Have you had enough dinker hits yet that you are just exhausted with
watching your players bat
Have you had enough dinker hits yet that you are just exhausted with watching your players bat?You know what I’m talkingabout, that little three or four hopper to the pitcher, that if left untouched wouldn’t roll to the grass.What causes the dinker hit and more importantly, what’s the cure?
The main culpritof the dinker hit is players getting their torso directly above or in front of their front foot.This seems to be caused by hitters either trying to transfer their weight into the pitch, or buy not being patient and letting the pitch get to them.Either way, this results in the hitter essentially only swinging with her arms.
Identifying the Problem
The most obvious red flag is to watch the hitter’s back foot during her swing.She should be on the ball of her back foot drivingher power forward into her front leg.However, if she is transferring her weight on top of her front leg, rather than into her front leg, her back toes will be pointed to the ground.The proper technique is commonly referred to as “squishing the bug”.
Another sign of incorrect weight transfer is body lean, or the angle of the hitter’s body during the swing.At the point off contact, the player’s body should have a slight lean back towards the catcher.This is what coaches mean when they tell their players to stay back, or stay back on the ball.
Notice in the top picture how the shoulders are directly above the front foot and that from the hips up, the body lean is actually towards the pitcher. However, the below picture the shoulders are well behind the front foot and there is a slight body lean towards the catcher. Can you tell which hitter is generating power versus the one transferring weght? (On a side note, you will notice that both of the bats being used are Miken bats.)
What about weight transfer?
Forget about weight transfer.I want you to start thinking about Power Transfer.The bulk of a player’s power comes from her core and from her leg drive.Her power comes has she rotates her hips and as she drives from the ball of her back foot into the thigh of her front leg. Watch the video clip below.
The best drills I have found for this are hitting off of a tee and soft toss.I believe there is a hitting tee called the “Swingbuster” hitting tee which would be a great training tool..Tee work and soft toss will allow you to be close to the player during her swings, plus allow for a high volume of swings to correct the problem.The Technique is the physical skill you are teaching them.Equally important is the mental skill of patience, or in common coaching terms, waiting on the ball.Don’t lean and lunge, but stay back and twist.
Putting Practice into the Game
It’s amazing how you can work on technique during practice and then in a game the player reverts back to their bad habits.You must convince the hitter that if they don’t change this habit they will never be an effective hitter.You must convince them that you would rather see them strikeout using the proper technique than hit a dinker using poor technique.