How do you make a hitting swing more powerful? Is it quicker hands or better balance? Or maybe it’s having stronger muscles or the type of bat you use?
While all of these factors are vitally important, the biggest way to gain power in a swing is utilizing one thing: your legs. Once a player is able to recognize and feel how to properly use their legs while they swing, the ball will start popping off the bat. So where do you start?
Here are three great hitting drills you can put into practice today to help gain some pop.
1. Tire Chock and Tennis Ball Drill
This drill is extremely helpful for teaching players how to drive their back leg through their swing versus spinning on the back foot. So many players have been taught to “squish the bug” or spin the back foot while hitting. This can be a great place to start when teaching a child to first pick up a bat and swing. However, if you want power in your swing? Use this drill and get your back foot off the chock or back tennis ball all while pushing with resistance off the front chock.
2. Ichiro Drill or Toe Tap Drill
This drill teaches a player what to feel in their load or pre-swing phase. Some of the best advice from this video: your weight should always be between your big toes. Too often when a player loads their hands, her back knee goes outside of her back foot. Too much power is lost and many times in order to get back on time with the ball, the player must lunge forward and is off balance.
3. Walk Through Drill
There’s no one better than Mike Candrea, right? Let’s listen to his advice and utilize the Walk Through Drill to teach players what it feels like to gain momentum towards the pitcher while staying in rhythm. If a player wants to gain more power, it is almost impossible to do so when her rhythm and timing is out of sync. This drill makes a player feel the connection between the hands and legs, and it forces a player to feel what it is like to have the whole body working in rhythm together.
What are more hitting drills you have seen that have effectively taught a player to powerfully utilize her legs in her swing?