8 Reasons Why Your Bat Is Moving Slow

There’s nothing worse than having your bat sound like a wet newspaper. If that’s you, your son, or some of your players then here are eight places to check for poor mechanics.

The second half of this post will have nine drills that will help you improve your bat speed.Bat Speed

1. Not Training Your Muscles to Fire Fast

To be able to generate serious bat speed you have to train fast. Your goal is to make your muscles physically swing the bat faster and with more explosiveness.

Lift weights at a faster pace with more of a burst action / Run rather than jog.

The game of Baseball is all about short bursts of speed, strength, and power. You can not expect to get faster by running slow laps around the warning track. Sprints and agility drills mixed with explosive lifting to improve fast twitch muscle fibers are crucial if you have the desire to run faster and hit the ball harder.

One of your goals when working out should be to train your muscles to trigger faster and then contract quickly, this style of training is providing the short bursts of energy needed for stealing bases and providing bat speed when swinging a baseball bat.

2. Not Maximizing Lower Half Drive

Almost all hitters struggle with getting the most out of their lower half during the swing, especially young hitters.

If the hitter doesn’t have specific drills and exercises to learn how to create lower half drive and direction properly, then they are in trouble.

And I’m not talking about getting the back foot off the ground or making sure the shoe laces are pointed back at the pitcher.

The lower half drive drills I use with hitters are so simple and effective it almost forces the hitter to increase their bat speed.

3. Not Using Hip Separation

The hips are one of the most underused parts of the baseball swing.

The secret to creating even more snap in the swing is to use the elastic properties of the hips to create separation.

Just remember your hands and hips work together.  The hip turn should be a powerful and complete motion to drive the ball.

4. Sequencing Isn’t Correct

The swing is the unlocking of body parts in perfect order starting from the ground up.

If the body is not unlocking in the proper order, then you are leaving serious power on the table. The most common mistake I see is hitters firing their hands before their hips.

The hands should never fire before the hips.

5. An Unathletic Mechanical SwingBat Speed

Paralysis by analysis is a bat speed killer. When a hitter has too many mechanics to focus on, they will slow their bat speed down.

The hitter needs to have a few queues to follow and understand how the swing is supposed to “feel” to create consistent bat speed.

That means too much thinking about hand position, back elbow position, stance width or any other mechanics during the swing is almost guaranteed to slow down their bat speed.

6. Stop The Late Swings

Practice hitting the ball hard while keeping a level swing plane. We want to practice hitting line drives, not home runs. Line drives will develop into home runs over time. To some coaches, it is essential for the batter to master hitting line drives up the middle past the pitcher and second base and to the opposite field before trying to swing for the fences.  I teach more about hitting the ball up the middle and pulling the ball.  Home runs come more naturally in my opinion when you hit middle or pull the ball.  My teachings have everything fall into place naturally not forcing a player to hit one way before he is allowed to hit another.

As your body matures and you get stronger your baseball swing mechanics will also benefit and develop and get stronger. You will start seeing doubles and triples turn into home runs naturally.

7. Stay Loose and Relax Muscles

When you are batting, it is important to feel relaxed and comfortable at the plate so that you can block out distractions from the stands or the other team’s dugout. Your goal is to concentrate on what’s in front of you, for example, seeing the pitch and utilizing the proper hitting mechanics. By staying relaxed, you can avoid tension in your muscles, specifically in the hands, legs, and arms and remain mentally focused, which are the components needed to be a good hitter and one that consistently hits the ball hard.

8. Make Sure Swing Sequence is Correct

A fluid swing is an effective swing in which you unlock your body parts in order. Your stride should be early and natural, keeping in mind that your hips lead your hands holding your wrists locked until after contact and extension, and the majority of your power is going to come from your lower half.

We just went over eight possible reasons why you might have a have a slow bat or a slow bat speed, whichever you prefer.  If you fix these problems then, of course, you will fix the speed of your swing.  The game of baseball is about speed in one way or another.  And when you are at the plate, you want to have fast bat speed.

Here are four quick answers that you can do that will help you Improve Bat Speed.  Full Article will bring you many more ways.

  • Hands stay at the shoulder – Keeping your hands at the shoulder keeping everything tight allows for more control and power.
  • Weight Shift – You want to use the momentum of your body as you are moving toward the baseball and putting your energy into the swing. Don’t lunge!
  • Choose a Lighter Bat – The lighter the bat, the faster you will be able to swing and the harder you will be able to hit the baseball.
  • Improve Your Strength – This is the only way to develop your full potential.  In the next paragraph, I will write down some exercises that you can do to help improve your bat speed.

 

 

Improve Your Bat Speed With Exercise

Legs – Powerful hitters have excellent leg strength. Even though not every power hitter has large legs that don’t mean they don’t know how to use them in their swing.  Responsible for generating power are the legs, requiring the lower half of your body is essential for a fast swing through the strike zone. Strong legs provide the steadied support that is needed to transport energy from your lower half to your arms and then to the bat. Some prominent exercises to build leg strength include:

  • Leg Presses
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Leg Curls
  • Dead Lift

Core – To create torque behind your swing, it helps to have a quick and powerful twist in your core. The core is the body’s central hub for strength. The core incorporates the muscles of the chest, abdominals, and back. Working out these muscles will increase the body’s overall strength and power. A few great exercises to improve core strength include:

  • Sit-ups/Crunches
  • Push-Ups
  • Planks
  • Medicine Ball Rotations
  • Bench Press

Forearms – The grip and forearms are important areas when it comes to increasing bat speed. Strong forearms and grip provide faster hand speed and control. A baseball swing involves incredibly controlled movements in the forearms, wrists, hands, and fingers. Practicing forearm and hand exercises is vital. A few great ones include:

  • Wrist Curls
  • Farmer’s Walk
  • Squeezing a tennis ball/racquetball
  • Reverse Wrist Curls
  • Finger Curls

 

8 Drills To Improve Your Bat Speed

Cross-Handed Batting Drill

Purpose:
To teach hitter the idea of quickly throwing the barrel head of the bat through the strike zone.

Procedure:

  • The Hitter grips the bat cross-handed, that is, the bottom hand is on top, and the other hand is on the bottom.
  • The hitter assumes a regular stance.
  • The hitter swings and drives the ball into the backstop.

Throwing the knob Batting Drill

Purpose:
To teach the hitter to throw the knob head of the bat through the strike zone, causing the hands to follow thus developing a quick, compact swing.

Procedure:

  • The hitter assumes a normal batting stance.
  • The hitter grips the bat with his bottom hand in a regular manner.
  • The hitter places his top hand open and flat against the bat and throws the “knob head” at the ball.
  • Lead arm elbow should be aiming toward the ground, and bottom hand should be backhanding to assure proper swing.

One-Handed Bottom Hand Drill

Purpose:
To teach the proper behavior of the bottom hand during your swing.

Procedure:

  • The hitter assumes a normal batting stance.
  • There is no top hand involvement in this drill, the hitter grips the bat only with the bottom hand.
  • The hitter swings at the ball using his bottom, less-dominate hand to grip the bat.
  • The importance of the lead elbow pointing toward the ground and not flying open in the air during the swing should be stated.
  • A quick downward stroke and backhanding action is what we are looking for here.
  • Emphasize throwing the “pinky finger” at the ball feeder. This helps create proper hand action.

One-Handed Top Hand Batting Drill

Purpose:
To teach the hitter the proper movement of the top hand and how it brings the barrel head of the bat through the strike zone.

Procedure:

  • The hitter assumes a normal batting stance.
  • The hitter grips the bat with his top hand only, similar to a tennis grip.
  • The hitter drives a ball into the net.
  • Emphasize a quick downward stroke.

Twist Bat Drill

Purpose:
To determine if a hitter is gripping the bat too tightly.

Procedures:

  • Hitter assumes normal batting stance.
  • Coach goes behind the hitter, grabs the club end of the bat, and twists it.
  • If the handgrip is too tight, the bat will not rotate in player’s hands.

 

 

Weighted Bat

Purpose:
To strengthen the muscles used in performing the swing.

Procedure:

  • Use a slightly weighted bat or a weight device on the end of the bat. The weight, however, should be light enough to all for a normal fluid swing.
  • Fifty times a day.
  • Caution: Too heavy a bat can lead to an improper swing.

Glove Under The Front Arm Drill

Purpose:
To keep front arm close to the body and elbow pointing toward the ground, thus preventing upper cutting and
allowing the clubhead to come through quickly and correctly.

Procedure:

  • Place hitter’s glove, a towel, or cap underneath the front arm.
  • Hitter swings as usual – If the swing is done correctly the glove will not drop to the ground – A quick, compact swing will
    result.

Screen Throw

Purpose:
To help the hitter generate bat speed.

Procedure:

  • The hitter practices throwing the bat into the screen… exploding with the hands.

These are just a few of the drills that may be used to improve bat speed.