Dropping hands only during live pitching
Anonymous asked: I have a 14 yr. old boy who NEVER drops hands during tee work, soft toss, front toss, coach pitch BP.
Then, in game, almost every time, a kid pitcher throws a pitch and his hands drop, and the body moves forward and then he swings.
Totally different and power-sapping hitting mechanic reserved only for game time.
What is a good fix?
Rick answered: Thank you for your question.
One possibility for the change with his hands is that he feels the need to generate bat speed, thus he is essentially winding up.
On a tee, front toss, soft toss and coach pitch bp he has no fear of being late.
As soon as he steps in that box in a game, the situation becomes complicated as he is facing game speed fastballs.
To compensate, he drops his hands down, and I would guess rotates back up. At that point, he truly is late, and most generally under the baseball, resulting in pop ups and soft fly balls.
He needs to be loading his hands back, or back and up some; not down.
That load/stride comes in one unit, set the hands as you get your front foot down, slow, soft and early. Hands should be set by the time the pitcher gets to the top of his release point.
If he loads his hands a second time, he really didn't get them loaded correctly the first time.
Front foot should be down, at least by the time the ball is halfway to the plate. Load/stride is all in time with the pitcher's fastball. If it's not, it will be reflected in a poor mechanical swing.
Being in a rush here is generally never the answer, Starting Sooner Is The Answer, Soon And Slow.
Stress balance throughout. He should be balanced over both knees, finish in the same two footprints he was in when he completed his stride.
The link below will take you to a page on the site, where you can get some visual looks as well as more detailed information on hitting progressions.
Advanced Hitting Progressions
It all takes time, get him to slow down, focus on picking up the baseball at the pitcher's release point, tracking it all the way to the hitting zone and putting a good swing on it.
Attempt to keep him positive. It's all correctable; but baseball results don't always come fast.
This second link will take you to a page on hitting vision, and what he should be looking at in the box.
Baseball Hitting Vision
Hitters need to trust their mechanics, so they can concentrate on seeing the baseball when they get in the batter's box.
Good luck as you work through this. Stay patient and positive.
I would be interested in hearing how things are going.
Yours in baseball,
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