Bat-Tip - What It Is, Why It's Good, and How To Do It
By the time they reach high school, barely any hitters still have the bat-tip action in their swing. The bat-tip is a natural movement that develops when kids want to hit the ball hard. It's a good sign that a hitter has his head in the right place. Unfortunately, this action is typically coached out of hitters. Coaches call it a "hitch" and say it's wasted movement.
The big problem there is you are changing a movement that developed from an aggressive mentality at the plate. If you change the movement, you begin to change the mentality. A coach changes a kid's swing by eliminating the hitch, shortening his stride, all in the name of ridding himself of "wasted movement" and before you know it, the kid's mentality has changed too.
I would never touch this move in kids. Why would it be wasted movement in the first place? Would you say the backswing in golf is wasted movement? Of course not. Yes, yes, I know, but there's no pitch in golf. But here's the thing, just because you are moving before you know if you want to swing, doesn't mean it's wasted movement. You are building the momentum just in case you want swing.
Too many hitters these days are too stiff prior to their swing. Everyone's over-focused on "launch quickness," which is a moderately important topic when discussing swing mechanics, but blown way out of proportion. And makes hitters separate the stride from the swing too much. In reality, when you decide to swing, you should already be well into your stride and bat-tip. The decision should be made while you are in movement. The popularity of "launch quickness" is depriving hitters of a lot of power because it is quieting their movement up until their forward rotation.
The truth is, you can build a lot of momentum with a bat-tip before you even have decided to swing. Also, the bat-tip tends to go with better mechanics by promoting a swing that is more body controlled and more connected at contact - swing traits of the greatest hitters.
So please, if you see the bat-tip in a kid's swing, don't coach it out of him. If you try to instill a bat-tip into a kid's swing who doesn't have it, don't expect it to be a panacea. Typically, years of bad habits won't be cured with a bat-tip. If I already have a hitter who has great positions, and I'm just trying to get them a little better and add a little more speed to his swing, I will suggest a bat-tip.