Follow Through Swing 

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, tee, baseballs, net or screen to hit into

Goal: Follow through keeping both hands on the bat finishing even with the shoulder

Description of the Drill: 
• Have hitter set up at the plate, or in an open area
• Hitter should swing, focusing on keeping both hands on the bat through the follow through and finishing with the bat even with their shoulders
• Partners switch after 5 swings

Add Difficulty:
• To add a degree of difficulty, hitters can hit a ball off the tee keeping the focus on the follow through

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:

Hand Cast Distance
Overview: Hand Cast Distance measure starts when the hitter gets to the load position.  From that point when the bat starts forward acceleration, it measures how far the knob of the bat travels away from that point…measured in inches.  This control metric is important because it shows a hitter’s ability to stay inside the ball instead of swinging around the ball.

Optimal Ranges by Age:
• U10-14 – expect double digit numbers in the teens.
• U15-18 – the batter should try to be a 10 or lower. A good swing

Coaching Insights:
• Hand Cast Distance allows coaches to quantify if a player is staying inside the ball, swinging with his ‘hands back’ and keeping the bat in the best possible position – over the back shoulder – before uncoiling the hands and bat toward the pitched ball.
• Having a large Hand Cast Distance makes it difficult for a batter to hit the fastball, and/or adjust to hitting balls that occupy the middle or inside part of the plate.
• In an ideal swing that results in a minimal amount of hand cast, the hands stay close to the shoulder, with the hands and barrel staying inside the baseball before the barrel gets on plane with the path of the pitch.

Approach Angle  
Overview: Using the Approach Angle metric, hitters clearly know the direction of their swing plane at the moment of impact.  While the optimal Approach Angle is dependent on the type of pitch, it typically needs to be between +5° degrees and +15° degrees in order to hit a line drive and between +20° and +35° degrees in order to hit a home run.

Optimal Ranges by Type of Batter:
• For U10-14 players learning to hit line-drives: +6 to +10
• For U15-18 player who want to hit line-drives: +11 to +19
• For U15-18 power hitters who have strength & ability to hit deep: +20 to +35

Coaching Insights:
• Consider that a pitch is coming “downhill” from the mound at a -6° degree to -8° degree angle. To counter that, a batter should be making contact at an upward angle to “match the plane of the pitch” at a minimum. 
• If you have a kid who is hitting a lot of ground balls – look at the approach angle and work drills to get the point of contact happening at a positive angle. 
• When you marry Approach Angle with Distance in the Zone, you might see why a kid is popping up too much or fouling off. 
• When hitting off a tee or even soft toss, you’d hope to see fairly consistent Approach Angles swing-by-swing, but when doing BP or facing live pitching, you will see a bigger range because the hitter has to “go get” the pitch (and that’s OK). 

Distance in the Zone
Overview: Using the Distance in the Zone metric, hitters can determine when their barrel is entering and leaving the hitting zone.  The longer the barrel stays in the hitting zone, the better chance the player has to make consistent, solid contact.  This is clearly depicted in the 3D viewer as the blue portion of the swing path.

Optimal Ranges by Age:
• U10-14: Good is 29-32 inches
• U15-18: Good is 31-34 inches
• College-Pro: Good is 33-37 inches

Coaching Insights:
• Having a swing that maintains a good Distance in The Zone gives the batter a better chance of making contact with the pitch. It also means the swing is “more forgiving” 
• Having a good Distance In The Zone can account for small errors in timing because there is more “space” for the batter to make contact and still put the ball in play.
• This metric can help coaches identify loopy swings based on how early the barrel enters the zone and if there is a ‘hard-turn’ coming out of the zone.
• Additionally, based on where contact is most often made, it can help identify if a hitter is having issues with timing up the pitch.

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