Baseball Swing Fundamentals must include this
As much as any other reason, bad hitting habits develop because players stand the wrong distance from home plate, and many youth players develop bad hitting mechanics because coaches allow them to stand the incorrect distance from home.
Standing the right length is essential for developing the best hitting fundamentals and a better, if not perfect swing. The correct distance gives batters the ability to reach and drive balls in all pitch locations. Players, who stand even an inch or two off, change their swing fundamental by putting the hands and sweet spot in the wrong location at contact.
As seen here, standing too close leads to a step out, shoulder pulls away or getting jammed on the pitch.
Standing too far from home forces hitters to reach or dive into the plate leading to early wrist rolls and locked up hips, neither conducive for the correct swing actions.
Coaches, who recognize these hitting mistakes, should make sure players distance from home is right. A few ways exist for finding the ideal distance from home, and the best of those has players touching an inch or two beyond the outside corner upon set up and then remaining that distance away. This positioning is essential for the correct swing move of the back elbow descending in the proper manner, which leads to the correct palm-up, palm down hand position at contact. Standing the wrong distance from home plate prevents this necessary back elbow action, leading to a baseball swing fundamentals breakdown.
Coaches can have players work on this back elbow move with a glove under the rear armpit. With the correct swing, when players do not reach for balls, the glove flies out after contact and not before. Reaching for balls will cause the glove to fall out almost immediately and incorrectly. Having players swing with this inside the net drill, where players just graze the net after standing belly button away also helps develop the back elbow move.
Another way to practice the correct distance is with this inside-outside two-tee setup. Players hit the pitch called by the coach after the stride foot lands. Hitting balls on the sweet spot and driving the ball in the direction of the pitch, without hitting both balls, tells players if they line up the best distance from home.
Baseball Swing Fundamentals – Home Plate Positioning
After players setup correctly with the touch of the outside corner, they should check their plate coverage often because positioning changes after swinging.
Of course, one of the most frustrating things is to see batters “smoke” balls with sound fundamentals on the tee, with flipped balls, and while taking batting practice, and then fail in games because they stand differently in games. It is common for players to setup correctly and then proceed to back away, usually out of fear of being hit by pitches. One of the coaches should watch players from behind home plate in games to see that move away action because it may be difficult to notice from a side angle.
Coaches must continually encourage players to maintain the right distance from home plate in games as they do in practice. Consistently having players stand the exact distance away will avoid players developing bad hitting habits.