#1 Youth Baseball Swing Fix To Deflating Bat Speed
This newly UPDATED article (video isn’t updated) presents a fun youth hitting drills approach to help fix bat drag for baseball and softball players. We go over what causes and what is bat drag, how to cure and stop it tips for batting swing beginners.
Awhile back I posted the following youth baseball post to my Hitting Performance Lab Facebook fan-page (CLICK HERE if you haven’t “Liked” my fan-page yet…new content daily):
This video blog post will target one of the worst youth baseball swing offenders to deflating bat speed…bat drag. In this article, we’re going over:
- What is and What Causes Bat Drag?
- The science of Bat Drag (to hitting an unknown moving pitch), and
- 1 Way How to Fix, Cure, & Stop Youth Bat Drag
What Causes AND What is Baseball Youth Bat Drag?
Article UPDATE: Bat drag is when a young hitter’s upper and/or lower body rotates way passed the hands and bat to cause the back arm elbow to race passed the hitter’s belly button. We call this racing back elbow.
Youth bat drag is causes mostly by over rotation of the upper and/or lower half. It is NOT like what some coaches say, being caused by a dominant top hand or back arm, quite the opposite actually. Bat drag can be caused by a weak and disconnected top hand and back arm.
This article I originally posted back in 2015, and blamed bat drag on a barred out-front arm. I’ve since revised my position on this thanks to Perry Husband. A barred out-front arm DOES NOT result in a long slow swing, an early barrel in the hitting zone does. Specifically on pitches that are middle in. For a refresher on how barrel path changes based on pitch depth, then click this post.
3 Common Myth “Tips” of Fixing Bat Drag
Myth#1 – sometimes coaches say get the back elbow up in the batting stance. We do teach this to help get the front shoulder slightly down at stride landing. Lifting the back elbow without this principle is irrelevant to fixing anything.
Myth#2 – the hips before hands argument is old and stale. This is EXACTLY what’s happening with bat drag, the hips are way out front of the hands, resulting in a connected swing. The two main problem with bat drag are 1) Not taking slack out of system (fix below helps with this), and 2) over rotation of upper and or lower half. Over-teaching myth #2 tends to promote over-rotation.
Myth#3 – again, hip rotation is not the end all be all to power, contact, etc. in the swing. It’s over coached. If anything, we should be coaching LESS hip rotation, NOT more.
Bat drag is a disease of over rotation, so rotating more will only make matters worse. Here’s a great place to start…
1 Way How to Fix, Cure, & Stop Youth Bat Drag
Typically, I have my youth baseball hitters practice the Catapult Loading System when we have an arm barring issue. The finer points before a hitter lands in the Fight Position are:
- Showing pitcher your numbers,
- Hiding hands from pitcher, and
- Slight downhill shoulder angle.
Another piece I’ve just added to the puzzle comes from Homer Kelly in his book The Golfing Machine. The following quote may shed additional light on “educating the hands” to combat arm barring…
“Power Accumulator #1 (for right handed golfer) – is the bent right arm. Even though the right biceps is active, the backstroke is always made with the right arm striving to remain straight. But the straight left arm restrains this continuous extensor action of the right triceps with an effortless checkerin action. Consequently , during release, the right arm can straighten only as the left arm moves away from the right shoulder.”
You see, the problem with bat drag at the youth baseball level isn’t the move itself, but how the compensation is triggered. What’s happening before the front arm bars out? Is the hitter properly activating the springy fascia within the torso?
If you “Click here to ‘Get Instant Access'” button below, you can get a free video that explains:
Why the following advice: “Power is all in the hips”, “Load and explode the hips”, and “The hips lead the way” won’t produce the repeatable power you’re looking for…
Where power really comes from – the answers to how the body actually loads are validated by science…
- The 3 Do’s & Don’ts that will help you execute this simple strategy without any hitches in swing quality…
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