Most teach to 'Squish the Bug' with their back foot. Is this a good cue or drill?Baseball and fastpitch coaches teach kids to Squish the Bug primarily in order to fix various hitting flaws:
- Not turning their hips all the way
- Not "keeping their weight back"
- Their back foot doesn't look right after the swing ends
- Spin the ball of your back foot (most common)
- Flip your back knee over and down
- Flip your back foot over on the toe
We will examine the results of squishing the bug cues.
What does Squish The Bug look like?Spin the ball of your back foot
Flip your back knee
Advocates for Squish the Bug
TBall University via a video where he says:
Advocates against Squish the Bug
Joe Brockoff, 19 year coach at Tulane, and former Yankee minor leaguer says:
Ever hear of squish the bug in baseball? This phrase refers to the pivot of the back foot as the batter swings the bat. In this case, the back foot "spins" on the ball of the foot, like we do when we squish a bug.
Here is what the result will be:
- A long stroke
- Inhibited weight transfer
- Hands won't be able to get out front for contact
- Needless pushing with the legs
Chris Oleary says:
Some people believe that it is important that hitters be on the ball of their feet at the Point Of Contact. This is variously known and taught as "squishing the bug", "squish the bug", "squashing the bug", and "squash the bug". Proponents of this idea includes some people who instruct at the major league level.
Unfortunately, this isn't what the best hitters do.
What does an MLB Player's Back Leg Look Like at Contact?
Do not teach Squish the BugSquishing the bug is a bad cue most often used to make a hitter finish their hip turn.
The cue usually results in a fake hip turn that actually prevents a hitter from fully turning their hip.
MLB players don't Squish the Bug. The action of the back leg is a result, not something that can be cued.
So, fix the real problem instead.
Correcting incomplete hip turnIf your hips are not turning, then your back elbow is not slotting into your hip, and you are not maintaining the slot and the 90 degree elbow until you are facing the pitcher.
Squishing the bug in order to assist in hip turn usually results in turning the back leg instead of actually turning the hips, or finishing the hip turn. I call this a fake hip turn. Squishing may actually hinder a complete hip turn.