There are 2 common mistakes that tend to happen during the load phase of the baseball swing which can dramatically decrease the power of your swing.
We’re going to cover these 2 mistakes and how to avoid them, and I’ll show you one super simple drill to detect improper hand load.
Baseball Swing Load – 2 Common mistakes
Mistake #1 – Pushing your hands back too much
When watching video of Major Leaguer’s baseball swing load, it can SEEM like he is pushing his hands back a lot. This is actually just an illusion.
What’s really happening is that the hands are staying tight to the hitters shoulder until the body moves forward away from the hands.
With some players, there might be a little hand movement, as they bring their hands to the shoulder into the power position. After that, the hands don’t go back anymore. Instead, the hands stay put and the body begins to step forward away from the hands (see video above).
When you push your hands back, it costs you power for several reasons.
- The more extended your arm is, the weaker it is. Just like when you’re trying to muscle out that last pull up, extended arms (position A) is a weaker arm position than B.
- Your center of rotation gets sloppy, which costs you bat speed. Like a figure skater in a spin – The tighter they pull in their arms and legs to the axis of rotation, the faster they spin. We want to keep everything tight until just the right moment.
As a side note, it’s not just power that is affected by pushing your hands back, as it would also have negative effect on barrel accuracy.
Mistake #2 – Weak leg position
You’ve probably seen this image from us before. Maybe it’s because Major League camera angles often make it hard to see this, but this is a very common problem I see with young hitters
Your legs are far more powerful than your arms. They are also responsible for initiating the kinetic sequence that provides the majority of the power in your swing.
So a weak leg position is a sure fire way to turn end up with a deflated swing.
To keep the power in your base, make sure your knee doesn’t get outside your ankle. Keep it in, tight and athletic.
Here’s one simple drill for the baseball load. I like simple hitting drills, and this one gives instant feedback.
You’d only have to do this once or twice to know if you’ve developed the bad habit of over-loading, or pushing your hands back past the optimal position.
The wall drill:
- Take your batting stance with back foot against a wall (or net)
- Go through your baseball swing gather and loading motion (Don’t actually swing, obviously)
- Pay attention if your hands hit the wall behind you
Simple. Easy. Immediate feedback.
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