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Help hitters build a compact swing

May 31, 2024

One of the many things I love about hitting is that each hitter can have a different setup but be in a similar position when their front foot touches the ground.

Once the hitter's front heel has landed, they are in a position to move their hands toward the incoming pitch.

We will call this position the “launch position.”

An issue I see occasionally is when a hitter's hands are too far behind their body when their front heel touches the ground. 

The hands go back naturally, so you don’t have to force them. 

I have met very few hitters who purposely tell themselves to move their hands back in their swing. 

This is where hitting off the tee, easy flips, and 40 mph bp can get you into bad habits. 

You can get away with having your hands far back when the practice environment is easy. 

Not when you’re facing 95 mph. 

Here are a few drills to help hitters whose hands tend to drift too far back behind them. 

Front Arm Band 

  1. Have the hitter wrap the band around the tricep and bat. 
  2. Grip the bat over the band
  3. Take swing 

 Full video breakdown of this drill. 

Shoulder Swing Drill 


  1. Have the hitter get in the batter’s box
  2. Tell them to get in their stance 
  3. Have them spread their feet apart and not let them stride
  4. Have them place the handle of the bat on their back shoulder
  5. Instruct them to turn the knob of the bat facing the catcher
  6. Tell them to swing directly off of their shoulder.

    (Watch out for them wanting to exaggerate internally rotating their shoulders) 

Full breakdown of this drill:


To have a compact swing, our hands must be close to our back shoulder when the front foot lands. 

(Check Mike Trout’s picture above for reference) 

Those two drills can help a hitter feel what that position should be. 

Lastly, the setup 

How the hitter sets up their hands will determine how compact their swing will be. 

If their hands are already high and far back in their setup, they could even go further back once they swing. 

Here are a few examples: 

Notice how each starts in a different position, but once they commit to swing, their hands are in a similar position.

This leads to a compact swing, where the hands and back elbow stay tight to the body during rotation.


To help hitters build a compact swing: 

1. Change their hand setup

2. Shoulder swing drill 

3. Front arm band drill