Batting is a full-body movement, and limiting your swing to just arm strength cuts your potential in half. Follow these drills to improve your lower half efficiency.
One of the key things to stress when learning to hit is the importance of the lower half and backside of your body. The back hip, back knee and back foot can deliver a lot of force to the ball. Yet players often use only their upper body in their swings, including their arms. This can limit power potential. To offset this, you should drive your back hip and back knee toward the pitcher, finishing with the laces on your back foot facing the pitcher. Your back heel should also be up over the top of your toes.
To help improve lower half mechanics, try executing these two drills:
First, place your bat behind your back, holding it parallel with the ground with your elbows. The bat should be about hip level with the handle behind your body and the barrel peeking out to the side. Next, set the tee up very high and close to your body so it’s on the same level with the barrel. From there, get in your stance and drive your hips as you would to take a swing. The barrel of the bat should make contact with the ball. The goal is not to hit it far or hard, but to get the feeling of driving the hips and having a strong finish with your lower half. This drill forces you to focus on your backside mechanics.
For the second drill, put a piece of foam or another object that is 2-3 inches off of the ground behind your back heel. Then, rest your back heel on the foam and take a swing from that position. By starting with your heel already off the ground, you will get a “jumpstart” on driving your back heel toward the pitcher. You want to get comfortable with using your lower half and this drill can help accelerate the process.
Working to improve the use of your lower half in the swing could help you hit the ball with more authority. Practice it consistently to create continued success in games.