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Re: Grounders

Posted by: Joe Hernandez (coach2hit@yahoo.com) on Wed Jun 14 12:44:42 2006

> I seem to be topping the ball and hitting grounders that start within 10 feet of the plate. I'm using the rotational theory in hitting but I'm not driving it enough. The majority of time it's a grounder???
> Thanks

Hitting man,

There are a number of reasons that causes a hitter to hit grounders. You do not give sufficient information to help pin-point the problem. I'll give you a few scenarios, maybe this will help.

On pitches down the middle, if your hips are "blocked" (tied up), the bat head will be late to the ball. Your brain will try to compensate by sending a message to your arms for it to "cast", thereby getting the bat out in front of the plate in an effort to get the barrel to the ball. It is what is popularly known as "swinging with the arms". A couple of negative things happen as a consequence...for one, casting the bat out, instead of firing the barrel in a direct line, is a longer and slower path to the ball. Secondly, you are now swinging with the force of the upper body...the kinetic chain that begins with the legs and transfer that energy sequentially to the hips as been lost.

What then happens is that you find yourself starting your swing sooner, thereby giving yourself less time to ID the pitch and be able to react to it's location and speed. In the majority of cases, your wrist will role over prematurely in an effort to put the barrel on the ball. Do you hit a lot of ground balls to your "pull side"? This would be symptomatic of the above.

Inside pitches would be even a greater problem...too much to get into here.

Another area to consider is if you are cutting your swing short. You need to keep your arms moving toward full extension. If your swing cuts short the arc of the arm swing then you will find yourself repeatedly hitting ground balls to the pull side, ground balls into foul territory, hitting balls with no pop, etc.

Failing to "snap' your wrists properly is another reason. Snapping the wrists fires the barrel of the bat into the path of the incoming pitch. When you fail to do so, slow moving grounders are the result as well as weak fly balls.

Good luck!

Joe Hernandez


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