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Re: The Fence Drill


Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Sun Feb 17 11:48:48 2002


>>> At first I was skeptical of the fence drill, but i dont think it was made to help people hit 500 foot home runs. I think it was made to help people keep the inside pitch fair. I am getting frustrated hitting hooking foul balls, all my batspeed doesnt even matter. I was just wondering if It could be im hitting around the ball, or hitting it too far out in front, but it seems like the fence drill could be a beneficial drill for hitting the inside pitch <<<

Hi Hitman
From the problems you describe with your swing, I would suggest the information in a post I made earlier may be more helpful than reverting to the fence drill. Why not work on mechanics that will allow you to hit the ball hard and straightaway?

##

“In order to attain maximum bat speed at the optimum contact point requires the use of the batters lead-side as well as his back-side. Most batters are predominately “back-side” hitters, meaning they rely too heavily on the back hip, shoulder and arm to swing the bat. One of the main problems with developing more efficient mechanics is overcoming old muscle memories. It is much easier to learn new mechanics that utilize both sides when the batter’s sole concentration is on mechanics and a stationary bag instead of judging the trajectory of live balls (even soft-toss).

With average (back-side) batting mechanics the bat-head trails behind the hands well into the swing. This causes the batter to develop much of his bat speed after passing the optimum contact point. They have little power to the opposite field and many of their well-hit balls are pulled or hooked foul. Placing the bag so the contact point is moved deeper into the strike zone encourages the batter to develop better lead-side mechanics that will generate bat speed earlier in the swing. -- This bag placement will also help a hitter with a lunging problem. He will soon learn to shorten his stride and use more shoulder rotation in his swing.

These are just a few reasons I find hitting a heavy bag preferable to swinging at live balls. Especially when the batter is working on developing new mechanics. Once the batter is able to attain the proper form at contact (bat perpendicular at contact, lead knee extended, lead shoulder pulling back, back leg and arm forming the “L” position) you can start working on soft toss. However, when most batters return to live balls they also tend to revert back to their old mechanics. So you must go back and forth between the bag and live balls until the new mechanics have been “burned in” to replace old muscle memories.

Trying to replace old swing habits in the batting cage takes much longer and it requires a frame-by- frame video to gage the batter’s progress. With the bag you can easily check the batter’s form at contact. --- The soft-toss must come from the front – not a sharp side angle. If you toss the ball from the side where the batter must extend out to make contact you will be causing the batter to use exactly the mechanics we are trying to change – less rotation and more arm extension.”

Jack Mankin


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