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Choosing the best stride

 

Having the correct stride is very similar to getting your hands back. Both are necessary movements to starting your swing. If not done correctly, you may find yourself not being able to handle certain pitches.
A common debate for many teachers of hitting has been about what to do with the lead leg when beginning to transfer your weight. Should you have a leg kick, toe tap, simple stride, post stride, or a leg lift that simply comes up then down?  Like every other mechanical attribute, a hitters front leg movement depends on the type of hitter he is and what he is capable of. Each style has their benefits and their handicaps.

Leg kick

An example of an effective leg kick would be Hanley Ramirez. His power comes from shifting his weight s
lightly back thus allowing his lead leg to lift. As his weight shifts back to his center of gravity he has cultivated momentum which will allow his hands to be pulled through the zone while using his core for torque. This movement creates UNBELIEVABLE power but the problem is that most hitters heads will move too much during the stride thus disabling the hitters optic nerve to receive the information (pitch) accurately enough to make the correct adjustments and react accordingly. The more
the head moves the less you see. So if you have a leg kick, your head moves back but after the weight shift it has to come back to where it was in the beginning stance or a few inches forward. A little head movement won’t hurt, but a lot will. I wouldn’t recommend this for younger hitters because their legs haven’t developed enough for the necessary leg strength and balance.

Toe tap

A toe tap is all about rhythm. Chipper Jones is probably the best at this style. It allows you to get some weight going back before you stride while you keep your feet close enough to the ground so that you can avoid getting your foot down too late. Personally I think this is a good style. I did this early in my college career and also ended with a style like this. This also allows your head to stay still while you attempt to pick up the pitch early enough. There really isn’t anything negative I can think of about this approach.

Simple stride

This style is probably the most basic movement that majority of hitters have done. Not much emphasis is being put on getting your weight back, but is a style that is good for getting your foot down in time with without post- striding. A simple stride is basically the movement of your foot in your stance striding straight to a flex stance without a leg kick or toe-tap. A  Couple of players that do this well are Evan Longoria and Dustin Pedroia.

Post stride

This is a stride that you see more often in college and minor league ball. These players are finally seeing high velocity on a day to day basis so are having to make adjustments by getting the front foot down before the ball is even released. This is a very effective style as long as hitters remind themselves to keep their weight back and or not to Over stride. Some hitters tend to drift forward as they post stride thus robbing them of their power and ability to stay back on off speed. There aren’t a lot of big leaguers that do this but its not because it isn’t effective but because these guys are so athletic and experienced that they have made adjustment to big league fastballs. Juan Pierre, B.j Upton, Curtis Granderson have made hitting look easy when they do this.

Leg lift

The final style is leg lift. Its a simple lift of the leg and it lands back in the same spot. Watch A-rod or Derek Jeter. They both do his very well. This is a style I recommend for younger players along with the post stride. The style promotes keeping the head still while still generating some movement back before weight transfer.
Regardless of your preference in stride, a proper leg lift ALWAYS keeps the hitters weight inside his back leg thus keeping his center of gravity. The stride is always short. I can’t think of many hitters whose stride is long. Some hitters may start their leg lifts to late thus getting the foot down too late. This will disrupt timing, so read Getting front foot down in time:) Remember, the stride is the most important movement in your pre-swing so keep things comfortable and simple, but don’t be afraid to experiment. You never know what you will discover. There is a “True Player” inside all of us waiting to be discovered.

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The best hitting stance for you

 

Watch a baseball game on TV. Chances are out of the 9 different hitters you see on each team you will see nine different stances. Some have their hands high above their shoulders, some have a low stance while others take a slight flexed stance, standing higher.
How a hitter sets himself is a very individualized and unique thing like their finger print.

What all these professional hitters do have in common though is wrist and fore arm strength, spectacular core strength, and above average hand eye coordination.

Despite these shared characteristics each hitter has a different stance while doing one thing similar. Their stance is comfortable to them, and allows them to get their hands back in the correct position while allowing for a fluid transition of weight shift to hit the ball with the greatest amount of power and with the least amount of effort.

The best stance is a simple stance that sets the foundation for minor adjustments.

More often than not, Since the stance is our foundation, problems normally stem from our stance.

Here are a few batting tips that will help in developing this foundation.
For example, if you struggle getting on top of the ball, your hands may be placed too low for you to handle pitches up in the zone, which may force you to hit balls in the air. Making an adjustment in your stance may be more important than in your swing.

So does a simple generic stance guarantee success?
Well how many simple and generic stances do you see in the big leagues? Like what was stated earlier you’ll probably see nine different hitters and nine different stances.

Somehow these hitters find the proper hitting position before they start their swing. Joe Morgan used to have his hands above his shoulder and bob his elbow up and down like he was imitating a chicken.

Tony Batista would literally face the pitcher before getting his hands back. Cal Ripken Jr changed his stance in his career more times then he washed his jock strap. Wait I take that back he probably didn’t wear a jock strap because he probably didn’t wear a cup. His hands were golden.

These hitters all had very unique stance but were record breakers. They all did what was comfortable to them but got to the right position before they started to swing. They all had specific hitting drills that stimulated bat-speed and the never deviated from that approach.

So no matter if you are wiggling your bat over your head, laying it on your shoulder, or doing the soldier boy, before the pitcher comes to deliver the ball, you have gotten into your ready position. Your weight shift has begun slightly back, your hands have positioned themselves begins the rear shoulder.

Your core is prepared and ready to explode. Your foot is ready to make its unique stride based on the type of hitter you are. And your body is working fluidly to get your foot down in time to start your hands getting through the hitting zone.

Remember a good stance, regardless of what you feel comfortable with doing, allows you to k.i.s.s. (keep it simple stupid)

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Keeping your hands inside the ball

 

Rolling over on pitches is something that will happen to every player throughout the course of a season. Chances are if you rolled over on a pitch, the pitcher did a good job of keeping you off balance. You either were fooled on a breaking ball pitch or you just simply failed to stay inside the baseball. Rolling over isn’t the worst thing you can do, but allowing it to become a bad habit will be detrimental to your batting average. So how do you keep from rolling over on pitches?! It’s actually pretty simple.

Here are five simple batting tips.

1. Keep your hands inside the baseball.
2. Allow the ball to get deep in the zone.
3. Recognize off-speed early in the zone
4. Cut the field in half and have a completly oppisate field approach.
5. Focus on throwing the knob of the bat toward the ball.
6. Understanding the concept of the inside-out swing.

Many hitters, especially power hitters have been called “pull hitters”. This means that majority of pitches they hit are contacted in the front of the hitting zone. Hitters like this tend to be great fast ball hitters, but struggle with off-speed and breaking ball pitches. Being a pull hitter and rolling over can be ideal for left handers who are in situational hitting situations. Certain situations may call for you to get a guy from second to third with less than two outs.

Batting tips #1

Practice the inside out swing. Take a few practice swings at about 30%. Yes I said 30%:) Focus on pushing the knob of the bat as far forward without releasing your top hand foward and allowing the bat head to come through. Take 20-25 swings then move to the next drill.

Batting tips #2

Stand parallel to a wall or net. The distance between you and the wall should be about the length of the bat that you will be using. Get in your stance an attempt to take controlled balanced swings, while focusing on keeping your hands inside. If the bat hits the net or wall , your not keeping your hands inside enough, so adjust accordingly.

Batting tips #3

Place a Hitting tee not on the inner half but middle in half of the plate. Focus on keeping your hands inside and hit to the back of the net. The ball should be hit middle away even though the pitch is slightly in. If you pull the pitch, your not keeping your hands in for long enough so adjust accordingly.

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Perfect Your Swing & Achieve Real Hitting Power!

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 9.52.15 PM

What if you could tap into hidden potential in your swing? What if you could achieve elite levels of bat speed with simple hitting drills that refine your approach and cure your swing viruses?

Grab Your Copy of The Bat Speed Blue Print 2.0


Are You A Bullet-Proof Hitter™?

Become A Bullet Proof Hitter By Mastering These 7 Simple Principles.

The Stories In This Audio-Book Are 100% True! The Hitting Tips & Advice Are 100% Tested For Mental Performance In The Batter’s Box!

Grab Your Copy Of The Audio-Book Here!


Hitting Problems Fixed!

…Click the link below to get access to up to date hitting drills, interviews with baseball scouts and countless hours of premium baseball information.

This will be the FUNNEST hitting advice you’ll ever try to apply!

Join the Hitting Machine Academy


 

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The art of hitting

Hitting is both an exact science and a form of expression. It can be explained and dissected by physics as well as represented as a way of life. It is when these specific principles and elements are combined that it becomes an art form.

So much emphasis is focused on technique and strategy which influences the modern-day hitter.  Scouting reports and approaches are main themes in the awareness of most teams offensive strategy. With all this information so readily available, the most important aspects of any endeavor are lost. The focus of the process is forgotten.

When it comes to performing, while you are in the batters box, you must come to a level of consciousness that involves emotional content. Yes you must truly hit with emotion. All that you have learned physically and mentality was learned so that you may eventually forget it as it becomes an instinctual part of who you are. You must cease to be aware of yourself, which is to be unaware of any external things as well as most internal things. This process must also be effortless. Similar to the teachings of Bruce Lee, it’s the art of effortless effort or trying less trying.

The desire to succeed and win has vanished for we have now become process oriented. Since we are no longer concerned with success or failure we have greatly improved our chances of success.