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Any Advice on How to stop a player from being outfront, lunging whatever you want to call it, but not the typical out front.

I have one high school player I am working with that I can not fix!  I have tried everything I can think of and nothing is working, doesn anyone have any ideas?  

When this player loads, his body is in a good position, but when he is loaded right before he swings,

his body is always leaning forward.  It is almost like he is trying to generate power with his upper body.  

I have tried starting him with his legs close together, toe tap, leg kick you name it,  but he still gets to this position you see in the picture right before he rotates or begins the swing.  He does it pretty quickly and can fool you because he catches up to a good position at the end of the swing.  but on slow motion you pick it up,  I have tried several different items, belts, bungee pulling, pushing with no luck.

I even tried to spread him out no stride, as seen in the picture from last night and he still gets to this position.  I know this is something he has done since he was younger as I asked his mom for any old video of him hitting and it looks just like this.  Does anyone have a fix.  Thanks, Rod

The hitter on the top is an MLB player I was trying to compare him too.

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Take a ball and put it on the ground next to his back foot heel.The goal is to be able to turn the back foot and hit the ball.Most players will lunge forward and come up on their toe missing the ball completely.He will begin to keep his head over his back side so that he can turn and hit the ball with his back foot.The idea is that the heel stay closer to the ground preventing the lunging.Where ever your head goes so goes the body weight..

So, you're saying to squish the bug? I have used a cinder block to teach a kid to being his foot in and up, but not to try and spin it to move the block. That goes against all logic and the way MLB players swing...and I am not talking about the pre-swing movements-Stance and Stride which I refer to as their style because it is different for almost everyone. It's what happens from heel plant to extension that is so similar in all MLB players. I have also often referred to and been taught by top instructors to keep balanced by keeping the head centered during static balance and dynamic balance. The body weight will go where the weight shift is without necessarily moving the head forward...if I keep my head over my back leg, I will have most, if not all of my weight on my back leg. This would not encourage any weight shift and thus I would be unable to generate any ground force...no power.  Just my thoughts.

Why take directions from someone who has never been where you are trying to go?
Based on this photo he is landing in a bad hitting position. He should be landing 50/50. If he's pushing off his back foot, that can cause lunging. Also if he's late getting started that can be a cause as well.

Hi Rod....

    It seems to me that your player has a bit of a top to bottom approach instead of working from the ground-up. Do some reps with him keeping the bat on his shoulder. If you look at your pictures, it seems to me that his bat is actually forcing him to create that upper body angle that you are concerned about. His bat is literally 45 degrees toward the pitcher. I can't tell but I got to imagine that this has to create a major loop in his swing. 

Have him lay the bat on his shoulder and concentrate on keeping his chin and belt buckle aligned throughout his entire approach ( from stride to finish). Do not teach him to hit from a no-stride position at his age. Also, I would not recommend him spinning on the back foot as mentioned above. Focus on that bat angle for starters.

I think it is difficult to assess his swing by still shots. It looks like he is loading a lot on this rear leg and he may not be correctly initiating his swing. Can the video be uploaded?

It's the first half of a very bad "Ax Handle" swing, plus he's focused on killing it rather than form.  He is getting all of his Swinging power from his waist, that's a no no.  Cure: Golf.  Go to the driving range with any golf club and see if he winds up hitting nothing but "slices" (lifting the left shoulder to finish the ax handle swing... BAD).  Problem: Not Squared UP; at the start of the backswing the golf ball and club MUST be directly in front of him, shoulders (this is key) square and level; of course the HEAD MUST NOT MOVE, NOT UP, NOT SIDE TO SIDE, NOT DIPPING.  The golf swing is identical to the bat swing.  He needs to learn to impact with his shoulders exactly as they were at windup.  Once he transfers power of the hit away from his waist and to his squared up shoulders, arms, butt, and legs you will be on your way.  The shoulders, head and waist must be in the same exact position when hitting the ball as it was during the start of the windup.  NEVER concentrate on power or distance, just the stance and the swing, power will follow.  This kid was me when I was 16.

I would throw out the idea of him spinning on his back foot (as mentioned earlier), that will just cause more problems. Have him get a little more off his back side at contact and it will help him learn how to hit against a firmer front side.  

The biggest thing you've got to get him to do is land 50/50 instead of his weight on his backside. This is causing him to "slide" forward to get to 50/50 before initiating his swing.

After loading, have him focus on driving his lead hip pocket forward at the pitcher as you can see harper doing in the first screenshot.

As for his bat angle, his looks GREAT and make sure he keeps it there! This actually eliminates any loop in his swing.

Try the cross over drill (happy Gilmore drill) during front toss and every once in a while stop the toss right before you release the ball. Have him notice where his upper body is at. This will help him generate awareness of the feeling of being out in front with his upper body.  Also maybe have him do mirror swings so he can watch himself and see his body.

Good luck

Unfortunately, I was unable to pull up the pictures you posted but, you mentioned lunging or being out front. Although none of my sons had an issue with being out in front, there is a drill that we used very frequently to help prevent that from taking place. I would place my son with the sun directly behind him. his shadow would then be cast directly in front of him. I would place a ball in the center of his head (shadow). I would then pitch to him and make him hold his position after the swing. If his shadow (shadow) ends up in front of the ball, he is definitely lunging. If his shadow falls behind the ball, he is probably dropping his shoulder and will have to work on his mechanics. Unfortunately, the sun doesn't always cooperate and you may have to do a night session with the lights from the field. You can do this during batting practice behind the "L" but, never during live pitching "60ft (too many variables). Once you determine that he is truly lunging, now you can start him on wiffle balls. Throwing wiffle balls forces the player to sit back and wait on the ball. As a last measure, you can have the player assume the batting stance and have him stand in front of the fence with his back foot touching the fence. Have him take swings. His bat should not hit the fence at any point throughout the swing. This forces him to stay balanced. If he tries to lunge he will drag his bat and it will scrape the fence. Every baseball player that I have coached that went on to play pro ball or collegiate ball had the ability to do this. It is not an easy drill but, it keeps the player balanced. Good luck.

I think the kid should seek out some knowledge on his own as well as what you are giving him...I suggest you both get a copy of Charlie Lau's book, The Art of Hitting .300  to read. The companion video of it (same title) is on YouTube too...

Here's the link...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jktd0diHd90

You can also get the book by Tony Gwynn, The Art of Hitting...and get him to watch the video... The King of Swing, also on YouTube...Here's the link for that too... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTndtUTFqb8

The combined knowledge in these two books compliment each other and offer something to make the kid think more about what he is doing...The kid has to READ, & RESEARCH on his own under your eye to improve... Let me know how the kid progresses... Take care...

Also if you do not know how to swim read about how to swim from a book then jump in the deep end of a pool and let us know how that worked for you.

Hello Rod, 

I'm new here. Thanks for having me. I've read some of the replies, mainly for the purpose of not being redundant and learning. Pardon me if I am. 

I saw Charlie Lau referenced earlier. Somewhere in that book Charlie says, "If a hitter's weight is properly distributed he will be able to make contact standing on his back leg only." I have employed concept this with the hitters I train. The kids named it the Pelican drill (cute, catchy, appropriate - laughing about it now).

In your situation I'd ask the hitter to stand in the box like a pitcher in his balance pose. Front foot in the air, hip to knee parallel to the ground, back foot on the ground, slight bend in the knee. Before tossing to them (front toss from 15') I ask them to swing. First one time and then 10 in a row without putting the front foot on the ground in between swings (swings vs. air). If necessary, I allow them to use their bat to maintain their balance. As they are wobbling and teetering to stay on that back leg and keep that front foot off the ground, I find this to be a great opportunity to verbally reinforce "Hitting is a fight for your balance. Fight for your balance!" Always with positivity, of course. Another one they have no idea about, but their parents love is, "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down."

Usually before they ever get the 10 dry swings (without the front foot touching the ground) they get a feeling on the inside or their back hip (some call it "the slot"). I ask them about how the hip joint feels and we discuss it. Then I toss to them while they remain in the Pelican stance. I've used the drill since reading the book in the early 90's and have found it to be more than adequate. When the player reverts (and he will) I simply say, "5 Pelicans" or "5 P's".  I don't throw to them for those 5 P's. 5 is not a magic number and my experience tells me the only magic number is "more".  If 5 gets him that feeling back, then we proceed with the other aspects of his training. If not,... you get it.

Be well,

KC

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