I happened to stumble upon an article today - " The WORST Hitting Drill for Baseball or Softball EXPOSED!" - written by Chas Pippitt on baseballrebellion.com. The article discusses a few drills that coaches commonly utilize to teach proper swing mechanics and then highlights one drill as the worst hitting drill of all.
The drill, which is utilized quite often by Coaches, teaches players to swing down at a ball. The theory is that the downward action will create spin that will propel the ball upward. Chas thinks this is the absolute worst thing you could ever teach a hitter to do any I absolutely agree!
For those unfamiliar with Chas Pippitt, he is a highly respected hitting instructor and known as a true hitting theory innovator. Author of the Baseball Rebellion Hitting blog, Chas is also the inventor of the Drive Developer and Rebel’s Rack.
Chas shows a video of the drill and then still shots of the greatest hitters in the game, none of whom have a swing anything like the one taught via the drill. The article even includes a quote from a former pitcher who said he looked at hitters' swings, hoping to see the downward angle because he knew it would be much easier to get them out.
Here's the video of the ill-advised drill:
Worse than the drill, itself, is the fact that this instructor actually tells people to hit the top half of the ball with a downward swing. There is absolutely only one thing that can happen when you do that - a ground ball (as witnessed by the weak grounder the instructor produces when demonstrating the drill). And, it will most definitely lead to more strikeouts when you add a vertical element to the swing path!
If you watch all of the great hitters in the history of the game, you'll notice that their swings are completely level. I've never seen a good hitter who swung down at the ball playing in the major leagues.
You have to wonder how this horrendous drill ever started and then became accepted into the teaching arsenals of so many coaches - at every level of play.
If you are a coach using this drill, STOP! You are ruining your young hitters' swings and encouraging a bad habit they may never be able to rid themselves of. Sure, it may give them a little more distance on fly balls at a young age (only if they happen to catch the middle of the ball with the downward swing), but in the long run, they'll never make it anywhere with a swing designed to generate nothing but fly balls or weak infield dribblers. Teach the kids to swing level and hit liners!
Pitching Machine Stop Quote of the Day:"There has always been a saying in baseball that you can't make a hitter, but I think you can improve a hitter. More than you can improve a fielder. More mistakes are made hitting than in any other part of the game." - Ted Williams