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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Baseball Coaching Digest - The Swing Looks Perfect But the Batter Always Hits a Weak Ground Ball

By Nick Dixon

We have all seen this scenario. The batter has above average bat speed, above average hitting skill and is always extremely aggressive at the plate, but is simply not getting on base. The swing looks great but weak or poor contact is made. The batter is in a serious hitting slump. The only pitch the batter seems able to hit hard is the fast ball on the inner part of the plate. It seems like every other ball he makes contact with is a ground ball weakly hit back to the pitcher. And when it hits it hard, it is a "worm-burner" back to the pitcher. This article offers reasons and corrections for this hitting flaw.

What causes this hitting flaw?

The answer to this question is one word, "timing". The batter is not being patience enough. The batter is attacking the baseball too quick or too soon. The bat is not making good solid contact with the baseball because the bat is already through the POWER ZONE before the ball gets there. When the batter attacks the pitch too soon, the bat has passed through the "level plane" and has started to move upward when it contacts the ball.

Many young batters and overly aggressive or impatience older batters, want to attack the ball as soon as possible. They often attack it too it early before the ball reaches the plate. No matter how hard the swing is, the batter is only making contact with the top edge or third of the baseball. This contact at the very top of the ball is forcing the ball hard downward off the bat, thus creating a "hard worm burner" back to the pitcher.

How is this batting flaw be corrected?

You may have heard a coach in the past say, "Let the Ball Get In". What this means is that the batter should let the ball get inside the front foot. The only pitch a batter should attack before it gets inside the front foot is the fast ball on the inner third of the plate. Every other pitch must be allowed to get inside the foot before the batter attacks it.

Letting the ball get in allows the bat to make contact when the bat is on a level plane. The best way to correct the flaw is to do a front toss drill and making sure that the batter waits until the ball gets inside the front foot before attacking it. Patience and timing are the two important things batters must learn to use at the plate. Having these two traits are the key to hitting line drives for base hits.

I hope that you found this article to be useful and informative. You may find other articles like it at the Baseball Coaching Digest and the Youth Baseball Digest. I thank you for taking the time to read it. Have a great day. Nick

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Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, a sports training company established in 1999. Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of the BatAction Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Target Trainer, the SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and the SKLZ Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Youth Baseball Digest, the Baseball Parent Guide, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, and Blog4Coaches.

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick