The Bat Path Drill with Rick Eisenberg
An art professor once told his students…
"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak."
And that is exactly what today's hitting drill, the bat path drill, does for anyone struggling with the following issues.
- Chopping down
- Getting around the ball
- Cutting off your swing
- Weak position at the point of contact
- Rolling over
Did you notice anything about that list?
Yes, these are some of the most typical problems that hitters deal with. But they also share something else in common: They're all related to the bat path of your baseball swing.
What is it?
Today's batting tee drill is a simple way to help hitters isolate their bat path (temporarily removing other swing variables) so they can focus on getting it right. This tee drill focuses on upper body strength only, in addition to the swing path and solid contact with the ball.
By removing the variables of using your lower body you are able to temporarily simplify your swing which will direct focus on proper baseball swing mechanics. This helps to isolate and work on correcting your swing to the proper bat path in player development. This simple drill can be used by both youth and advanced players, in addition to softball players to learn the proper swing plane.
Why is it Important?
When playing baseball, one must consider the position of the ball in the strike zone, along with a hitter's ability to hit to all fields. To hit the ball to the desired location, the bat must be aligned correctly. The most important factor is the bat path, which refers to the angle of the bat from the right side (the hitter's side). This angle is critical because a properly aligned bat makes contact easier and keeps the hitter in a better hitting position in the strike zone.
As a baseball player, you want to be strong and powerful. Your strength comes from your bat path and proper swing mechanics. A bat path is a method you create when you use your muscles during the swing. Your muscles provide power to your swing, and the bat path is the path you follow to hit the ball. A bat path is achieved when you use the muscles you use in your arms, wrists, and legs. Common swing flaws can be corrected with continued training with a batting tee and the use of this bat path drill.
A Quick Note: For the purposes of these instructions, we will be focusing on right-handed batters, but if you are a lefty, simply use the opposite position than the one mentioned.
Position yourself in a comfortable batting stance. Keep your feet wide apart.
Sink back into your legs; feel powerfully grounded. Have a balanced posture with your butt back and focus on feeling the weight in your hamstrings.
Swing a complete swing without striding. Do not use the bottom half of your body at all. Focus on achieving the desired bat path with your powerful swing.
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