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Casting the Hands
This is one of the most common flaws in hitting. One of the reasons is that a
lot of other mechanical flaws will result in a cast. You can recognize a cast by
watching a hitter from behind as he hits off of a tee. If the barrel of the bat is
flying away from his shoulder on the initial approach, then he is casting his
hands. This action results in a long, slow and weak swing path. It is very
difficult to catch up to a good fastball with an approach like this.
This approach will also prevent a hitter from staying inside the baseball.
Instead, the barrel is wrapping around the baseball. This makes it virtually
impossible to hit a ball the other way. Casting also causes the bat to travel
around the hitting zone opposed to through it.
Why do hitters pull their head off of the ball???
As coaches we preach, “Don’t pull your head out!!” However, I have come to
the conclusion that hitters do not intentionally pull their head off of the ball.
Instead, if you want to cure this problem, teach the proper swing-path. When
a hitter casts his barrel around the ball his momentum is moving him in a
twisting motion. The force behind this motion will cause not only his trunk to
twist, but his head will also go along for the ride as well. Keep in mind, this
improper swing path can be caused by two things: 1) Casting the barrel away
from the body too soon, or 2) not opening up the back hip to allow your hands
to work toward, or inside the baseball.
CORRECTIVE MEASURE: Spend a lot of time drilling the outside pitch. Make
sure that your hitter is seeing the ball deep into the zone. This will allow him to
hit the ball the other way. Use a tee and front soft toss to drill this concept.
This will assure that the ball is in the correct location.
Asking your hitter to hit the ball the other way is one of the best things you can
do to help him learn to use his hands correctly. It is almost impossible to hit the
ball the other way without staying inside of it.