Everybody wants to be a
great hitter. Most young players dream about hitting the ball like Mookie
Betts, Mike Trout,or Bryce Harper. What they don’t realize is that All-Star
players like that have such deeply ingrained muscle memory built into their
swing that they can totally forget about their swing and concentrate solely on
hitting the ball.
As complex as the baseball
swing can be, it can also be quite simple. If you ingrain these six steps into
your muscles, your task of hitting becomes much easier. Your swing becomes
automatic, and you won’t have to do anything except pick out the pitch you want
and then hit it.
1 The Load:
You should have a slight
lifting of the front heel and a slight turn in of the front knee. This
effectively and efficiently transfers enough weight to the back side and
prepares the “coil”. Power comes from the ground up so be sure and keep the
transferred weight on the “inside” of the rear foot, calf and thigh. You will
need it there so that it can be used properly in the next sequence.
2 The Step:
You should have a steady
head, directly over your lead shoulder. You want to get your stride down in
time for the pitcher’s fastball. This allows you time to react to the speed and
the location. If your foot is down late, you are vulnerable. The step should be
“short”, “soft” and straight to the ball. You should have a slightly open front
foot, which will allow for a quicker and more powerful release of the rear hip.
3 The Launch:
let your hands committed to release the bat yet. Allow the ball to travel
deeper into the zone before making the commitment to the contact point. But, you
should have already lined up with the plane of the incoming pitch. Driving the
knob of the bat to the ball with the bottom hand (pulling) is the ideal way to
imbed this muscle memory in your swing. The bottom hand guides the bat barrel
into the proper slot. This also sets the “tilt” in the upper body. Critical for
proper bat path alignment with the incoming pitch.
You should have a firm front
side and the commitment of the rear hip into the swing. The hips have launched!
The hips should always lead the hands in a baseball swing. Your head is steady
and your eyes are completely locked on to the baseball with a singular focus… to
hit the ball!
Your front foot should be
angled, backside is completely rotated. The power they generated during the
coil and uncoil is released into the ball. The top hand is palm up and
“pushing” while the bottom hand is palm down and “pulling”! The right elbow is
still bent and delivering a blow much like a body punch from a boxer at close
range. Also, the balance here is incredible. This allows a complete release and
rotation of the backside into the ball. The barrel of the bat is basically
“pivoting” around the stationary axis (the firm front side).
It’s here that the back
elbow starts to straighten out because of the “pushing” from the top hand.
Be short to the ball and long through the ball! This is the start of the “long through
the ball”. Do not slow down the bat after contact! Let it continue through the
6 Extend Again:
In the pursuit of the “long
through the ball” concept, you should “extend again” until you reach the “Power
V” position that is so often referred to. The head stays in line with
the rear shoulder, almost like using it as a sight through which to view the
ball. This is a result of the rotating with a steady head. The wrists are
beginning to roll which allows the bat to release into the finish.
The finish is generally a
by-product of the swing up to and through the 6th step, what area of the strike
zone the pitch was thrown, as well as a player’s body type. Therefore, we didn’t
really focus on this as much. You should pay attention to your balance at the
finish of your swing. This helps in developing the short, powerful and accurate
swing that you aim for. Keep that in mind when you are developing your swing.