Simple and Effective Drills for Bat Path
Let’s face it, hitting a round object, with another round object, squarely, is hard to do. Imagine doing it consistently. If it was simple, everybody would be playing baseball.
However, this is not the case.
Everybody is so caught up in metrics now. “Bro, my exit velo is 95. I’m totally getting drafted…but my average is 0.250”.
Instead of getting caught up in all the numbers and trying to enhance your exit velocity off the bat, are you putting the ball in the gaps? Or, are you hitting nukes in the air that take forever to get down…in the infield.
I think the best way to make your swing better is to video your swing and look at it. Don’t look at a numerical output that determines your athleticism.
Where is your bat in relation to your front hip at front foot strike? Where is your head moving? What’s your attack angle at front foot strike?
There was a very interesting tweet I saw recently regarding training pitchers and hitters. From a lower-half perspective, rotation occurs very similarly between pitchers and hitters.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. For pitchers, their back leg loads up like a spring or a coil to then release this energy in a down-hill fashion.
For hitters, their back leg loads up like a spring or a coil to then release this energy in a linear fashion towards the pitcher.
From here, the front hip slightly opens up to allow for the lower body to rotate, stretching the elastic sling in the front of the body.
During this same instant, the posterior sling contracts (loading the scapula) to put your hands in a linear path to the baseball.
Here are some drills that will enhance your bat path.
MB Scoop Toss
I really like this drill to teach an athlete what it feels like to load the scapula (shoulder blade) while the hips begin to rotate.
My favorite cue for this drill is “keep the ball to your back hip for as long as possible”.
Hitters Rotational Row
This drill teaches the athlete HOW to properly load the back leg first and then transfer that energy to the front leg prior to rotation.
This drill should be performed where a straight line can be drawn on the floor. It provides enough feedback to show if your front foot is stepping in the bucket, is closing up in front.
To enhance specificity, the back arm should be bent to feel the scapula loading up prior to rotation.
Jarad Vollkommer, CSCS