Compact Baseball Swing Drills
These three hitting drills develop a compact baseball swing. All hitters should strive for a compact baseball swing because it allows hitters to wait for the ball as long as possible, while still providing the necessary power to drive the ball. This is a work in progress for young hitters, especially those who lack the hand and forearm strength to handle the bat. It should be pointed out that hitters goals on all these drills are line drives with backspin, noticed by a slight upward arc on the batted balls.
As noticed a compact swing begins with the correct starting position of the hands and bat when the front foot lands and the correct first move of the hands and hips to deliver the bat to contact, in the most efficient manner. A long swing on this chest high pitch will cause hitters to hit the tee often or pop the ball straight up. Notice the bat barrel stays close to the hitter’s head, which is a good way of explaining what a compact swing is to players, and that the bat gradually levels off to contact. Of course, to hit line drives the inside-bottom half of the ball is hit and this may cause the tee to fall. A fallen tee does not mean an incorrect swing, as many kids think. Not hitting the tee top slightly means hitters are hitting only the top of the ball producing only ground balls, which is not the usual intent of hitting.
Compact Baseball Swing Drill 2
Another good way of developing a compact swing is with this double ball drill. This helps teach the compact swing on lower pitches also, which is often the one that hitters drop their hands on. Once again, line drives with backspin are the goal. The rear ball is set about a balls distance lower than the ball to be hit and about a foot behind. Many young hitters who have a big uppercut or continually drop their hands will benefit from this drill, as continually telling them to “stay on top of the ball” does not change their swing until their muscle memory changes.
Compact Baseball Swing Drill 3
This last drill will build top hand strength, which is the hand closest to the bat barrel and the one that provides the whip of the bat, after lead arm extension. Hitters hold their wrist initially but it is important that they drop their lead hand to the side after contact so as not to hit that hand on the follow through. Of course, this drill can be done with the top hand alone but this method gives weaker hitters some initial support to control the bat. Finally, many people interpret the instructional words staying on top to mean hitting ground balls but that is not correct. Staying on top is a compact swing that keeps the hands above the ball as the bat barrel gradually levels off to the inside back of the ball producing well-driven balls.