Often, hitters develop bad habits that become ingrained in their swings - glitches that not only make it harder to make solid contact but ones that make it extremely difficult to drive the ball with power. Most of the time, the habits players develop are self-developed but a few are the result of things that many coaches teach that really do far more harm than good.
No matter how the bad habit got there, you need to fix it or you will never reach your true hitting potential. In 6 Bad Habits That Affect Baseball and Softball Hitters, Mike Huber outlines the 6 most common problems he encounters and how to fix them.
The first bad habit that Mike talks about is the commonly taught "squash the bug" technique. He says that not planting your back foot firmly on the ground makes it impossible to have a steady foundation to create power and makes it very difficult to hit pitches over the middle or outside of the plate with the meat of the bat. He says it is much better to keep your back foot flat on the ground, preferably keeping your heel in contact with the ground through contact with the ball.
Mike also points out another bad habit that you hear coaches promoting often - keeping your back elbow up. This causes your bat to wrap around your head, which throws off your timing and limits your bat speed and power, says Mike. Instead, he says your elbow needs to be moved down from the beginning and kept down.
The back leg collapse is the next bad habit Mike Huber addresses, saying it needs to stay firm and that you should maintain as tall a stance as possible from setup through the swing.
Next, Mike addresses what some coaches teach - moving your head over the contact area to better see the ball into the bat. This, says Mike, puts you totally out of balance and that it is impossible to get any real power behind a swing this way. Instead, he says to concentrate on throwing your back muscles into the ball.
Another common problem that Mike points out is collapsing the front arm. You need to keep your front arm as straight as possible. Although it is natural for the arm to bend a little for certain pitch locations, in general, the straighter, the better.
Mike's last tip involves the habit some hitters have of twisting their whole torso during the back swing. This can only lead to extremely inconsistent hitting since it is virtually impossible to duplicate the same exact swing every time - especially considering the ball is going to be spotted at different plate locations. Concentrate on shifting your weight back without turning your shoulders, says Mike, moving your hands straight back.
These are just six of 25 different swing flaws that Mike Huber outlines in his post. You can view the entire article here.
It's a Hit Quote of the Day:"Major league baseball has asked its players to stop tossing baseballs into the stands during games, because they say fans fight over them and they get hurt. In fact, the Florida Marlins said that's why they never hit any home runs. It's a safety issue." - Jay Leno