Hands or head to the low pitch?
Last week I received another good question from a reader who asked “on a low pitch, some say to drop your hands to the ball. Others say drop your head to the ball. What do you teach?”
Here was my response:
“Often when it comes right down to it, both camps differ mostly on semantics as opposed to approach. If a hitter smokes a low pitch, one side says it was because they dropped their hands to the ball and the other side says the hitter took his head to the ball. Both are probably correct.
If I had to explain it one way or the other, I think I would be more likely to tell a player to drop his head a little more on the low pitch. My feeling is that when players keep their head up, they end up reaching for the ball instead of going down to get it.”
To add to my answer, here are a few swing sequences of some pretty good hitters. The first is Barry Bonds. The second set is Micky Mantle. The third is Ted Williams. You’ll notice that all three drop their head a little lower on the swing.
As I said in my answer, I’d be more likely to tell a player to “take his head to the ball.” In my opinion, if you tell a player to take his hands to the ball, he may never lower his head and will end up reaching for the pitch instead of going down to get it. If he focuses on taking his head slightly to the ball, his hands will naturally go down also.
However, as I’ve said numerous times in the past, if you focus on any one thing too much then too often bad things result. A player who drops his head too much will open up a whole new set of problems for himself.
Tomorrow’s post: Helping batters improve their approach