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John Jaso- Swing Analysis


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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.

Perfect Your Swing & Achieve Real Hitting Power!

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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.

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Increasing Baseball Vision and Reaction

 

It takes only four-tenths of a second for a fastball to reach home plate which is only 60 ft 6 inches away. A hitter has an average of about two tenths of a second to decide whether to swing or not which means the hitter has only two-tenths of a second to process this visual information and react. The hitter has to recognize whether a pitch is located on the inside or outside part of the plate, recognize a breaking or off-speed pitch. The highest level of athletes can process this information quicker which gives them more time to make adjustments to their swing.  Ichiro Suzuki has gone on to say,

” You can only hit when the information picked up by your optic nerve is processed by your brain and then transmitted accurately to your body. If your eyes can’t pick it up, then you can forget about good results”.

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Try this eye exercise

So we now have come to know that it doesn’t matter how sound your mechanics are, how good your approach is or if you have plus- plus power. You can’t hit what you can’t see. One of the biggest differences between an advanced hitter and an average hitter is his ability to use his eyes in an effective way. He has to be able to compute what he sees and react to it quickly enough. It is well-known that athletes have better vision capabilities than the general population but through proper dieting and consistent vision exercises, your vision skills can be improved.

What you can do to improve your vision skills will be explained in a bit.

Baseball requires for players to have a unique set of vision abilities as well. In order to hit we have to judge, pitch rotation, velocity, in order to bunt accurately we have to have the correct depth perception. What is a common misconception about baseball is that there isn’t a difference between good eyesight and good vision skills. THERE IS!!!!!!!  How good your “eye-sight” is determined by your ability to interpret information and surroundings from visible light reaching the eyes. Visual skills, on the other hand, determines a whole other set of attributes which can all be improved to become more consistent hitters. Think about what increasing your vision skills can do to your batting average!!

Depth Perception
So essentially depth perception is your ability to perceive objects in three dimensions. More importantly, it allows you to judge an object’s speed and distance. In order to have efficient depth perception, you MUST be able to use your eyes simultaneously. The more functional your eyes work together, the better the results.

Visual Tracking
Visual Tracking is the process of your eyes measuring their point of gaze or the motion of the eye relative to the head. Visual Tracking is important for a hitter to see more effectively how the defense is playing you. Visual tracking is something that all successful quarterbacks have in common. Being able to scan the field in a more effective way will allow you to respond quicker and more accurately to external stimuli on the field.

Speed of eye dilation
Similar to other visual skills, the speed at which a baseball player ‘s eyes are able to focus can be trained and improved overtime. The ability for your eyes to dilate will affect your ability to pick up a pitch coming in the zone. The closer the ball gets to you the more your eyes dilate, thus the faster your eyes are able to dilate, it will also increase the time you will have to react.

Visual reaction time ( Optic Nerve Processes)
The optic nerve transmutes visual information from the retina to the brain. Think of your optic nerve process as a computer (essentially that’s what it is) the faster the information is processed the slower the ball will look in the zone. This process functions at its highest when you are relaxed. Have you ever noticed that when you are taking a pitch on a 3-0 count the ball looks bigger and you may even be able to see the seems better? The muscles surrounding the eyes have completely relaxed with very little strain. (Imagine Neo in the Matrix, I wonder how productive his Optic Nerve was:)

Visual Flexibility
In my opinion, between Visual flexibility and Optic Nerve Processes, these two attributes are the most  important vision skills to train. Visual flexibility allows for your eyes to move together to allow sight to become more efficient. Training this will allow a hitter to get his eyes on the ball with more accuracy and in less time.

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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