Hitting Tips To Improve Your Load, Stride, And Timing
- A common cause for jumping out is a lack of confidence to hit an inside fastball. Doubt affects your swing on the subconscious level; triggering you to “rush your stride.” “Jumping” or “lunging” at an 85 mph fastball, triggers unwanted head and eye movement, adding 5 mph of “perceived velocity” to the pitch; reducing your ability to track the ball. Opposingly, relaxing helps to reduce the speed of your stride, seeing the ball better, and decreasing “perceived velocity” by 5 mph. Additionally, a long and hard stride decreases your ability to make adjustments to pitch speed and increases the likelihood you’ll pull off the ball, lunge or cast.
- To improve your timing minimize your stride, especially if the pitcher throws hard, keeps the ball down in the zone, changes speeds, and locates late-breaking pitches.
- Avoid rushing your stride. A simple way to slow your stride is to try and hit the ball up the middle, or to the opposite field. Develop your hitting approach, sends the message to your body that you’ve plenty of time to hit, helping to “slow down” your stride.
- Stride in a straight line, striding away or toward home plate makes it challenging to hit pitches on the extremities of home plate. Coaching Tip: Watch your players big toe, ensure it is not pointing at the pitcher as their foot lands; landing open triggers “flying open.”
- Avoid landing your front foot “too early” or “too late.” Ideally, your front foot lands when the pitch travels approximately, “one-third to halfway” on it’s journey from the pitcher’s mound to home plate; this varies depending on the pitch speed, your bat speed, mechanics, and ability to track the ball. The best way to determine when your foot lands timing your stride in the on-deck circle. When you take your practice swings in the on-deck circle, watch the delivery of each pitch and time your practice swings to get your foot down as the ball is about halfway to home plate. When you get your front foot down too early, you’ll lose momentum power, making it difficult to adjust to late-breaking pitches. If you get your front foot down too late, you’ll be late with your swing, “rushing” and “flying-open” to compensate.
- Regardless of how high you pick your leg up just make sure the knee turns in as this coils your hips. Power comes in 2 forms, and the height plays a part in both. Combine both, to train a complete hitter. If you only prepare one or the other, you’ll have a weakness in hitting either, hitting a dominant fastball, or slower pitch types.
Striding For Different Pitch Types
Laser whip and blast drills are isolation drills, working on parts to improve the end product; being your game day swing.
Example of a short stride for explosive core power
HANGING SLIDER STRIDE
Example of a longer stride for momentum power