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looks to me like he is very top hand dominate, its doing all the work and the bottom hand is just in the way, some one hand drills may actually help with that, , just bottom hand and use full size bat, not a one hand trainer and don't choke up
Hey John, I had not noticed you had two clips here, so I downloaded them and took a look slowing the swing down in my analysis software. Let's clear a common myth and misconception up first-the back shoulder will be lower during the swing as he rotates his upper body and tilts. This is a natural occurrence depending on the pitch height; low versus high. The lower the pitch, the higher the front elbow and the lower the back shoulder and vice-versa. As far as bat drag goes, it is not extreme. Yes, the back elbow does lead the knob just a little bit, but he corrects fairly quick. His problem is bat path and possibly hand path because he is late in one clip and the other is bad pitch selection-he swings at a high pitch. Also, if you are able to stop the video, stop it at the point his chest faces his front foot and you will notice that his hands are behind his shoulder-another sign of a long swing, bat drag and he is probably going to be late. Unless he is adjusting to an umpire's strike zone and having to swing at pitches out of his hitting zone, then he needs to hit earlier in the count and not get into that 2-strike situation, however in both clips he gets his front foot down in plenty of time, but it is everything after that. His first move is to cast his hands back, lower his back elbow and bar his front arm. This creates a long swing which if he started earlier would probably work, but not ideal or as efficient. I am not a fan of it for younger players because of timing issues, but many players have been very successful using this type of move, most notably, Ted Williams. If you still want to work on the bit of bat drag he has (back elbow leading the knob from Launch into Approach), then the bucket drill I suggested in my previous post is a good one. For the front arm, one arm iso drills are good as Kenneth Shepherd suggests, but I wouldn't recommend using his regular bat and not choking up. I believe this to be a recipe for bad habits and disaster, because the bat is too long and heavy to handle with one arm while trying to work on a swing flaw. You could actually use a band or tubing to engage the brain even more with resistance. For a good explanation through video of bat drag and a few other angles, check my online academy website at http://bit.ly/BaseballBarn , scroll down to the video titled Do You Struggle With Bat Drag? Good luck and let me know if you need additional help.
Thank you all very much for the feedback. He's been doing a lot of one arm drives and focusing on the bottom hand driving his swing and it's really helped. Actually hit his first HR last night:)
check his elbows to see if he is stacking them, rear elbow under the front elbow, younger not so strong youngsters tend to not position and keep their elbows at their proper distance apart and consequently get them stacked where the top elbow actually tends to almost lead the front elbow. immediately after the hips rotate the shoulders the elbows the arms and hands all go together while taking the barrel to contact, have him hold his bat loosely, place the rear end of the barrel on the surface then lift the barrel straight up,and place it on his shoulder then move the whole upper body back and forth as if he was going to attack the ball without stroking the barrel to contact.
During the approach to contact the shoulders do not/should not rotate they should have an up and down tilt on a lateral axis all on a vertical plane, the tilt should be naturally and rhythmically set up by the pivot of the rear foot and knee, not forced by leaning over sideways and breaking at the waist which forces the batter out of good spinal alignment,
Be sure his arm are are set at the proper distance for his size and that he keeps them properly distanced until he takes the barrel to contact. Any amount of bat drag will never allow a batter to obtain maximum barrel speed, never mistake barrel lag for barrel drag.
Good luck with his problems
Great Base Ball-N
Good stuff, Don. Sounds like something right out of Mike Epstein's book, Ted Williams. I would say that the part about the shoulders rotating might be a little off though...the shoulders will rotate from Approach to Contact and the tilt is not necessarily set up by the rear foot and leg, although the back leg certainly helps with getting to lower pitches. The rear knee pinching in initiates the swing causing the rear foot/heal to be pulled in and up and begins the rear hip movement forward and the lead hip left and backward, though to a lesser degree backwards. The tilt is an adjustment made based on the height of the pitch by the front elbow raising up more for a lower pitch and less for a higher pitch, thus the higher the pitch, the less tilt and the lower the pitch the more tilt.
In my experience, I have found it is not the lack of strength that is the culprit of the back elbow slotting too soon, but poor technique which is usually caused by well meaning, but unknowing parents and coaches yelling for the kid to 'slot' his elbow. Just my take on it, but thought you had some really good stuff there. Cheers.