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Monday, August 23, 2010

How to Analyze a Baseball Swing

How to Analyze a Baseball Swing
By guest author: Jack Perconte

Many people who have a basic knowledge of baseball can look at an inexperienced hitter and figure out what they are doing wrong. Certain things like stepping out, over-striding, swinging early or late, upper cutting, pulling off the ball and taking their eye off the ball are fairly obvious flaws. The solutions to these problems are not as obvious, and certainly not as simple as just telling the hitter what they are doing wrong. Muscle memory can be very tough to change and it is important for hitters and adults to have patience with players who are trying to make changes to their muscle memory. However, I am getting ahead of myself. The swing cannot be fixed until it has been analyzed correctly. Analyzing a swing when the flaws are not as obvious takes a much more experienced coach.

Following are pointers for coaches who are not as experienced to know what to look for when analyzing a baseball swing:

1. The best angle to watch a hitter is the side angle, as from the on deck circle.

2. The main thing to watch from this angle is the path of the bat barrel.

3. The ideal is when the bat barrel settles above the hitter's rear shoulder with the knob of the bat pointing down just as the front foot lands with the stride. A slight tilt of the bat barrel where it settles anywhere between 11 and 1 o'clock is best.

4. From this settled position, the ideal is to see the hands and barrel begin on a downward path towards the ball, while never traveling too far from the hitters head on the path to the ball. This is known as a compact swing.

5. The swing is begun by a break of the back knee allowing the hips to open, and with a pull of the lead hand.

6. The bat barrel starts on a downward path but will begin to level off quite quickly, especially on the lower pitches. As the back knee rotates towards the ball, the back elbow lowers and remains very close to the body on the initial portion of the swing. This prevents the hands from casting away from the body, another common flaw of young hitters. Read

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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