The two most important priorities of hitting – Part 1
There are two (mechanical) priorities or procedures that I focus on the most when I teach hitting. Do these two things and most everything else falls into place. Fail to do them and it won’t matter how much you learn about all the other stuff.
Today’s post is about the first procedure – the body position when the stride foot lands. Check out these photos. I added the yellow and red lines. Notice any similarities?
Every hitter shown above has loaded up and has either just completed his stride or is just about to. Each is ready to either explode to the ball or take the pitch. At this point in the process of hitting, all the hitters are doing the following:
- The bat is on an angle that closely matches (not always exact) the angle of the back leg. (Red lines)
- The head is between the feet.
- Both legs form a pretty close equilateral triangle.
- The chin is tight against the front shoulder.
- Their hands are off the back shoulder at chin height.
- The lead arm has a little bend to it.
- Their front shoulder is slightly lower than their back shoulder.
Keep in mind that every one of the hitters shown above has a different stance when they set up in the box. Some have big leg kicks on the strides and some have smaller, more traditional ones. Some wiggle the bat and some do not. Some start with their hands up high and some start them lower. A couple start in an open stance and a couple are square or even a little closed …
… and it makes no difference at all!
That’s because every single one of them follows the same 1st procedure of hitting which is …
Get your body to maximum athleticism when your stride foot lands.
What you see in the photos is procedure. How they got there is their technique. Techniques will differ for every player. Procedure should not.
“But coach, you cherry-picked the photos! Why don’t you show someone very unorthodox like Hunter Pence?“
You are correct. His technique is indeed unorthodox. However, his procedure … not so much.
When I teach hitting, Priority #1 is to see if the hitter gets to this 1st procedure point when their stride foot lands. If they don’t then I get to work with some of their technique leading up to it. If they do then my priority turns to the 2nd procedure that will be discussed in Part 2.