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How to Hit a Baseball Using Your Legs

How to Hit a Baseball Using Your Legs

 

 

For many hitters, feeling a load, feeling a separation and weight shift is not easy.
Trying to explain that to a young hitter can be difficult. I have a drill to help you do that.
What I call this drill is the “step back” drill. A lot of you may have seen it before. What I want to do is explain how this drill works and why we want to use.

You address the ball the same way that we would in the box. Maybe slightly forward so the ball is at our navel. Get in our nice stance. What we are going to do differently is – before I swing I’m going to step back. I’m going to take a step back and I’m going to feel the weight go into my back leg. This is what I want to feel. I want to feel this load. That way when I come through the ball I can feel the weight shift. I can feel the drive.

For young hitters this can be difficult. They don’t understand what this is supposed to look like. Often times you tell them to load and they do this. Just barely move. By using the step back drill, we can get them into their legs and actually feel the drive. Feel the power. The legs are a big muscle. So let me show you how this works.

I’m set up here. Ball at navel. I’m going to take a step back and drive through the ball. Let me show you that a few times.

EXAMPLES

You can see how I get into my legs. Push into my legs. I want to feel my legs in this drill. Feel the drive coming through. Use this drill especially if you have young hitters, and even high school hitters.
I used it in professional baseball to feel my legs.
I didn’t understand it as a young player. I want to feel my legs. Feel that drive and have a great game.

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Baseball Hitting Stance – The Hands

How to Place Your Hands in Your Hitting Stance   

 

So as in our previous lesson, we talked about the baseball hitting stance. In this lesson I want to talk to you about where our hands should be. We talked about where our feet, our chest, our legs should be in our stance. Where our weight should be distributed, but let’s talk about where our hands should be. There’s a lot of places we can put our hands and there’s a lot of places we don’t want to have our hands. We want to find a place that’s going to give us the best chance to succeed.

Let’s be honest, hitting’s difficult. We got a round bat, trying to hit a round ball, being thrown at us extremely hard and we don’t know at what speed it’ going to come at. This is a difficult game. This is a difficult part of the game. So we want to put ourselves in the best chance we have to succeed. When we talk about where we want our hands, let me give you some guides.

First off, let’s go right off our back shoulder. We want to have a little space in here. We don’t want our hands too tight to our body. We don’t want them too far away. These are extremes. These are going to lead to other problems. We want right off our back shoulder. We want our hands basically stacked above our back leg. Use those guides right there. We’re above our back leg. We’re right off of our back shoulder. Take a look at my bat. We basically want to have it at a 45 degree angle. If we have our bat pointed straight up, this is going to lead to problems with our swing looping. If we lay our bat too flat, we’re going to have a problem with wrapping the bat around our head, also creating length.

So keep this bat at about a 45 degree angle. We’re right off our back shoulder. This is a good place to start from. Yes you’re going to tinker with your hands. Don’t have them too low. This is going to lead to problems trying to get ready.  We always got to get back to the same position before we swing. Every hitter will start his swing from the same position, right here. So we might as well start closer to that position. Let’s make this easier on ourselves. This game’s difficult enough.

So give yourself a chance. Have the bat around a 45 degree angle, right off our back shoulder, stacked above our back leg. Right there, that’s comfortable right there. You can move it around. You can be comfortable right in this position. This is going to give us the best chance to succeed most often. So the next time you get in the box, don’t hold your bat up straight. Don’t lay it down too flat. Find a nice spot for it right off your back shoulder and have a great game.

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Baseball Hitting Stance – The Load

Hitting Stance – The Load

 

So if you were going to throw a punch and I’m not advocating fighting, but if you wanted to really throw a hard punch, what would you do. Would you stand here like this and just throw a little punch or would you pull your hand back and come all the way through. I think the answer’s simple. We’d want to pull our hand all the way back, and really get into it.

The same is true in hitting. We call it our load, our trigger, our take away. Whatever you want to call it, this is how the hitter gets his weight from his balanced position, gets it back behind the ball. There’s a lot of different ways to do this. The most common way is done in the legs. This is actually what I did. We started from a balanced position and now I’m going to shift my weight from 50/50 and I’m going to push, keeping the weight on the inside part of my foot and the inside part of my knee. I’m going to push back into my foot right there like that. This is going to give us our load. It gives me my chance to get back behind the ball.

There’s other ways you can load. A very common technique now used is called a toe tap. The hitter starts here. They step back and then they come forward with their stride. When they step back this is getting their weight back for them. This is getting them back behind the ball. Some hitters, such as Albert Pujols, who doesn’t stride, uses his front foot as his load mechanism. By pushing up onto his toe, you can see how I’ve now moved my weight to my back leg. See he doesn’t take a stride. He just pushes up this way and that creates his load. Jim Thome, a different example, tries to do his with his hands. Well this would be a right handed version, but he does it with his hands. He comes this way and then just comes forward.

There’s a lot of way to load. The most common, like I said, is shifting the weight from our 50/50 or 60/40 stance, back to the back leg. Just be careful. We don’t want to go backwards over our back foot. This is going to cause problems with balance. Keep the weight on the inside part of the foot and the knee, but you have to have a load. We got to get into our back leg. That’s what we want to use. This is where we’re going to get our power. We want to drive this ball. So get into it. Load up. Be ready. The next time you’re in the box get back there and drive that ball.

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