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Answering Baseball Stride Drills Reader Question: “How Important Is Forward Momentum I Know We Must Go Forward But Does It Matter If Stride Is Big Or Small?”

“…Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks.  She  went for a walk in the forest.  Pretty soon, she came upon a house.  She knocked and, when no one answered, she walked right in.  At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge.  Goldilocks was hungry.  She tasted the porridge from the first bowl.

“This porridge is too hot!’ she exclaimed.  So, she tasted the porridge from the second bowl.  ‘This porridge is too cold,’ she said.  So, she tasted the last bowl of porridge.  ‘Ahhh, this porridge is just right,’ she said happily and she ate it all up…”

More in a bit on how Goldilocks and the Three Bears relates to baseball stride drills, but first…

In the following post, we’re addressing the following concerns regarding baseball stride drills (also works for softball):

  • Stride direction and amount,
  • Stride type (experimenting with the ‘Float’),
  • Head movement from stride, and
  • Controlling center mass in stride.

Before getting into the how to baseball stride drills guide, I want to preface that the PURPOSE of a stride shouldn’t be power.  CLICK HERE for a Zepp swing experiment that may confirm this.  If it’s power you seek, then I’d advise looking at the Spring Loaded category.  What purpose does a stride serve?  A stride is for timing and initiating directional force.  CLICK HERE for this post on that.

Let’s get started…

 

Baseball Stride Drills Direction & Amount

Watch this video from Chris Welch at ZenoLink.  Using data and science, he’s found reasonable markers in guiding baseball stride drills

 

Here are highlights from baseball stride drills video above:Baseball Stride Drills: Stepping in Bucket Drill Using Bands

  • Stride length should be about 3.75-times hip width (hip-center-to-hip-center)*,
  • At landing, stride direction is to be closed about 10-degrees (straight forward toward pitcher is zero-degrees), and
  • Stride landing foot position to be about 65-degrees open (pointing perpendicular to home plate is zero-degrees, and straight at pitcher is 90-degrees).

(*Denotes 3.75-times hip-center-to-hip-center is length of stride measured from back foot to stride landing.  NOT the measurement of the stride itself.)

Chris says in the video that if a hitter is under or over striding, then they’re hampering body’s ability to create torque.  Stride landing MUST align ball of the foot with ball of the foot.

CLICK HERE for a post I did on how to fix “stepping in the bucket” using Reactive Neuromuscular Training (RNT).  With the image to the right, it’s another one of my baseball stride drills using colored bands to fix stepping in bucket or crashing the plate.  If the hitter is crashing too much with their stride, I get them to feel stepping out, and the reverse is true if they’re stepping out.  I use variance to get them in the middle (blue band).

…Goldilocks Golden Rule. 

 

Stride Type (‘Experimenting with the Float’)

For most intensive purposes, there are 3 stride types:

  • Leg kick – medium (Mike Trout) or large (Josh Donaldson),
  • Slide step – most Big League hitters use this.  Aaron Judge, Robinson Cano, Joey Votto, and Andrew McCutchen just to name a few.
  • Toe-tap – I recommend this for my younger hitters. Troy Tulowitzki, Giancarlo Stanton, and Victor Martinez employ this.

Of course, there are variations to these, but these are the three broad categories of stride types.  I call the stride the ‘float’ and ‘fall’.  The ‘float’ is a momentary shifting of weight back towards the catcher before falling forward.  Matt Nokes calls this the ‘Ride’ and ‘Stride’.  Some hitting coaches don’t like this idea, but the reality is this is human movement.  The Chinese have been practicing exactly this move in Tai Chi for thousands of years…in stepping to my right, I have to make a brief weight shift to the left first.  CLICK HERE for a post analyzing this dynamic move.

I included a lot of video examples (CLICK HERE) of MLB hitters using these different stride types to help guide your baseball stride drills. In that post I concluded with this:

“When it comes to [baseball stride drills], Forward Momentum is the objective.  How we get our hitters there doesn’t really matter.  Just give them examples of how to accomplish more FoMo, and allow them to tinker and test until they find something they’re comfortable with doing.”

…Goldilocks Golden Rule.

 

Head Movement from Stride

There’s been few online Hitting Guru #57’s saying we want minimal to zero head movement when hitting.  They claim, the more the head moves, the less your eyes see the ball.  And they point to Barry Bonds as their champion.  On paper, this conclusion looks great, and with Bonds as their poster child seems argument seems pretty reasonable.

However, what science says and what the top 50 hitters in the Major Leagues are doing reveals something completely different.  The opposite actually.  Listen, I agree minimal to zero head movement when hitter’s stride foot lands.  And if baseball stride drills are done correctly, this should be a natural result.  But I don’t agree with minimal to zero head movement GETTING TO stride landing – BEFORE the turn starts.

In this post titled, Softball Hitting Tips For Kids: Why Late Head Movement Fails & Early Head Movement Succeeds, we discuss:

  • The Myth of ‘keeping the head still’,
  • Proprioception & dynamic movement,
  • First baseman stretching to receive a throw, and
  • Watching TV upside down.

The biggest bomb NUKING minimal to zero head movement argument, is this 2013 article by Dan Farnsworth at FanGraphs.com titled, Breaking Down the Swing: Best Hitters of 2012.  Farnsworth compiled a list of the top 50 hitters from the 2012 season according to Fangraph’s batting component of WAR (this is a big deal metric).

He looked at side views of each of these hitters from highlights of the 2012 season, in which each player hit a home-run.  Farnsworth says the main complaint coaches have with early head movement, is that moving the head forward “speeds up the ball”.  This may be true, however during the stride the hitter hasn’t made a definitive decision to swing yet.  In the Head Movement piece of the article, Farnsworth concludes:

“Next to no relationship here.  I think this one can be considered dead, simply based on the fact that all of them moved forward to some degree.”

Did you catch that?! Farnsworth revealed in his research of top-50 hitters in 2012, that ALL moved their head forward to some degree.  You see, head movement is inevitable in ALL dynamic movement.  Early is okay, late is not.   Don’t sit there and point to hitting outliers like Barry Bonds, and tell me the top-50 hitters of 2012 all had it wrong.  It was true then as it is now.

Besides, did you know fresh out of the box, humans come with “video stabilizer” eye software?  Ask an ophthalmologist.  In addition, your knees, ankles (Achilles tendon), and hip joints act as shock absorbers too.  If we start our hitters in an athletic position, and most importantly, they land in one, then the hitter will be fully optimized for minimizing the ball “speeding up”.

If you’re still skeptical, then check out this post titled, Perfect Swing Hacking With Forward Momentum.  We discuss:

  • Balance without thinking,
  • Debunking a common objection & a study, AND
  • Perfect swing examples.

Not too much, not too little, just right…Goldilocks Golden Rule.

And last but not least…

 

Controlling Center of Mass in the Stride

Center of Mass (COM) in the human body is located at the belly button.  This was established in the womb.  The umbilical cord is the center of an unborn child’s universe.  I say this to demonstrate the importance of COM in controlling human movement.

Now, we don’t want baseball stride drills to promote too large or too small of a stride.  Remember? Goldilocks Golden Rule.  Chris Welch from Zenolink said the stride should be about 3.75 times hip-center-to-hip-center, and aligned are back ball of the foot to front ball of the foot at stride landing.  How do we teach this though?  In this post I received the following question from one of my readers…

One specific issue I see in a lot of my players is timing and getting over the front knee too far at contact. What are some good tee drills for staying back and any idea how I can get them to feel it when done correctly.”

In the post titled, Discover Science Of Successful Learning Secret To Fix Lunging (or any swing flaw for that matter!), as it relates to controlling the COM of our hitters, we discuss:

  • Reader question about lunging,
  • “Bean Bag” study from Make It Stick book,
  • WHY we separate PROCESS from PERFORMANCE with hitters learning something new,
  • How it takes time to change ineffective movement momentum into effective, and…
  • Training 4-5 days per week, for AT LEAST 5-mins each day.

And remember the …Goldilocks Golden Rule.

You Don’t Have To Gather 30+ Years Of Coaching To Be An Effective Teacher

 

In the above video, I mentioned the book Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning, by Peter C. Brown.  If you’re serious about helping get young athletes better, then you’ll read or listen to that book.  The information in it is supported by empirical research, NOT “because I said so ‘bro-science'”.

Here’s what is discussed in the above video:

  • Addressing reader question about lunging,
  • Talk about “Bean Bag” study from Make It Stick book,
  • WHY we separate PROCESS from PERFORMANCE with hitters learning something new,
  • Takes time to change ineffective movement momentum into effective, and…
  • Training 4-5 days per week, for AT LEAST 5-mins each day.

 

Original reader’s question I summarized in the above video:

“Joey, First off thank you for gathering and sharing the knowledge you have. I have become intrigued by the science of the swing and delivering it in a message that my 14u softball team related to.

One specific issue I see in a lot of my players is timing and getting over the front knee too far at contact. What are some good tee drills for staying back and any idea how I can get them to feel it when done correctly. I’m sure it will click once they figure it out.

Too much thinking in the box right now. Good thing it’s winter!  Thank you”

– Eric McConnell, Coach Linden Warriors 14u. Black

My email reply…

“Eric, Thank you for reaching out! I know what you’re saying. Here’s what I want you to try with those young ladies:

  1. Have them experiment with shifting their weight forward in different ways…
  2. Reference their belly button because this is the body’s center of mass…
  3. Have them stride while keeping their belly button inside their back foot… (this will feel like they aren’t moving forward at all, while front foot goes forward)
  4. Have them stride while keeping their belly button behind their front knee at landing… (this will be closer to where you want them in games)
  5. Have them stride while keeping their belly button behind their front foot at landing…
    And have them stride while keeping their belly button over their front foot at landing… (this will look like old Ty Cobb still shots of his swing finish).

Do you see what we’re doing? Give them many reference points to pull from. The learning principle here is variance. I use this all the time when teaching hitters to show their numbers to the pitcher. Please keep me updated with this Coach. And thank you for your continued support of HPL…Joey”

I hope this helps coaches!

 

Look,

I’m not going to get into the specifics of head movement with the written part of this video post…

You can go to the following links for that:

But I WILL get into an outstanding drill that helps my hitters get rid of late head movement…

I get asked quite a bit on the ‘Socials’ about posting the “Snapping Towel Drill”.

I learned this drill from Chas Pippitt of BaseballRebellion.com, which he calls the Lean Drill.

Well, here you go!

This is one of my favorite go-to drills with most of my hitters.

It helps with lunging, which I define as when a hitter continues moving forward during the turn…NOT at stride landing.

It also helps a hitter cover more of the pitch plane with the barrel, which is why I promote it in the Pitch-Plane Dominator online video mini-course.

In the above video, we’ll discuss:

  • How the swing is a snapping towel,
  • And define Reactive Neuromuscular Training (or RNT),
  • How to BEWARE of the “C” Shape, and
  • How to setup the Snapping Towel Drill…

The following video I did awhile back, which analyzes Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz’s swings to show the ‘snapping towel’ effect…

CLICK HERE for a post I did on how to fix stepping in the bucket using Reactive Neuromuscular Training (RNT).

The following image is Chase B., one of my hitters, that is working on fixing his Reverse ‘C’ shape (by the way, the same fault with a lefty will resemble a normal ‘C’)
chaseb-reversec-shape

It’s not too bad, but I’ve seen worse.  Some of the things to look out for at and post impact:

  • Head floating out over “no man’s land”,
  • Over arching of the low back, and
  • The hitter complaining of low back ‘pinching’ or pain in the Up Dog Yoga Pose

The latter can be because of tight hamstrings and hip flexors, in addition to glutes and low abdominals (psoas) not firing off.  However, please consult a Physical Therapist if there’s discomfort in the Up-Dog Pose.

What is this hitting position suppose to look like?

Check out Sierra Romero (one of my fav. fastpitch hitter’s to model)…

Sierra Romero Post Impact

Sierra Romero in a nice ‘stacked’ position, NO reverse ‘C’ here. Photo courtesy: MichiganDaily.com

Notice the stacking of her head over rib cage, and rib cage over pelvis.  In a perfect world, we’d like to see a slight slant back over the catcher with these three pieces of the body.

Think about three bricks stacked on top of each other, but being stacked slightly off center towards the left hand side (for a righty), and reverse for a lefty.

Troy Tulowitzki Stride Length Experiment

 

Question: Does Stride Length Kill Bat Speed?

Troy Tulowitzki Stride Length Killing Your Bat Speed?

Photo courtesy: MLB.com

Using the Zepp (Labs) Baseball app, I wanted to use the Scientific Method to analyze whether Troy Tulowitzki’s longer stride increases or decreases bat speed.  Not just a longer stride, but I want to see the torso moving forward as well.

Background Research

Troy Tulowitzki had a wider stance in 2013.  In 2014, he’s adopted more of a narrow stance and a longer stride length.

Forward Momentum may be a new concept to hitting, but not to other explosive rotational athletes.  It’s also known as the Conservation of Linear Momentum and the Un-Weighting Principal.  The idea is that the hitter is getting a “head start”.  Other high level athletes using Forward Momentum:

  • Olympic Throwers (Discus, Javelin, and Hammer)
  • Olympic Shot Put
  • 4 X 100 meter relay sprinters
  • Circus Trapeze Artists
  • Lacrosse Players
  • Hockey Players

Hypothesis

I think the addition of forward momentum, or a longer stride length, will contribute to more bat speed because this gives the hitter a “head start”, making the body feel lighter while moving.  This allows the body to turn harder, and ultimately increase bat speed.

Troy Tulowitzki Experiment

Equipment:

Setup:

  • Feedback markers = my bat length, plus two baseballs
  • Distance from plate = end of the bat touching inside corner of plate, and knob of bat touching my mid-thigh
  • NO-stride stance was width of feedback markers
  • Forward movement stance was open, and feet set a little wider than shoulder width
  • Tee was set a baseball or two behind the front feedback marker, and tee height was about mid-thigh
  • 101 baseballs were hit using both the NO-stride and longer stride sessions

Data Collected:

Results of Tulo Stride Length Bat Speed Experiment

Pay particular attention to the bold typeface

 

Data Analysis & Conclusion

Last 6 Swing Zepp Baseball app

NO-stride: last 6 batted balls (Zepp Baseball app)

  • 0.624 mph average bat speed increase with a longer stride.
  • Apex of bell curve for NO-stride swings ranged from 77 mph to 83 mph*.
  • With a longer stride, you’ll see the bell curve shifted, 81 mph to 85 mph*.
  • Three more 90 mph+ swings using a longer stride, in addition to increasing my Personal Record 2 mph.

*Based on six or more batted balls repeated in specific mph (bold typeface in the chart above)

 

Notes

Longer Stride: last 6 batted balls (Zepp Baseball app)

Longer Stride: last 6 batted balls (Zepp Baseball app)

  • Before the experiment I did a 7 minute Dynamic Warm-up.
  • I didn’t just increase my stride length, I moved my whole torso forward.
  • I began the experiment with the NO-stride swings.
  • I took a 20-30 minute break between the two sessions.
  • During the last twenty swings of the longer stride session, I hit five-of-eight 90 mph+ balls.

From the Zepp Baseball screenshots to the right, it’s interesting to note, my bat speed kept up, even increased with forward momentum and a longer stride.  In other words, I wasn’t as tired at the end of hitting over 200 baseballs.

Now that Troy Tulowitzki is using a more narrow stance and generating forward momentum with a longer stride, he’s able to increase his bat speed.  This may explain the surge in opposite field home-runs in 2014.

Does Ryan Braun Hit Backwards?  Common Mistake #1 (of 4)…

 

In the first installment of the Hitting Backwards: 4 Common Mistakes Hitters Make video series, featuring Ryan Braun, we’re analyzing why “Sitting Back” isRyan Braun: 4 Common Mistakes Hitters Make Part-1 so destructive to friction-free mechanics.  The WHY boils down to a strange word…

According to IdeaFit.com,

Proprioception is the body’s ability to transmit a sense of position, analyze that information and react (consciously or unconsciously) to the stimulation with the proper movement (Houglum 2001).”

The brain does whatever it needs to balance physical movement.  Let’s discuss the following compensations caused by “Sitting Back”:

  • Eyes and head shift forward during Final Turn,
  • Lunging, and
  • Front shoulder flies open.

 

Eyes and Head to Shift Forward During Final Turn

Ryan Braun’s friction-free swing is like snapping a towel.  Throw the towel end towards the intended target, then quickly snap it back.  We’re getting eye-head movement out of the way early, then shifting our spine up and back towards the catcher –  snapping the barrel into the impact zone.  Ryan Braun does this!

Sitting back makes the hitter do the opposite…

  • Keep the hitter back till the last possible second, then
  • The hitter has to shift their weight forward to counter-balance because of proprioception, and
  • As a result, shifts the head and eyes forward.

 

Lunging

What’s your definition of lunging?  When Ryan Braun lands his front foot, his knee virtually floats above his ankle. My definition of lunging is when the front knee continues to float over or passed the ankle during the Final Turn.  It’s a very ineffective position to hit in because the head will continue moving forward.

Here’s how sitting back causes lunging:

  1. Hitter shifts weight to back leg,
  2. Reaches out softly with the stride foot, like a cat (and oftentimes too early)
  3. Waits till ball is on the way, then
  4. Because the body isn’t balanced, the brain shifts the hitter’s weight forward with no hope of getting back,
  5. So the hitter continues forward until he or she hits (or misses) something.

 

Front Shoulder Flies Open

Unlike Ryan Braun, most ‘Sit Back’ hitters:

  1. Have hand dominant swings.  Since the shoulders are closest to the hands, they have to start earlier to get the hands working.
  2. Don’t set up the natural rotation counter-rotation relationship of the pelvis and shoulders* before the front foot hits the ground.  This causes the shoulders to compensate and open prematurely.
  3. Open their hips and shoulders at the same time.  If this happens, a hitter will max out at 60-70% of their ability to transfer energy efficiently from body –> to barrel –> to ball.  This put smaller hitters at a disadvantage by dramatically decreasing power output.
  4. Have a difficult time keeping the front shoulder in with off speed and breaking balls.  It’s easy for pitchers to disrupt a Sit Back hitter’s timing.  Their brain is focused on too many things at once: timing, proprioception, and pitch speed/location (because of late head-eye movement).

*CLICK HERE for an in-depth look at spine engine mechanics according to Dr. Erik Dalton.  Read below the subtitle, “The Spring-Loaded Spiraling Spine”.

CLICK HERE for Part-2 to the Hitting Backwards video saga, where we’ll analyze Adrian Gonzalez and Common Mistake #2: loading the swing incorrectly…

In This Andrew McCutchen Video (1 of 4),

 

Andrew McCutchen Un-Weighting Principal…We’re going to look at how ‘Cutch’ (5’10” 190 lbs*) used Science to beat Paul Goldschmidt (6’3″, 245 lbs*) for the 2013 NL MVP.  McCutchen has to stay close to human movement science in order to compete with big guys like Goldschmidt.

(*according to Baseball-Reference.com)

In this Part-1 video, we’ll:

  • Demo the Un-Weighting Principal,
  • See how Cutch either DOES or DOESN’T use this in his swing, and
  • Look at how to work on this at home.

For a different angle on this, CLICK HERE to watch the – 1 min, 58 second – PBS Circus Physics video about the Conservation of Linear Momentum (aka, the Un-Weighting Principal).

A few notable explosive rotational athletes who also use this human movement rule:

  1. Olympic throwers (javelin, hammer, and discus)
  2. Olympic shot putters
  3. Olympic jumpers (high, long, and triple)

 

WHY the Wide Stance?

I get tired of hearing about instructors pushing the wider [non-athletic] stance.  This makes it difficult to create any forward movement in the swing, and see it’s benefits (read below).

I ask my students…what position – with your feet – would you want to cover a fast wide receiver?  How about guarding an agile soccer striker?  Or jumping to slam dunk a basketball?  Hitters need to start from an athletic stance – feet slightly wider than shoulder width.

“Sitting back” isn’t very effective when it comes to dynamic human movements.

As a famous Samurai swordsman Miyamoto Musashi once said:

“In all forms of strategy, it is necessary to maintain the combat stance in everyday life and to make your everyday stance your combat stance.” – Musashi, The Water Book

 

Un-Weighting Principal Benefits:

  • Feel lighter in Final Turn
  • Easier to move heavy objects
  • Get a ‘head start’

 

How Does Andrew McCutchen Do This?Andrew McCutchen Un-Weighting Principal

  • Front hip moves forward
  • Head movement is okay to heel strike
  • NO push, natural fall forward

 

How-To Practice at Home (feedback marker setup)

  1. Back marker (dimple ball or duct tape) inside back foot
  2. Front marker is hitter’s bat length, plus one or two baseballs in front
  3. Get “front hip” to front marker
  4. Set tee slightly behind front marker

CLICK HERE to watch Part-2, Andrew McCutchen: Do This For Longer Drives.  We’ll look at how effective Cutch’s Final Turn is…or isn’t.

In This Baseball Hitting Video Easy Distance PART 2,

 

We’re going over:

  • “Gas Pedal” — Natural, NO Push from Backside,
  • “Smooth” — NO Rush (Archer Metaphor), and
  • How Far Should the FREE-FALL be? (setting up your feedback markers).

Someone did a video analyzing The Babe’s swing (not up anymore), and what’s amazing is his nearly three-foot long bat almost matches his just under three-in-a-half foot stride length.  Also important to note is Babe Ruth’s head moved two-and-a-quarter feet forward before his front heel hit the ground.  CLICK HERE to see game footage.

What do you think The Babe would say to those today who shout, “NO head movement!”?  When we look at the science and its application, we know this statement doesn’t make sense.

 

MLB BIG-Boppers who use Forward Momentum

David “Big Papi” Ortiz (9-Time All-Star):

Baseball Hitting Video Easy Distance: David Ortiz

Video courtesy of MLB.com

Chris “Crash” Davis (2013, led Big Leagues with 53 hr’s and 138 RBI’s & was an All-Star in 2013):

Chris Davis Baseball Hitting Video

Watch how Davis is a big guy abiding by the rules in this baseball hitting video easy distance.

Bo Jackson when he was with the White Sox (All-Star in 1989):

Bo Jackson (White Sox) Baseball Hitting Video

Here’s one of my college hitters, and his BEFORE (left) & AFTER (right) Forward Momentum:

Anthony Case Study 19yo

Other Athletes Who Use Forward Momentum…

Paul Rabil – Lacrosse player with world record’s fastest throw (111 mph, and averages well over 100 mph in games):

Paul Rabil - MLB Lacrosse Player (fastest Lacrosse ball thrown)

Courtesy of SportScience

Ulf Timmerman – holds the World Shot Put Record using the Glide Technique:

Ulf Timmermann Glide Technique Shot Put

Note how Ulf uses his front leg to gain forward momentum, before the slight push from his back one…

Jan Zelezny – World Record holding male Javelin Thrower:

Jan Zelezny World Record Holder in the Javelin Throw

Note how much linear momentum Jan creates…

I hope you learned something from watching the baseball hitting video easy distance part two.  CLICK HERE for the Baseball Hitting Video PART-THREE (How-To Make Swing Science Sticky) of a FOUR-Part Series on Explosive Rotational Power.

In This Baseball Hitting Video Gain Distance The Easy Way PART 1,

 

We’re going over:

  • How to feel lighter in the Final Turn using the rule of Un-Weighting,
  • Moving the body forward to create momentum, and
  • Turning Yourself into a Projectile Missile (Broad v. Triple Jump).

It’s amazing what happens when you add a little momentum.  Muscles don’t have to work as hard, and the body moves effortlessly through space.  We get a “head start” using our body’s weight more than we realize…to get up from the floor, the couch or chair, or to step up into the bed of a truck.  Why should hitting be any different…heck, just about every good player uses momentum in some way.  I hope you enjoy Baseball Hitting Video Gain Distance PART-One.

CLICK HERE to watch a YouTube video on how Babe Ruth gains distance the easy way.

 

MLB Small-Boppers Who Use Forward Momentum…

Jose Bautista (4-Time All-Star):

Baseball Hitting Video Gain Distance the Easy Way: Jose Bautista

Video courtesy of MLB.com

Andrew McCutchen (2013 NL MVP, 3-Time All-Star):

Andrew McCutchen Spine Engine

Video courtesy of MLB.com

Robinson Cano (5-Time All-Star):

Robinson Cano Baseball Hitting Video

Robinson Cano is one of the best examples I can think of for Baseball Hitting Video Gain Distance the Easy Way PART-One

 

Jumping World Record Holding Athletes Who Use Forward Momentum:

Standing Long Jump, Korean World Record holder at almost 10.5 feet:

WR Standing Long Jump

Look at how he uses his arms to gain Forward Momentum…video courtesy of YouTuber Hyrugaful

Triple Jump World Record Holder Jonathan Edwards from Great Britain at 18.29 m (60 ft 0 in):

Jonathan Edwards GBR WR Triple Jump

Look at how much Forward Momentum is gained before breaking the world record. Video courtesty of YouTuber MCTnF

CLICK HERE for Baseball Hitting Video PART-2, where we go over how to apply what we learned in this video.

In This Baseball Hitting Mechanics Video,

 

…I analyze one of my eighth graders Zack, and we uncover the #1 simple tip can overcome bad hitting technique:Baseball Hitting Mechanics Video: #1 Simple Tip to Overcome Bad Hitting Technique

  • “How to make your everyday stance your fight stance, and your fight stance your everyday stance” – Musashi, a famous Japanese Samurai swordsman
  • The Snapping Towel Effect: getting the body moving,
  • The Snapping Towel Effect: the snap back, and
  • How Zack can improve…

CLICK HERE for an MLB case study YouTube video I did on David Ortiz looking into how Big Papi used the same Snapping Towel Metaphor in the 2013 Playoffs.

I’ll be doing a lot of baseball hitting mechanics video case studies of my own hitting students.  Some where I do before and afters of their own swing.  And other times, comparing their swing to a small-bopper I think is relevant to them.  I think these case studies help coaches and instructors eliminate the excuse of how young hitters can’t develop high level mechanics.

The main objective of the Hitting Performance Lab is to show we’re not arguing about linear versus rotational mechanics.  It’s that we’re discussing human movement.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re male or female.  Young or mature.  Baseball or softball.  We’re talking about how the human body is designed to efficiently move.

In This Baseball Hitting Drill Video,

 

Baseball Hitting Drill: #1 Way To Hitting For Consistent Power (Case Study)…We discuss the #1 way to hitting for consistent power by analyzing one of my younger hitters Braden:

  • Before and after swing,
  • The Un-Weighting Principal, and
  • What baseball hitting drill to work on next.

 

Before & After Swing

It’s so fun to see young men – like Braden – begin to build in human movement principals like Un-Weighting and notice an instant jolt in force at contact.  I ask all my students, if you wanted to live, would you rather get hit by a train going thirty miles-per-hour, or a motorcycle going sixty?

Of course the motorcycle!  You see, the motorcycle swing is very handsy, fast like a bike but no weight.  The train swing uses heavy mass and the slower rotational speed of the torso to pack a wallop at impact.  Forward movement and Un-Weighting are only the beginning…

 

The Un-Weighting Principal

I’m working with Braden on throwing his body mass at the ball.  Much like a projectile missile.  This helps to make the bat feel lighter to the hitter.  And be able to turn harder with less muscle involvement.  The swing is a transfer of energy.  We’re taking the potential energy contained in the hitter’s body, and getting it moving to transfer into the barrel.  Then effectively shift this moving energy into the incoming baseball.

CLICK HERE for a YouTube baseball hitting drill video I put together that demonstrates the power of the Un-Weighting Principal.

 

What Baseball Hitting Drill to Work on Next?

Braden is coming along nicely with his footwork – with the exception of making sure his lower half is mostly open at the Fight Position (landing).  We’ll be getting him to tap into the natural springy effect of his torso.  I call it the Catapult Loading System.  How the swing is loaded is a difficult concept for most to understand because their focus is on the wrong things:

  1. Not every great MLB hitter walks away from their hands.
  2. And not every great MLB hitter is swinging as effectively as they can.
  3. We tend to study the wrong hitters.
  4. And the camera view matters.

If you have any questions on this, then please post them below…