Baseball Batting Tips: The Importance of a Level Bat Path

A level swing is an efficient swing. Learn how to take the kinks out of your arcing swing.

Hitting a round ball with a round bat directly where it should be hit isn’t as easy as it may look. When batting, the goal is to swing with a level bat path that is somewhat parallel to the ground. This promotes line drives and consistency in making solid contact with the ball.

Are you a player who has an uppercut swing? An uppercut swing starts low and finishes high, causing the barrel of the bat to be in the hitting zone for a very short period of time. With a short window in the hitting zone, you have to time your swing perfectly to hit the ball square. Try using a high batting tee drill to work on improving your bat path.

The tee should be set up at the top of the strike zone. Setting the ball high will force you to level out your swing in order to hit the ball. If you use an uppercut swing, you will make contact with the tee rather than the ball. Working regularly with this drill can help correct this tendency and help create the proper bat path.

Another common bat path flaw young hitters make occurs when their swing is on too much on a downward angle. Think chopping wood. Just like with an uppercut swing, the bat is in and out of the hitting zone quickly, making it difficult for batters to hit their target. If you have this type of swing, bring in a smaller bat and do some one-handed drills. This allows each hand to work on a level swing, breaking the process down into segments.  With a smaller bat, you must be level and direct to make solid contact.

Put the ball on the tee with it positioned at a standard height for a ball up the middle. You should take a level swing, starting with just your top hand on the bat. Once you have worked on the line-drive level path with your top hand, you should switch to the bottom hand. After you’ve used the smaller bat with each hand, go back to your regular bat. Your two hands should work well together now, with a level path that should result in a line drive.

A level path keeps the bat in the hitting zone for a longer period of time and can lead to more line drives and greater success.