Power Hitting Tips & Drills
3 tips to hit the ball further
The game is evolving. Clearing the ropes consistently is becoming more and more important. In order to consistently clear the ropes, it is vital you look to boost your bat speed. Keep reading for 3 key tips, a few bonus tips and some exercise examples to help you hit more sixes!
Put more force into the floor
If you put more energy into the floor, it is going to give you more energy back. This is because of Newtons' third law which states:
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction
When batting, all of our kinetic energy comes from the floor. This then has to travel through the kinetic chain all the way up to the hands holding the bat. The more energy that can be transferred into the ball, the further the ball is going to go. This is why it is vital to hit from a solid base, as it gives you the best chance of hitting the ball further. Practice really forcing your feet into the floor next time you practice power hitting and notice the increase in bat speed.
Create Hip-Shoulder Separation
Imagine a line going through your hips and shoulders. During your backswing, these lines should form an X which is better known as the X-factor.
The X-factor angle represents the angle between these two lines and research shows that the bigger this angle, the higher the bat speed (Peploe et al., 2019).
So, during the backswing, the shoulders should be turned towards mid-off and the hips should be facing mid-on/mid-wicket. This creates tension in the trunk of the body, coiling it up and storing energy. As the bat starts to travel towards the ball, the hips & shoulders move in opposite directions uncoiling all the energy that has been stored in the trunk. This whole process makes better use of the stretch-shortening cycle to generate a load of rotational power.
Keep your wrists cocked
The final part of the kinetic chain that you can impact is your wrists. Whilst you may only be able to add a small amount of bat speed at this stage, it could be the difference between a 4 or 6. The goal is to keep your wrists cocked until the last moment and then rapidly un-cock them.
A great technical cue for this is to have the toe of your bat pointing to the sky at the top of your backswing.
This delayed un-cocking of the wrist creates the snap/flick in the shot that you see the strongest players produce, like Jos Butler. Strong forearms are key to producing this late flick so don't just focus on building your biceps!
- Work on anti-rotation through your core. Resisting rotation reduces the amount of energy you waste.
- Work on your hip mobility. If you have super tight hips then there is no chance your body is going to let you create a large X-factor angle.
- Don't underestimate the importance of lower body strength. The lower body contains are largest muscles, so it makes sense to maximise the force we can produce from them.
Exercises to improve your bat speed
- Any jumping exercise to put more force through the floor
- Medicine ball rotational throws to create powerful hip-shoulder separation
- Thoracic mobility exercises to increase the x-factor angle
- Dumbbell reverse curls to strengthen your forearm and wrist.
Check out the YouTube video we made on this topic. Seeing these concepts in action will really help your overall understanding, enjoy!