The Basics on Bat Path
What is Bat Path:
Bat Path is the path that your bat takes from the beginning of the swing to the end of the swing. When done correctly, the bat will create an oblong circle around the body. The tilt of that circle will depend on the height of the pitch. The lower the pitch the more tilt or angle you will see in the bat path.
What Is The Proper Bat Path:
Ideally, we would like to get the bat on the same plan as the ball as early as possible and keep it on that plane through contact and follow through. The bat should stay on one plane the entire swing and that plane should match the plane of the ball. The fewer the number of planes that the bat travels through, the more consistent the contact and the faster the bat speed. A single Plane is the equivalent of a straight line between two points. In the image below, the bat should start on the green plane at setup and stay on it all the way through contact and the follow-through.
Benefits of Having The Proper Bat Path:
When the bat is on the same plane as the ball there is a greater chance for solid contact. If two trains were on the same track heading towards each other, there is a really good chance they are going to collide. Another benefit of being on the same plane as the ball is that it allows the hitter to make solid contact even if their timing is slightly off i.e. ahead of the pitch or behind the pitch. The more solid the contact made the better chance for success.
If a batter swings down at the ball their bat will cross the path of the ball only once, significantly reducing the odds of success. The same goes for an uppercut.
How Does The Swing Path Trainer Help With Correct Bat Path
The Swing Path Trainer (SPT) was designed to force a hitter to have the correct bat path and keep their bat on plane with the ball as long as possible. The SPT creates the correct plane for the hitter with a Guide board and a Guide bar above it creating the perimeters of the plane. The hitter must swing in between the two guides in order to hit the ball, forcing the hitter to “be on plane with the ball”. The guide board also tilts or angles up and down allowing the hitter to have the correct bat angle for each pitch height.
With the Swing Path Trainer, a hitter will instantly know when the bat is taking the incorrect path towards the ball. If the bat hits the Guide Board or Guide bar, the becomes instantly aware that a change needs to be made. By providing audible and tactile feedback to the hitter, the SPT becomes a self-correcting tool or hitting coach. This allows the hitter to make corrections. They will be able to learn the correct bat path by doing rather than being told how.
Speed of Learning and Retention of Learning
There are many studies proving that humans learn faster and retain longer by feeling/doing, versus being told what to do or how to do it. This really rings true when it comes to teaching hitting. In the age of camera’s and video, we have pushed an unbelievable amount of information and requests onto our players. We can diagnose every single flaw in a swing and then ask them to step up to the plate and fix it by doing this, that, and the other. The bottom line is that the more they are thinking about how to hit while they are doing it, the less success they will have. Have them swing on a PSUSA Swing Path Trainer and their brain will automatically take over getting them to swing correctly without having to think about how to do it.
It takes approximately 1200-2000 repetitions for your brain to lock in a body movement, i.e. the swing. Using an ordinary tee, a player can swing any way they want. The possibility of repeating incorrect swings is very high. With no visual or audible way to know whether the swing is correct or not. You could argue that the flight of the ball is a good indicator of the swing. I would argue that you can take a bad swing and still hit a line drive. An incorrect swing leads to incorrect muscle memory or bad habits. By using the PSUSA Swing Path Trainer, you know the hitter is taking correct swings and creating good muscle memory/habits. This leads to more consistency in games and ultimately more fun for the player.
If you want to reduce “swing and miss” and see your player consistently making solid contact, try out the Perfect Swings USA Swing Path Trainer Today!