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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About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on October 2, 2009, in Hitting. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Remember ken that by the age of 14 or so we started taking away the top hand one handed drill from Steph and focused primarily on the bottom hand drill. Her power started to come around then also.

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  2. Exactly. As I work with hitters it seems like they love to use that top hand, and let the bottom hand go along for the ride. With two hands it might feel strong but as we saw it’s not. Of course, having Steph’s work ethic didn’t hurt any either!

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