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Re: Pop-ups!

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatSpeed@aol.com) on Tue Sep 14 17:05:50 2004

>>> My son, 10, is a great hitter, but in the last two months he has been hitting a lot, I mean A LOT of pop-ups.
I apologize in advance if you have covered this subject already but I need help as my son is becoming visibly frustrated.
What are the causes of hitting pop-ups?
What are the cures/drills to correct the problem?

Thanks to all that offer help! <<<

Hi Tim

Welcome to the site. – It would be obvious to say that if your son is consistently popping up, the path of his bat is consistently well below the center of the ball at contact. The problem is, there are many mechanical and timing issues that may be causing it. Other coaches and myself would like to give you sound recommendation. But, without being able to see his swing, any advice we give will be general and speculative.

When analyzing swings with my video analysis, I have found a flawed swing plane (read the post below) with many young hitters who are having trouble making solid contact. Normally, hitting weak grounders is the result of the wrist rolling too soon (top-hand prematurely rolling over the bottom-hand). Many hitters who consistently pop-up exhibit what I term the “Reverse Wrist Roll” (top-hand rolling below the swing plane).

The reverse wrist roll occurs when a batter accelerates (or drops) the bat-head below the plane of the lead-arm during, or just after, initiation. With many of these hitters, the bat-head never raises back into the true swing plane. --- Tim, as I stated earlier, there are other problems that can cause popping-up. This is just one of the most common faults I find.

Jack Mankin

Re: lead arm, elbow
Posted by: Jack Mankin (mrbatspeed@aol.com on Thu Aug 28 23:04:29 2003


>>> First time posting. Followed discussions for couple years. Purchased Final Arc II about three months ago.

Situation: HS coach told my son to drive his front elbow "down and in." Now he has a downward bat plane as he makes contact with ball.

Question: What is proper position of front elbow in launch position, as back elbow enters slot, and as shoulders turn for contact? Equally important, how do I describe this to me son? Are there any drills that will help him get front arm in right place? <<<

Jack Mankin's reply:

Hi dmaddox:

Think of the plane of the swing as being a flat disc that is tilted down toward the plate so as to intersect the path of the ball in the contact zone. The bat, lead-arm and shoulders should all be in that plane from initiation to contact. You may have the bat more vertical while in your stance, but the bat must drop into the plane of the lead-arm when shoulder rotation begins.

Since the shoulders are rotating on a tilted plane (not horizontal to the ground), the back-shoulder will begin (from the inward turn position) higher and rotate to a lower position as the lead-shoulder starts lower and is rotating upward. You should not have to think about lowering the back-shoulder, it should happen automatically as you rotate if your launch position is correct.

Keeping the lead-arm (including the elbow) in the plane of the swing is an absolute MUST. That means the lead-elbow MUST always remain pointing into the plane of the swing. If the lead-elbow lowers (or drops) down out of the plane before contact -- the swing is ruined. The wrist will start to roll too soon and the bat-head will come out of the intended plane. This will normally cause inconsistent contact and usually results in weak grounders or pop-ups.

Jack Mankin


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