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Re: Why does a batter hit opposite field majority of time


Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Thu Aug 14 11:05:27 2008


>>> My 10 yr old son is now hitting to Right side of field 95% of time when he use to hit to all fields. He'll do one of 3 things: #1) grounder to SS side..sometimes through for a hit #2) lazy quail to RCF or #3) a screamer to Right Side.

Is he not using enough THT? His batting coach does lead arm drills with small bat to teach him to stay inside the ball. Has that finally taken a toll and perhaps some Top Hand drills are needed? <<<

Hi KML

Welcome to the site. – To hit the ball hard to the middle of the field requires swing mechanics that keeps the angular acceleration of the bat head in sync with the advancement of the hands. When a batter is continually hitting weak balls to the right side indicates the batter’s mechanics are getting the hands extended but the bat-head is left trailing too far behind in the contact zone.

Using the cue “keep your hands inside the ball” can result in the batter producing a hand-path that accelerates the knob but induces little angular acceleration of the bat-head.

What does “staying inside the ball” really mean? I have a problem identifying a constructive use of the cue. From a normal position in the box, the ball is about 24 inches or so from the hands at contact. And since, for most of the strike zone the hand-path reaches its' widest path at contact, there is virtually no way the hands could even approach going “outside the ball.” So, “what does 'staying inside the ball' mean?” What is this cue to accomplish?

In my opinion, the “keep your hands inside the ball” cue is just another way of restating old linear principles (“knob to the ball” or “take your hands A to B”). These cues were intended to take any arc (or loop) out of the hand-path so the hands could go directly (straight) to the contact zone.

For a batter to generate the most productive circular-hand-path, the first direction of the hands cannot be back at the pitcher (“inside the ball”). As I show in the instructional video, the first movement must be perpendicular to the flight of the ball or parallel to the catcher’s shoulders rather than across the body toward the pitcher.

Many contend that the cue is compatible with rotational mechanics. To me, the cue “Keep your hands inside the ball” and the rotational principle that “the first movement of the hands must be perpendicular to the flight of the ball” are conflicting principles.

Jack Mankin


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