Bat Behind Hips

Tech in Baseball
Presented with Diamond Kinetics

Skill Set: Hitting
Difficulty Level: Easy
Number of Athletes and Coaches: 1-2 athletes and 1 coach, or 2 athletes as partners
Average Time to Complete: 5 minutes
Equipment Required: Bat, tee, baseballs, net or screen to hit into

Goal: Activate the hips into the swing by using only the lower half in the swing

Description of the Drill: 
• Tee set up in front of the middle of the plate at the height of the bat once placed behind hips
• Hitter sets up even with the plate, while partner places a ball on the tee
• Hitter puts the bat behind their back, resting right above their hips with the barrel of the bat off of their back hip and hooks their arms around the bat
• Hitter hits the ball off the tee by firing with the hips and having the hips control the bat to the ball
• If the hitter is pulling the ball to the pull side, they are casting their hands
• Partners switch after 10 swings

Add Difficulty:
• To add a degree of difficulty, the partner can toss the hitter baseballs, either from side toss or front toss.

Using Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker Sensor and mobile App - the following metrics and tools can help you measure your swing and see improvement when doing this drill:

Distance in the Zone
Overview: Using the Distance in the Zone metric, hitters can determine when their barrel is entering and leaving the hitting zone.  The longer the barrel stays in the hitting zone, the better chance the player has to make consistent, solid contact.  This is clearly depicted in the 3D viewer as the blue portion of the swing path.

Optimal Ranges by Age:
• U10-14: Good is 29-32 inches
• U15-18: Good is 31-34 inches
• College-Pro: Good is 33-37 inches

Coaching Insights:
• Having a swing that maintains a good Distance in The Zone gives the batter a better chance of making contact with the pitch. It also means the swing is “more forgiving” 
• Having a good Distance In The Zone can account for small errors in timing because there is more “space” for the batter to make contact and still put the ball in play.
• This metric can help coaches identify loopy swings based on how early the barrel enters the zone and if there is a ‘hard-turn’ coming out of the zone.
• Additionally, based on where contact is most often made, it can help identify if a hitter is having issues with timing up the pitch.

Hand Cast Distance 
Overview: Hand Cast Distance measure starts when the hitter gets to the load position.  From that point when the bat starts forward acceleration, it measures how far the knob of the bat travels away from that point…measured in inches.  This control metric is important because it shows a hitter’s ability to stay inside the ball instead of swinging around the ball.

Optimal Ranges by Age:
• U10-14 – expect double digit numbers in the teens.
• U15-18 – the batter should try to be a 10 or lower. A good swing

Coaching Insights:
• Impact Momentum is a “smarter version” of barrel speed because it takes into account the size of the bat. If a kid swings a bigger bat at the same speed, when contact happens, the ball goes further.
• If you want to understand how improving Impact Momentum translates to the game – for every +1 a hitter adds to their Impact Momentum, it equates to roughly a 1.5 MPH increase in exit velocity. And every 1.5 MPH of exit velo translates to roughly 6-10 more feet of carry, depending on launch angle.  
• If you have a high-school kid playing on a full-size field, the magic Impact Momentum number to hit dingers is 27 + (with the right launch angle, of course). A well hit ball with an “IM” of 24 is caught well inside the warning track. Hit it with an IM of 27+ and it is out of the park.

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