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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Baseball Drills - Hitting Problems? - Check The Lower Half First

By Nate Barnett

There are very few things more frustrating to an athlete than than to struggle at the plate as a hitter and not understand where the problem stems from. When I work with hitters, I focus on perfecting the functions of lower body mechanics because of the affect the lower body has on the upper half. Trying to solve upper body hitting mechanics without addressing the lower half first is like attempting to build a house beginning with the second story prior to building the basement - it doesn't work too well.

Some of the common mistakes that can be ironed out with some common lower body baseball drills are:
1. Collapsing of the backside (shoulder dipping)
2. Front side (hip) flying open
3. Hunching over the plate (upper body)
4. Hands extending away from body through swing

Here is what to check for as you work with the lower body mechanics of your athletes during some baseball drills.

As the hitter shifts some weight onto his back leg (the load) prior to the pitch, look to see if that weight continues to stay on the back side as the swing begins. Many hitters have the problem of letting their hips slide forward towards the pitcher during the beginning stages of the swing. This problem (often called floating) can be a major cause of some of the above problems.

Because I understand that visualizing the process I'm referring to in text can be tricky, there are a couple videos posted on my blog that will illustrate a proper trigger and lower body mechanics. Upon entering my blog, click on hitting on the left hand side of the screen and you will be able to view that will illustrate what I've written on.

About the Author
Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball and is based out of Washington State. His expertise is in the area of hitting, pitching, and mental training. Coach Barnett's passion is working with youth in helping expand their vision for their baseball future. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career. His instructional blog is located at
His new FREE ebook, Toxic Baseball: Are you polluting your game? can be found on the main BMI Baseball website.
Hitting 101, an ebook on complete hitting mechanics will be released by June 1st, 2008. Features include numerous illustrations, video clips, and a special offer to discuss your hitting questions over live on the phone strategy sessions.

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick