Welcome to part 3 of our 3 part series: Popular Hitting Myths That Rob Hits. If you missed the first two myths, click here to get them.
Let’s start off with today’s video:
The other phrase you’ll hear along today’s line is “roll your wrists!” The person saying this always does so while demonstrating it 🙂 – bat “extended” (arms all the way out and locked) directly over the plate.
Why it came to be
Simply put, most casual observers think that the point of contact looks like this:
In other words, most think that the point of contact with the ball is arms-straight-out (extended).
And then there’s this thought that bat speed is created by how quickly you can roll your wrists, allowing the bat to snap through the zone.
I can see where it might appear like this from either afar or first glance. But of all three myths we’ve mentioned, this is the one that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Why it leads (any) hitter astray
This is simple. Holding the barrel completely extended at the point of contact is a very (very) weak position.
In fact, in today’s video, Coach Elliott can push my barrel back (with me trying to resist him) with ONE single finger when I’m in this “extended” position. If one tiny push will knock my barrel back, so will a 50 mph baseball (let alone a 90 mph one). I realize that during an actual swing there’s barrel momentum to overcome ball resistance, but the basic idea still holds true: it’s a weak position.
The true point of contact (and extension)
Look at a freeze from of ANY good hitter (be it little league, HS, collegiate, or pro), and you’ll see that the point of contact has a distinctly flexed position. The back elbow is bent and close to the body. It’s an incredibly strong position, and one that will allow extension through the ball (not extention AT the ball).
Your honor, exhibit 1 (of 1,000,000) – Mike Trout:
That said, extension does eventually come. AFTER the point of contact. I love how Coach Elliott puts it in today’s video: “imagine hitting through 3 baseballs. One at the point of contact, and 2 more out in front of that ball (each a couple inches apart. THIS is where extension happens!
As always, we have a couple simple drills in today’s video to help your kiddo feel the proper contact point and extension point. And basically, it’s all about reversing the swing.
Hope it helps!