A cue for hitters who are dropping their hands
Dropping the hands is a fairly common problem among young hitters. I personally think some of that is due to the number of coaches telling their hitters to “throw your hands at the ball,” and part of it is telling them to “swing level,” which translates in their heads to “level to the ground.” But mostly it’s probably just a natural reaction to trying to hit a moving ball with a moving bat.
Tonight I was working with a girl who was doing just that. She was trying to hit a thigh-high pitch, but her hands were coming down so low that there wasn’t much angle to her bat. I wanted her to make sure she was keeping her hands above the ball, but saying that just didn’t seem to make sense to her. So I told her to keep her hands above her waist, and just lower the bat to get to the ball.
Bingo! That seemed to work. She went from hitting bouncing ground balls to driving line drives and pounding some deep fly balls. She continued to hit through the ball consistently.
I don’t know if it will work for everybody, but it certainly worked tonight — probably because it was specific and measurable. Saying keep your hands above the ball requires judgment. Saying keep your hands above your waist (or bellybutton) is a lot easier to understand and execute.