When you start your swing, there are two things that must move towards the pitch. Consider these two things to be married and must move together during every swing! The two things are the knob of the bat and the back knee. Why are they a perfect match? Well, the knob provides your swing the guidance you need to make solid contact and the back knee provides the power! If both are triggered during your swing, you greatly improve your chances of hitting a hard line drive or scorching ground ball.
The path of the knob is very important. Many youth baseball players “cast” the knob out over the plate first when they swing, which causes the front arm to be straightened much too soon. The consequence is the batter’s hands separate from their body too far causing a slower swing and increasing the chances of the batter getting jammed. Instead, the batter’s hands should stay close to the body through the beginning of the swing only to launch towards the pitch in front of the plate. The hands start above the back shoulder, travel through the chest and then out in front towards the ball.
The back knee is commonly triggered by what is described as a “squash the bug” action by the back foot. Before the batter starts their swing, their knee is pointing at the opposing batter’s box. Once the swing is completed, the knee will point at the pitcher. A good checkpoint for knowing whether or not this is being done right is the batter’s shoe laces on the back foot should be pointing at the pitcher after the swing. This means the knee has completely rotated to the pitcher and the batter is on their back toes, maximizing the batter’s power!
The knob and the back knee are key to a GREAT swing! Using both will provide more accuracy and power. Not using them can cause a slow, weak, off-the-mark swings. Although a young hitter may not feel comfortable with this technique at first, it will eventually feel normal with plenty of practice. If you need help, further clarification or are interested in private hitting lessons, please contact Coach Ed Linck at firstname.lastname@example.org.