Here’s how Getting the Knob to the Ball Actually Helps your Swing
First of all, no, you’re not going to actually hit the ball with the knob of your bat. Let’s get the ridiculous things out of the way, first.
When you start your swing by getting the knob of your bat to the ball, you will be:
More Opportunity for Contact
Imagine, when you finally get to the point in that swing when your wrists snap forward and the bat whips through the strike zone. You’re now able to hit a pitch late when it’s already over the plate and keep it fair the other way, and you’re also able to hit a pitch out in front of the plate (like a curve or changeup) and keep it fair down the line… and all those contact points in between, too – that will make you a dangerous hitter when you can make contact on any pitch and keep it fair, using the whole field.
Increasing Bat Speed
Imagine your current bat speed – pretty good, I bet. When you go knob to the ball, you’re starting out with your original bat speed – you’re not losing anything. Eventually, your wrists are going to “whip” the bat through the strike zone as you’re making contact with the ball. That added whip with the wrists will increase your bat speed even though you’re not swinging any harder. Remember, if you physically have to swing harder, you will alter your swing mechanics. This is why we see so many guys swing too hard at a fat pitch, only to foul it straight back or miss it altogether. You ask any batter who does that and he’ll say, “I swung too hard.” Swinging knob to the baseball increases your bat speed without any added effort.
As noted above, you’ll be generating more bat speed through the zone. Simply put, this creates more power upon contact: harder hit balls that fly farther.
How to Practice your Knob to the Ball Swing
Honestly, any way you can get your knob to the ball reps in is fine. Playing wiffle with your buddies, hitting off a tee, hitting in batting practice – however you can do it, do it. If you want a more-regimented approach, here you go:
It’s important to practice this as much as you can before game time, then trust your knob-to-the-ball swing in your first at bat in a real game. I see some kids just kill it in practice, but then they’re afraid to try it in a game. They’d rather just make contact instead of risking doing something new. As a coach, I don’t care if they swing and miss a few times or even if they strike out a couple of times. I’m there to tell them they did it right – it just takes a couple of at bats to get used to it. And once you get used to it, you can’t be stopped.
When I see a player finally connect in a game when they focus on going knob to the ball, there’s nothing else like it. The player’s confidence goes through the roof. And it’s not a temporary confidence, it’s a confidence of knowing, “Every pitcher I face for the rest of my life is in big trouble.”
And that’s why we coach, right?
Practice knob-to-the-ball swings and don’t give up on it. You’ll notice a difference almost right away in how you hit the ball, and it’s a change that will stay with you forever.