Check Swing to Improve Productivity
The Beginning Hitting Series
Baseball and Fast Pitch Softball
To increase their rate of hard-hit balls, youth hitters should develop a habit of executing a check swing on hard to hit pitches. This post details 2 concepts and demonstrates 4 drills to improve the beginning hitter’s rate of quality at-bats.
Concept 1 to Improve Check Swing
Teach Check Swing Early
Teaching the beginning hitter to check swing will dramatically improve their productivity at the plate.
Drill 1 – Teach Hitter the Rules of Check Swing
Even the Major League Baseball rule book does not contain an official definition for check swing.
Generally, factors such as whether the barrel progressed to a point in front of the body or crossed over the plate are considered in the ruling.
Some umpires prefer to use the breaking the wrists criterion to decide if the hitter held up their swing. If the wrists snapped, a swing occurred.
Drill 2 – Practice Stopping the Barrel
Here we ask a couple of young hitters to practice a hard check swing. They strive to swing hard and then stop their hands just as they reach a point under their chin. They try to maintain their barrel pointed rearward at the catcher.
Check swinging correctly is not as easy as it may first seem!
Drill 3 – Practice Check Swinging on Balls
Using a front soft toss, practice checking on balls and swinging at strikes.
Concept 2 to Improve Check Swing
YES, YES, NO. NOT NO, NO, YES.
Universally, hitters should strive to stay aggressive on every pitch and stop their swing when the pitch is close but just off the plate.
Imagine each is pitch is going to be down the middle. Along with this visualization, the intent is to swing aggressively and hit the ball over the fence. Then the hard part, stop the hard swing at the last moment when the pitch is a ball.
These abilities must be deliberately and purposefully practiced.
Drill 4 – “Start Swing on Every Pitch”
Use soft front toss. Ask the hitter to start their swing on every pitch. Put a marker on the ground where you think the hitter should start their swing. The coach then randomly calls “check” or “home run.”
Simple yet challenging!
Building Rome Series Blog: The Beginning Hitting Series
Here are the 12 videos and articles contained in The Beginning Hitting Series:
Building Rome Series Books: Building the High-Level Swing Series
See Building the High-Level Swing for a detailed and comprehensive description of 100 hitting fundamentals and 140 step-by-step drills that efficiently construct the batting swing from the ground up.
In the Building Rome Series of books, the construction of skills are in functional order, providing a “roadmap” to becoming a great hitter.
All baseball and fastpitch softball players can “climb the Roman Coliseum steps” to become a powerful and productive hitter.
Enjoy the quest!