Good Happens with a Connected Power Swing.
Swinging Bat Around Body Slows Bat Speed
For most young developing hitters, they learn to swing the bat around their body in a way that actually reduces bat speed because the upper body gets essentially disconnected from the lower body. This typically slows the turn of the hips and body, which will likely reduce bat speed.
Improve Bat Speed without Lifting Weights
To maximize bat speed, (just through the use of good mechanics and without ever having to lift a single weight), a hitter needs to learn how to connect his upper & lower body. When done correctly, this will: 1) improve linear drive of the lower half, 2) increase rotational torque (turn speed) of the hips and body, and 3) keep his hands inside the ball. All of these factors should immediately improve bat speed.
Connecting the Upper & Lower Half of the Body
In yesterday’s training session, we worked with this 13 year old on: 1) training the lower half of the body to work to build greater power in the swing, and 2) maximizing power by connecting his upper body to the movements of the lower body.
- started with the back foot being grounded (to start the linear/forward movement of the lower body towards the pitcher)
- progressed to firming up the front leg (to provide stability and enhance hip turn speed)
- progressed to connecting the upper half to the lower half (via the elbow connection to the hip)
Video segments from the session:
You’ll notice in the video how he learned to:
- anchor into the ground with the back foot so that his lower body moved linearly towards the pitcher
- firm up his front leg to stop the linear movement of the hips & pelvis forwards and start hip rotation
- connect his back elbow to his back hip to:
- increase rotational power and speed of first the body and then through a whip-like action the barrel of the bat
- get the barrel on plane with the oncoming ball
- keep his hands inside the ball (to add additional bat speed)
How to Accelerate Learning of a Connected Swing
The Powercore 360 hip harness and an orange band were used quickly teach him how to perform the correct movements (because the resistance band pulled on the hip harness, which moved and turned his hips for him as he performed the body movements):
- the band pulling on the backside of the hip harness automatically pulled and moved his hips & pelvis forwards (towards the pitcher). This gave him the feel for how to perform this movement over-and-over, to build the muscle memory for this movement.
- the band also turned the hip harness (which turned his hips) and this quickly taught him the feel for how to firm up his front leg (which turns the hips faster than he could do it on his own).