Stopping Hitters From Throwing Their Bat
by Arnald Swift
Do you have a player that throws (slings) the bat after they swing?
If so, here’s how to correct that bad habit.
What the hitter needs to do is go somewhere — a field, facility, backyard or even a driveway — and then swing the bat about 25 times with no ball coming at him. Make sure he takes a full, normal swing and after he completes each swing have him drop the bat and take one step toward first base.
Next, repeat the 25-swing process but allow him to now hit the ball, after which he will again drop the bat and take one step toward first base.
*Note: For hitting, the ball can be either soft tossed from the side or, ideally, from the front (if a screen is available). The key is to ensure that the pitch-swing combination can happen.
For the final 25 swings he has to hit the ball and then run hard out-of-the-box for about five steps, which better simulates game-like conditions.
This progression plan over 75 pitches is really a pretty easy fix to the problem. If you do what’s outlined, it’s likely only one or two sessions would be needed.
As an umpire, I once told a kid who threw the bat that if he did it again and hit the catcher or myself then I was going to throw him out of the game. And that cured him for at least that game, because he had to concentrate to prevent what had become a mindlessly bad (and dangerous) habit.
What you’re really asking the hitter to do during this drill is to simply concentrate on eliminating a bad habit. By working on it specifically for a little bit of time, the habit can be consciously eliminated with practice so that it does not subconsciously happen during a game.