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Hitting Articles


Understanding that there are certain absolutes while allowing players some freedom of style is critical in teaching hitters.  You cannot take a robotic approach or try to "put your stamp" on hitters.  All players aren't the same (different body types, different strengths/weaknesses...).  If you can keep your hitters within the "Absolutes" without forcing specific teaches on them, you will set them up to be successful.  

There are linear and rotational aspects of hitting.  Too much emphasis on one or the other can cause issues.

Stance to Toe Touch/Stride-  All MLB Hitters are different “Freedom of Flexibility and Style”
*  A lot of time should be spent on the preparation phase to get hitters to the proper launch position.  Most bad habits and bad swings occur prior to the actual swing.  Issues with the hands, the load, the stride, the balance and more can occur in this phase.

SWING PHASE (Commitment)- MLB Hitters 
Front foot Heel Plant to Extension thru the swing-  All MLB Hitters are almost identical

-       Hands start within 6-8 inches of back shoulder
-       Back elbow starts below the hands
-       Base is shoulder width or wider (prefer slightly wider)
-       Toes are square and on-line
-       Knees and waist are slightly bent

-       Front shoulder loads the hands and weight loads to inside of back leg
-       Bat doesn’t get beyond front shoulder (bat wrap)
-       Front arm remains bent
-       Hands don’t get beyond back elbow (no large gap between back shoulder and hands)

1)  No Stride- heel comes up and then drops down
2)  Zero Stride- foot comes straight up and right back down
3)  Standard Stride-  foot gains a little ground (short, soft, straight, quiet…)

-       Head doesn’t cross the center line of the feet at toe touch
-       Get back to center without getting heavy on the front side
-       Front foot doesn’t open up past a 45 degree angle
-       Hips stay at or slightly behind center line of feet at toe touch/stride
-       From negative move or load to toe touch there is a positive move on line that ends as heel plant of the front foot
-       Bat angle is loaded behind head at toe touch without wrapping beyond it (create that slight angle with wrists/bat)

-       Heel plant with front foot starts rotational phase
-       Back knee closes the gap to front knee creating a Power L with the back leg
-       Shoelaces to Pitcher at contact (slightly less on an outside pitch).  Back ft. is not an emphasis.  Simply a checkpoint.
-       Back heel comes off the ground
-       95 – 100% of pivot should be complete by point of contact

-       Short to the ball and Long thru the ball
-       Shaft to Shoulder-  Don’t allow bat shaft to leave back shoulder early (stay inside ball)
-       Attack the inside portion of the baseball
-       Top hand palm up Bat Lag thru Extension-  “Skip the Rock”
-       “Square the ball up”
-       Create bat lag behind baseball so there is never a glancing blow to ball (approach from behind)
-       Barrel should remain in the hitting zone for an extended period (bat lag thru extension)
-       Arms are not extended at contact
-       Eyes on baseball at contact (chin on back shoulder)

-       Arms create the V at extension
-       Swing path and bat continue through the baseball on-line
-       Hands and bat extend toward pitcher (not toward front hip)
-       Top hand stays palm up through extension
-       Barrel chases the baseball after contact

-       Top hand may release after extension and wrist roll 
-       Encourage young hitters to keep top hand on bat so they don't release prior to extension
-       Finish long through the baseball (slightly lower on high pitches / slightly higher on low pitches)
-       Make sure hands don't finish below shoulder (indicates swing path issues)
-       Stay off of heels on finish