow motion swing video, with some hitters, is there hands drop (towards the waist) at stride landing 2-4 frames from the back armpit line.  Less than two frames and I generally don’t fix.  The rule of thumb for my hitters is the hands MUST end up – height-wise –  around the back armpit.  Slightly above, in-line, or below is okay.  Think about a boxer delivering a knockout punch.  Watch the “line” Mike Tyson creates right before he delivers a knockout punch (uppercuts excluded)

If a hitter’s hands end up too low, then they’ll consistently swing and miss, foul back, or popup pitches elevated in the strike zone.  Learn how to turn a pitcher’s weapon against them.

 

In This Drill Video…

  • We define “hands drop”,
  • We define RNT (or Reactive Neuromuscular Training),
  • How to setup the drill, and
  • Focus on process, NOT performance.

If you don’t have them already, then here’s equipment you’ll need for this drill:

Please try this out and let me know how it works for your hitters in the Comments section below… (Thanks in advance!)

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Joey Myers

I’m a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), the International Youth and Conditioning Association (IYCA), and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).I’m also a HUGE supporter of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA).

I’ve spent 11+ years in the corrective fitness industry, and have too many alphabet-soup certifications to bore you with.I also played four years of Division One baseball at Fresno State from 2000-2003.

It’s NOT how you study, but what you study that counts.I apply human movement principles (or rules), validated by science, to hitting a baseball and softball.
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11 replies
  1. Djura Malevic
    Djura Malevic says:

    Joey i love the iron Mike reference…I always thought that the hands drop and/or hands movement is one of the most misunderstood part of the swing… and perhaps the most neglected part…

    My hands go down and up ( like Aaron, Bonds…etc) and I always thought they must get back to the TOP of the strike zone but I guess the armpit works too… I get my hands back up using my bottom hand…
    This is the pinch I speak off…The reason why this is so difficult to grasp is the arms, hands and fingers are weird in some respect…The way they channel energy is not so OBVIOUS…

    So we channel our power through our hands but our hands are truly the most complicated thing in the swing… So our pointers set up the posture and our two end points at the wrist from our pinkie and thumbs… So there are 3 points of control… Two of them are the same and sets up our eyes while the the other four are divided and go in opposite direction…

    Here I go again without being asked… As we know there are 4 arm lines so obviously this is where posture and switches as Thomas Myers speaks of but you have to coordinate it right or else the connections fail and the switches don’t work…

    Either way, I love this article… and I love the at landing with the hands around the armpit or top of the strike zone… And that we go from the top down as going up means it’s not effortless… AND the swing ought to e effortlessly or else you don’t have the high level swing… Great point!!! Never go up… You would be out of sequence!!!!

    Hope all is well.

    ~DM

    Reply
  2. Rodney DeLong Sr.
    Rodney DeLong Sr. says:

    Joey,
    That’s a nice drill. Typically I see this a lot with younger, and low level hitters. Most of the time, the hitters do not even realize they are doing this and I think that is half the battle with them making a conscious effort to keep their hands up fighting against the tension of the band. I really do not mind if the hitter bounces his hands as a part of his load as long as he gets back up around the shoulder area. My opinion of an ideal load is to just keep your hands at a consistent height with very subtle movement. I have heard some people reference the larger movement as live and independent hands, which is a little more free flowing and less of a robotic movement that is not just controlled by the shoulders. I do not believe that it is a detrimental move, such as a Early Separation of Hands and Back Shoulder (Disconnection), or a Racing Back Elbow, but can pose problems as you say when facing high level velocity, especially up in the zone. This hand dropping is usually not a hard fix, and with the use of certain drills, (Band Drill), and also a (High Tee Drill), should disappear in a short time…Nice work Joey….
    Coach DeLong

    Reply
    • Joey Myers
      Joey Myers says:

      I agree Coach DeLong and thank you. Think of human movement hitting principles as bumpers in the gutters of a bowling alley. The path the bowling ball takes down the lane DOES NOT matter, just as long as it stays confined between the bumpers. Keep up the great work Coach!

      Reply
  3. Djura
    Djura says:

    Thanks for reading my comments… I wasn’t sure if I should continue as I usually read and comment on my breaks…

    I always like noticing the things that perhaps seem meaningless… watching Iton mike he always like many powerful boxers always face their palms to their face and touch hands as to lock that posture… I do think that mike did this for a reason… to lock in a particular posture… I do think that if you can see where I’m going you may find this initial move interesting…

    Either way I think there are many ways to get to the same position….but doing the I guess we can say ” the iron mike” gives that good feel…

    Later…

    ~DM

    Reply
  4. Djura
    Djura says:

    Joey as long as your still interested in the minor but in my belief substantial differences we have I’ll still comment… Or else I can just comment on what we have in common…

    So to add some thought here with the hands dropping… If you remember I always said the hands need to be investigated further than one entity…

    So to take it one step back… I look at the forearm differently… For example in my two swing approach.. I would look into the ulna and radius separately not as ONE forearm… and actually I would linked them with the opposing arm… so one swing with radius of the lead and ulna of the rear and the next with the opposite…
    The funny thing is one goes from the outside in and the other goes from the inside out….

    So if I’m correct.. staying inside the ball only tells half the story ?

    Try moving your arms with only one of the bones and tell me if you get what I’m saying….. I’ve never heard anyone suggest this…. Ever…The funny thing is it’s the same thing as golf or swinging any other rod…

    Obviously if you can link this chain than the hands would follow… So if there’s two swings than there’s two loads…. Now if I say there’s two loads some may start making that connection with the load… but it only makes sense that if you load twice than you must unload twice and more importantly there would be a sequence… so 1…2. Than 1..2… so 1…2… than 2.. 1 doesn’t work….

    Here I go again…Rodney I hope your understanding this as it’s hard to explainthevtwo swings especially if I don’t know exactly where your coming from… but you should feel the first swing being intersected by the second… but you have to set the first band than implement the second so all you have to do is awaken or pitch the first but you have to hold the second in place…You basically go from right leg to right and left leg to left leg….but the hands will reflect this and all you have to do is know the sequence and just load it and unload it….

    Meaning if you don’t know how to work the hands than you can’t ever do it… one idea would be to swing with your forearms and try to break the handle… Alsi another is swing the handle pass the ball… and obviously stop the handle…. Now I’m all over the place…

    Believe me if you do t understand please try too or ask specific question and like always I might be wrong and I hope I’m not since I wouldn’t want to waste anybody’s time…

    ~DM

    Reply
  5. Djura
    Djura says:

    Ohh last thought… Rodney… you said you like to start the hands out in front… use a bone in each arm to set that and than the other two bones in each arm to pull it back and appreciate the movements…So you should have two “pulls” and two “pushes”… I put them in quotes because you have flexion and side bending which makes rotation… a collateral movement… in not sure of the exact term as these moves are more secondary and not defined per se… but I don’t know…

    Here is the big move… the palmer flexion of your lead… remember it was set flat and pushed hyperextended..with the other hand like when your pushing against each other… “Fighting hands”… The lead goes to the right of the ball and through it… as that happens if you held the top hand the whole way… it just whips out because “it has no place to go”…

    You must of held the bottom 3 of your lead too…or else it my not be so obvious…

    Either way you have to start with the lead loading to the right like your going to backslap or backhand…As that happens your rear slots because it was slotted with the lead… and it goes from inside out…

    I have a hard time explaining this because most don’t see the specifics… two bones in the forearms… the hand complexity… how the arms fold and twist… so as the ” core” twist it’s easy to see the twist but the upper limbs act a little differently to a certain extent…

    Joey like always any comments or thoughts would be appreciated… It’s not always that anybody with your resume would even hear out a stick ball player ?

    Hope all is well!

    ~DM

    Reply
  6. Djura
    Djura says:

    Last comment unless you have questions… So as your loaded… The swing goes from the inside of both arms to the outside of the arms and if you looking at it in a palm up and palm down point of view the bones we use are different….
    So the pushes ought to be active… and the pulls should be with the body but still felt…

    From furthest load…So it goes push inside lead arm bone, pull ( yep pull) inside rear arm bone, push rear arm bone and lastly pull with the lead outside bone…

    There’s another trick on holding the inside from releasing and building up the absolute channel for the chain but apparently nobody is interested…

    Seriously this is some great stuff!!! At least I think so… Anyone?

    ~DM

    Reply
  7. Jimbo Scruggs
    Jimbo Scruggs says:

    Joey,

    Hey man, one thing to caution about this. You don’t want them to launch from too high of hands as well. I see that problem way more than hands too low. It normally results in a V shaped swing path, partly because they start too high and partly because they try to finish just as high. You want the plane to be flat to the plane of the ball, so start the hands at the top of the strike zone, which will depend somewhat on how much lean towards the plate they have in their posture at contact. Another way to correct this really easily is to get them to focus on finishing low. I emphasize finishing at the midpoint of the upper arm. That’ll fix everything else. If you watch all decent pro hitters that have their hands really high in the stance, as they are coming forward, they normally drop them to somewhere around their nipples. The finish is harder to see because a lot of them will finish low and flip the bat up and around someway sort of for show. And most of them think that’s where they finish.

    Just my two cents on this.

    Jimbo

    Reply
  8. Djura
    Djura says:

    Jimbo, I love your quote “they finish low and flip their bat up”….. that is communicated wonderfully… great job. It’s funny how so many will miss the point….Thanks…..

    ~DM

    Reply