Everyday in our batting cages I hear fast hands being told to hitters by their parents and coaches. I even hear former Major League Baseball players on ESPN talking about using fast hands. New students that come in for lessons, whether baseball or fastpitch softball, have been taught by their former instructors and coaches to use fast hands and have even been told they need to make them stronger.
I have talked before that fast hands will put baseball and fastpitch softball players into slumps immediately. Alex Rodriguez is a prime example, a great hitter that has been in a six year slump because his hitting coach wanted him to stop taking a step, just put his foot up then down so he could stay back and use his fast hands. He went away from using his 230 lb body and started using mainly his arms. Very Bad Move. He went away from his normal stride he had been using for 16 years (with great success) and took his body out of the swing. This one change started the decline of his power and production when he went to using fast hands going into the 2010 playoffs. He continues to get worse because he doesn't have any coaches able to show him how to get out of using his arms and fast hands. It has become so bad that he was pinch hit for and even put on the bench during the 2012 playoffs. He hasn't lost his ability to hit with power. The hitting coach changed him from being one of the most powerful hitters of all time into a singles hitter just because he wanted him to hit with fast hands. Until he changes back to using his body he will continue to decline.
When players are taught to hit with fast hands they will end up swinging mainly with their arms which causes loss of power and makes it extremely hard to hit the middle of the ball (line drives) consistently. Players that use fast hands feel the bat go out and then pull it back in taking it out of the hitting zone way too fast. This creates a small area (up to one foot) that the bat is in the hitting zone. Their timing has to be almost perfect to hit the ball hard. This makes off speed pitches very tough to hit hard because batters with fast hands pre commit or start their swing too early and can only slap at the ball if their timing is just a little off.
When a hitter uses their body correctly they can generate significantly more force that can be transferred into the middle of the baseball or softball consistently. Their hands are not pulling the bat out of the hitting zone but actually allowing the bat to accelerate three to four feet through it. This means a batter has a three times larger area to hit the ball hard in and gives them a larger window which improves their timing significantly. When you swing with your body there is no committing early to your swing because you don't need to. With a more direct path your bat is faster to the hitting zone (up to 50% faster), you can watch pitches longer, a big advantage to every hitter.
We provide video lessons for each new student so they can see how they actually swing compared to the way the very best hitters in baseball and fastpitch softball swing the bat. Students and parents are amazed when they see how much slower their bat is to the hitting zone when they are using fast hands. Many are even half way through their swing before they finish their stride because the bat takes such a longer path to the hitting zone and they are always trying to catch up to the ball. Our students learn how their body allows a more direct path to the hitting zone making their bat faster and heavier to the ball. They start feeling so effortless and are amazed to see how the ball can explode off the bat. It is such an amazing difference.
If you would like more information or would like to learn how to use your body correctly you can call Mike Sedberry at 304-722-6393.