Being Committed to Pulling the Ball - hold the pole drill
“Pulling the ball is an all or nothing proposition. By trying to hit the ball so far out in front of the plate a pull hitter automatically eliminates any possibility of making contact closer in. His bat speed, his timing and his whole body are geared to hit the ball at the earliest moment. Once he’s committed, there is no way he can hit the ball at any other point.“ -Charlie Lau.
A common mistake in being overly committed to pull the ball is opening the front shoulder too early. When the front shoulder opens too early the hands cannot stay back. Here is an exercise - Get into your batting stance next to a fence or and “L” screen, and reach back and hold onto the pole as if it were a bat in the loaded position at the end of a negative movement. Go ahead and stride. You will feel that your hands stay back as a result of holding onto the pole. Now, try to open your front shoulder. You can’t. Your hands have a firm grasp on the pole and you cannot open your hips or front shoulder. Now, let go of the pole and consider this. If I am in my stance, then rhythm and load, and if I keep my hands back then I cannot open too early and the reverse must be true. If I keep my front side closed, then I will be able to keep my hands back and hit to all fields. But, if I open up my front shoulder too early then my hands follow my body, cannot stay back and are committed.
Hebert Hitting 364 Timothy Lane, Ontario, NY 14519