How to Stop An Uppercut Swing

There isn’t anything that hurts a young baseball player more than an uppercut swing.  No only does this swing make the ball hard to hit, but also the result of making contact is a ball that stays in the infield.  The reason its hard to hit a ball when swinging with an uppercut is the fact that the timing of the swing must be perfect in order to hit the ball in the first place. 

An uppercut swing cuts through the pitch zone from underneath and follows through above where the ball is pitched.  A downward swing through the slot stays in the pitch zone for a much longer period of time and therefore the bat is more likely to strike the ball.  The hits of this kinds are also much more solid on the bat and therefore go farther.

An uppercut swing is often caused when the player first starts playing baseball and the coach of father throws baseballs to the child while standing in an upright position.  This causes the thrown ball to be pitched in a decending arc toward the batter who then swings upward toward the ball in order to make contact.  Then, when the player moves to a situation where other kids are throwing the ball at the same height as the batter, he can no longer make contact with the ball due to this bad swing habit. 

This situation can be prevented through the caoch of father throwing to the batter while placing one knee on the ground or using a pitching machne that sends the balls to the batter at the correct height.

However, in order to correct an uppercut swing that has ingrained itself into the players muscle memory, you must change the point of reference in the batters mind.  An uppercut swing is caused by swinging at the ball with the dominant arm of the player.  For a right-handed batter this would be the rightarm which is the triling arm towards the ball.  The upper cut is caused by dropping the right arm topush the bat toward the ball.  The way to correct this swing fault is to have the batter swing at the ball with the lead (or left arm) while using the right arm to guide the bat at the ball.

In order to swing at the ball with the lead arm, it is impossible to drop the right arm before the ball is hit.  If the player is having trouble grasping this concept, have the player hit balls using the lead arm only until he understands what it feels like to hit the ball with the lead arm.   Then he can add the back arm to guide the swing through the pitch.

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Baseball Hitting instructions – Improve Swing Control

Baseball Hitting Drills to Improve Swing Control

A good hitter can only become better through this series of repetitious drills that aim to hone and train hitting skills. To improve swing control and reflexes when hitting use these baseball hitting drills, which include hitting balls other than baseballs, aiming for the correct colored ball and hitting against a wall at an imaginary field."

The Qualities of a Good Hitter

To be an idea hitter in baseball, a player must achieve a balance of strength, coordination, control and determination. While these qualities are second nature to some players, both gifted and inexperienced players will benefit from baseball hitting drills. Before attempting any baseball hitting drills, make sure players are batting with the proper bat. Batting with an over heavy bat can have negative effects on the trajectory of the swing. It is imperative that batters learn to spot the strike zone so they don’t swing at bad pitches. When swinging, swing slightly downward to stay on top of the ball and avoid over-cutting. Batting stance is also important when practicing hitting. Always keep both the front shoulder and the chin tucked in towards the body. Hands should be back and the head should be pointing towards the pitcher so that both eyes can focus on the oncoming pitch. Finally, to put that added spring into the hitter’s step, they should always be on the balls of their feet. Once the stance has been perfected, it’s time to start on the baseball hitting drills!

Hitting soccer balls and colored balls

This drill, called the Power Bat Drill, helps hitters develop power in their swing by connecting with a heavier ball. By increasing the amount of force necessary at the point of contact, the hitter will develop a more powerful swing. To begin, slide a plunger handle-first into a batting tee. Place either a flattened soccer ball or basketball in the rubber cupped part of the plunger and swing normally at the ball. The goal for this drill is to hit the heavier ball without decelerating the swing at the point of impact. Concentrate on the mechanics of the swing and the level of deceleration will decrease. The next hitting drill, known as the colored ball drill, aims to sharpen a player’s mind and improve reaction times at the plate. This drill requires a number of different colored balls which can either be bought or painted. To begin, place the colored balls in a bucket. The pitcher carefully reaches into the bucket and selects a ball without allowing the batter to see the color of the ball. Before releasing the pitch, the batter calls out the name of a color. The batter may only swing at the pitch if it matches the color of ball called by the pitcher.

Wall Ball

Finally, here’s a baseball hitting drill called the Wall Ball drill that involves a large number of players at once, and can be played in a more competitive manner to teach players to be aggressive when hitting. Divide the team into groups of 3. One team plays defense while the other bats using foam or wiffle balls. The goal of the game is to hit balls towards a wall where different sections correspond with different types of hits. The wall must have a top line that represents the "out" zone. If the ball touches the wall above the line, it is considered an out. If the ball hits the wall below the line without touching the ground, it is counted as one point for the batting team. If the ball touches the ground first before hitting the wall, it is not counted as a point but the offensive team continues to bat. Balls that are caught by the defense before touching the ground or wall are considered outs, as are pop-ups, foul balls and missed swings. Finally, to keep game play moving quickly, bats are not to touch the ground. After the batting team gets three outs, they switch sides, and the first team to ten points wins.

Want More Baseball Hitting Drills?

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By Kenny Buford
Published: 1/15/2008

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