Bat drag update

I promised to keep you up to date on developments in the bat drag department. Here’s the latest.

Our experiment with taking the front shoulder down at toe touch is working pretty well. But it’s still possible to get that back elbow ahead even if you get to that position. I was hoping for a silver bullet but it hasn’t quite turned out that way. There are two causes I’m seeing.

One is just flat out dropping the back shoulder again after toe touch. If the first movement of the shoulder is to go down, the elbow can get ahead. You haven’t really cured it in that case, you’ve just delayed it.

The second is more interesting. I just spotted it watching some video. If the shoulders  begin turning before the hips, it’s possible to get that elbow out ahead of the hands, especially if the hands are staying back . The experiment now, with one player in particular, is to make sure the hips start first, then the shoulders. It’s a momentary difference but I think an important one.

We’ll be working this weekend on it, and I should have a better idea in a couple of weeks whether it will be another piece of the puzzle. The other things we’ve done have helped other players, but it seems like there’s always one more thing to try. Even the girl we’re working with on the hips/shoulders thing, though, has shown a lot of improvement in her swing overall. Lots better batspeed, and lots better contact to all fields.

One thing that is challenging in trying to figure all this out is the difference in flexibility between a fat old coach and a young female athlete. Things I try that work for me don’t always work for them. Their flexibility allows them to do things (or contort themselves) in ways I can’t. It’s an interesting dilemma, but one we will solve.

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