Hitting Off-Speed: Hand Path & Elbow

Hitting Hand Path

Coaches: Please stop teaching hitters to lead with the hands/knob directly down to the ball ahead of the back elbow. Here is a great slow motion video I made of Paul Goldschmidt’s hand path. Elbow leads hand path. Hands follow. (Click HD on the right)

In order to adjust to different speeds the back elbow has to drop and the hands stay back. Now if the pitcher is throwing the same velocity on every single pitch and the same height…then you could get away with leading your hands straight to the ball. (maybe at the 12u level)

Once the hands start to swing, it is very difficult to make in-flight adjustments to the swing without slowing it down or altering it drastically. If the elbow and hands go at the same time, the batter must start everything exactly on time to deliver a well-timed swing. If the elbow starts to attack and the hands stay independent, the batter can wait fractions of a second longer before delivering the rest of the swing. This is just one way batters show the ability to be on time for wide ranges of speeds