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Re: Re: Poor timing

Posted by: Troy () on Fri Feb 1 05:40:28 2002

My son's timing at the plate has left him. The harder he works his form off the tee the worse his timing gets during games. He is either late, hitting week ground balls or flies the opposite direction or early pulling the ball foul. When late his bottom half can't catch up and he is throwing the hands to make contact. When early his front side has landed so early that he is pulling the ball into the dugout. The swing looks better when early but the timing is way off. When making adjustments at the plate he has had both these situations in the same at bat many times. Are there any drills to soley help timing? When during the pitchers motion should he initiate cocking his front side? We have talked about keeping his bottom half slow, cocking early and varing the time he sets his front foot down to initiate his swing. The theory being that he can adjust to fast balls and off speed. Is this good advice and are there any drills? He seems to keep the timing from when he lifts his front foot and when he lowers it the same trying to vary his timing soley at the point of lifting and cocking the front side. If this is correct, are there any drills to help him time when he starts cocking the front side?
> This sounds very much like what we call stride-swinging. The hitter uses the stride to start the swing. He uses the forward momentum to bring the bat around instead of striding onto his front foot and redirecting the momentum into body rotation.
> Your son may be rotating or he may be doing a full body lunge, but it sounds like he hasn't separated the timing of the stride from the commitment to the swing.
> Mike Epstein's lower body mechanics may help you both with imagery and some good drills. Jack's pages here explain quite a bit about what you should be doing as well.
> In short, it is not stride and swing, it is stride, then rotate into swing.
> I'll bet change ups kill him...


I will give you some suggestions that may be a little more concrete.

One of the major problems that I see with not only my younger hitters but also with my major college and professional hitters is timing. Hitting successfully has a great deal to do with timing and pitching is an attempt to disrupt timing.

The first place to start is to look at your son's backside when he shifts back to hit. When you are facing your son, there should be almost a straight line between his ankle, knee, hip and shoulder all right side if he is a right handed hitter when he is shifted his weight back. Also watch his swing from the rear to see if he is bending too much over the plate with his shoulders. In order for your body to properly shift it's weight and rotate effectively your spine and torso should be in an upright position and your legs slightly bent.

From there watch to see when he begins his swing if his front hip slides into the ball especially after front foot strike. Sliding your hips can cause the ball to arrive to you faster than you anticipate.

From there check to see when he picks up his front foot in the stride in relation to when the ball is being released from the pitchers hand.
If the ball is too far out of the pitchers hand and the front foot is not off the ground,usually your foot strike will be late and thus your swing.

One of the big problems we have in teaching players especially moving from High School to College or College to the Pro's is adjusting your swing path and timing. You can make a great deal of mistakes with a metal bat and still be a good hitter. When a wood bat is in you hands it exposes your swing flaws. We want our foot strike to be on time or early but never late.

It is very hard to tell someone how to swing and initiate timing through an email. Try to get your son to get back in a good power position to hit and when the ball is being released from the pitcher, tell him to begin picking up his front foot. Give him some short front toss behind an L screen, giving him pitches over the middle of the plate and get him to hit them back up the middle.

My final word of advice. I have been teaching hitters from 5 yrs old up to the professional level for over 15. I have worked with some of the best hitting instructors,coaches and players in the world. They are all slightly different in their approaches but all have common threads in their swings. Get your son with a qualified instructor as soon as you can and let him teach your son and you the proper mechanics of hitting. Also read as much as you can from as many proven sources of hitting coaches as you can.

I hope this was helpful.


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