Daily Archives: October 2, 2009

The dominant hand

I was working with a right handed hitter the other day, and we were talking about finishing the swing. She had a tendency to get to contact then come up short. In the course of our discussion she referred to her top hand as being her dominant hand — probably because she is right handed.

While it was just a terminology, it provided a teaching moment. I had planned on having her do some one-handed drills so I had been practicing them myself before she got there. When she mentioned her dominant hand it provided the perfect opportunity to get started.

First I had her use her choke up on the bat and use her bottom hand only. She’s done these before, so she started pulling the bat through and hitting the ball fairly hard off the tee. Then we switched to her “dominant” (top) hand. She had a tough time getting the bat through effectively, even while choked up.

It was a revealing moment to her. She’s always relied on her top hand for most of the power, so she rarely reached extension. She made consistent contact but never really hit the ball hard (which is why we were working together). After that demonstration she paid more attention to working her bottom hand and started extending after contact.

The real proof, though, came later that day during a game. This girl who was hitting pop-ups and so-so ground balls during the summer cracked a single, two doubles and a triple off three different pitchers. All were solid.

It’s important for hitters to understand the role of each hand, and how they work together. By taking advantage off the strength of both they can drive the ball more powerfully rather than leaving power on the table.

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