How to Keep Your Bat in the Hitting Zone

baseball bat path drill Feb 16, 2021
stay on swing path in baseball

If you had to point out one to two drills to work on tee, to work off the tee or training device, for enforcing proper swing path, what would that be?

Coach, that's a great question. I have two props here that we like to use for swing path, or making sure that our players stay in the hitting zone for as long as we can. The first is just a PVC pipe and the second one is a connection ball. I use this in almost every single one of my lessons. There's multiple ways to use it and it's a great investment for you to make for your players to incorporate different drills at practice.

Drill number #1, I'll talk about swing path using the connection ball. There's a couple of different ways you can use this. The first one, the one that I use most of the time, is I'll take the connection ball, kind of put it on their chest, bicep, forearm, in their front arm. Because what you'll see a lot of guys do in their swing path, a lot of them will get to contact and kind of work right across their body. You'll hear every coach use the term rollover or stay through it a little bit longer.

I really like this one because they get to their launch position and as they're getting ready to swing, this forces their front arm to work directly back up through the middle of the field. I always like to say wherever this front elbow leads, usually the knobs going to follow. So if I'm a batter and I'm getting ready to hit and my front elbow starts working across my body, you can see my barrel is already working out and around, so my path is now this way, instead of more through the middle of the field.

So again, put that connection ball kind of on their chest, bicep, forearm area. Now, as they start entering the hitting zone, that front elbow kind of works at the pitcher and it's more direct right here. They can freeze right at extension. You'll notice my forearms or my elbows stay separated. I'm not in this position where they get super tight. You keep that proper spacing in their elbows and now, when we get to contact, palm up, palm down, and I'm able to freeze and that ball actually stays right in their arm.

Drill number #2, you can do it just as a station, but I'm going to have Coach Duke actually hold this PVC pipe. All this is going to do is simulate the flight or the path of the pitch. As a hitter... we talked about it a little bit earlier in one of our previous videos... we want to swing slightly uphill to match the plane of the ball. We don't want to swing downhill. We don't want to swing super uphill. Our goal is to keep that barrel in the hitting zone for as long as we can.

So, just in slow motion, this can be a draw off to the side. Your players are going to get connected, they're going to get to contact and they're going to work through on this PVC pipe as long as they can. You'll see a lot of guys, they'll kind of get here and cut it across. So again, work on getting tight, staying through that pitch, and kind of gliding their barrel along the top of the pole as long as they can.

Those are just two easy drills that you can incorporate at practice to help build that swing path for your players.


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