Decline Swings

Tech in Baseball
Presented with Diamond Kinetics

Skill Set: Hitting
Difficulty Level: Easy
Number of Athletes and Coaches: 1-2 athletes and 1 coach, or 2 athletes as partners
Average Time to Complete: 5 minutes
Equipment Required: Bat, pitcher's mound or decline hill or similar slope  

Goal: Focus on hitting against the front leg and keeping upper body and head behind it

Description of the Drill: 
• Hitter sets up in hitting stance on a decline hill or similar slope (like a pitcher’s mound) with back foot at top of the hill and front foot down the hill
• Hitter takes dry swings (without hitting a ball)
• Focus should be on hitting against the front leg and keeping the head and body behind it
• If hitter feels their head and upper body getting out over their front leg, they should move their front leg forward a half inch and repeat until they find a spot where their body and head stays behind their leg (this is the stance they should then use as their hitting stance)
• Partners switch after 10 swings

Add Difficulty:
• To add a degree of difficulty, hitters can hit off of a tee from the decline position
• To add a degree of difficulty, hitters can hit front toss from the decline position

Using Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker Sensor and mobile App - the following metrics and tools can help you measure your swing and see improvement when doing this drill:

Impact Momentum
Overview: Impact Momentum is a combination of barrel speed and the size of the bat the hitter is swinging.  The higher the impact momentum, the better chance a hitter has to do damage with greater exit velocities.  Impact Momentum is a great measure of the power potential of a given hitter.

Top 10% of Age Groups: 
• U10 Players: 13 KG/M +
• U12 Players: 15 KG/M +
• U14 Players: 19 KG/M +
• U16 Players: 24 KG/M +
• U18 Players: 27 KG/M +
• D1 College:   28 KG/M +

Coaching Insights:
• Impact Momentum is a “smarter version” of barrel speed because it takes into account the size of the bat. If a kid swings a bigger bat at the same speed, when contact happens, the ball goes further.
• If you want to understand how improving Impact Momentum translates to the game – for every +1 a hitter adds to their Impact Momentum, it equates to roughly a 1.5 MPH increase in exit velocity. And every 1.5 MPH of exit velo translates to roughly 6-10 more feet of carry, depending on launch angle.  
• If you have a high-school kid playing on a full-size field, the magic Impact Momentum number to hit dingers is 27 + (with the right launch angle, of course). A well hit ball with an “IM” of 24 is caught well inside the warning track. Hit it with an IM of 27+ and it is out of the park.

Max Acceleration
Overview: This is the maximum acceleration the bat experiences during a swing. To be clear, acceleration is not how fast the bat is moving; that’s barrel speed. Acceleration determines how quickly a hitter can reach that top speed. Great bat acceleration is in the DNA of elite hitters.

Top 10% of Age Groups:
• U10 Players: 25 G’s +
• U12 Players: 32 G’s +
• U14 Players: 35 G’s +
• U16 Players: 38 G’s +
• U18 Players: 42 G’s +
• D1 College: 49 G’s +

Coaching Insights:
• Max Acceleration tells coaches & scouts if a player can get the bat up to speed in a shorter time, allowing them to… 1) wait longer to recognize the pitch 2) decide what to do 3) And still have the ability to achieve their goal.
• This is a high-level metric that can sometimes stand apart from Max Barrel Speed and Impact Momentum. Max Acceleration requires all parts of the swing to sequence together, achieving that ‘snap’ of the bat that indicates great acceleration.
• You’ll often hear people say, ‘when that kid hits, it sounds different.” This metric is the science behind that old adage.

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