Fix Common Mistakes
Bottom/Lead-Hand hitting drills are designed to strengthen critical hitting muscles for contact away from your body, improve bat speed and power, prevent “roll over groundballs” and help to “stay closed” with your front side. Generally, “Staying closed” and “staying through the ball” improves by swinging from your core/lower-body, freeing your upper-body.
RUSTY MCNAMARA: Hitting Coach, University Of Hawaii
Lead arm soft toss. This drill can be done off the tee as well, but I always preferred “side toss” or “front toss” just to add rhythm and timing to the drill. I would use my regular bat and choke up about 6-8 inches. As a right-handed hitter, I would hold the bat in my left hand only (lead arm). Choking up makes the bat lighter and creates a fulcrum effect.
The key is to use your hand as much as possible to “pass the barrel through the zone” and “through the baseball,” without arm barring and swinging the bat with your entire arm and “lead shoulder.” If you can control the bat with one hand, it makes it easy with two. Great drill for hand-eye coordination too.
The key to this drill once again is to stay in your legs and have your lower half position you into the hitting zone, keeping your chest square to the plate so that you can free up your hand and flick through the ball. Do not try to hit the ball hard; it’s pointless, it’s a drill for positioning and hand-eye coordination. Look for the result of the ball. Try to create backspin and hit the ball up the middle.
The ball never lies. If there is topspin you are “hitting over the ball,” most likely upper cutting and mis-hitting over it. Side or angular spin means you are getting under the ball “lazy barrel;” and slicing the ball. Try to keep a “barrel above the hand” and “hand above the ball” relationship as you “stay in the legs.” Good results will follow.”
Learn more about the University of Hawaii Laser Strap Case Study