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Inability to Drive the Ball

Posted by: kstevens () on Mon Oct 9 09:33:25 2006

The following is a response to James' question about why his son seems to have the inability to drive the ball.


It is hard to pinpoint exactly what the problem is without being able to see his swing, but I would be willing to bet that he is simply "spinning" and falling backwards on contact. Emphasize the importance of getting his weight through the ball on contact. Explain to him that he should allow his weight to follow the ball off of the bat. This is exactly the same thing that one does when they throw the baseball. Don Mattingly has worked on this with Hideki Matsui. A lot of times when a player focuses too much on rotation or "squashing the bug" he will end up falling backwards on contact, which will often result in a incorrect bat path. In addition, players who simply "spin" have a tendency to pull their front side out too soon as you have described. Work with him off of a tee and emphasize (in addition to weight shift) hitting down on the ball (which will help him to get his weight through the ball on contact). I have found that when a player has the proper bat path many of the other things will tend to fall into place. This is exactly what Jack is talking about when he says that the shoulder, hips, and bat head must travel in an arc together.


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