Extension is a critical component of the baseball swing, and many coaches focus on this aspect, believing that the arms must be fully extended before making contact with the ball. However, this type of thinking can lead to top-down swings, where the upper body and hands dominate over the lower body.
Coaches often use drills where the tee is set up far in front of the batter, with the goal of hitting the ball with fully extended arms. However, this approach can result in a lag position that is held for too long, leading to a decrease in bat path and inconsistent contact. Additionally, hitting the ball with extended arms forces the hands to move in a straight line towards the ball, which is not ideal.
Elite hitters, on the other hand, never hit the ball with fully extended arms. They use proper sequencing, starting with the lower half of the body, which slots the elbow and allows the hands to work inside the ball. At the moment of contact, both elbows should be bent at approximately the same degree as when the front foot landed, creating a solid connection.
It's important to remember that the baseball swing works like a row of dominoes, and too much focus on the upper half of the body can disrupt the sequencing of the swing. Therefore, coaches should prioritize proper sequencing and focus on the lower half of the body to create a powerful, effective swing.