Key to Great Baseball Hitting Mechanics
Almost all hitting problems, especially with youth ballplayers, develop because of the incorrect hitting position when hitters’ stride foot lands before swinging. Most young hitters baseball hitting mechanics have the incorrect upper body hitting position or the wrong lower body position after the stride. Just because hitters begin in good hitting position in their initial stance does not guarantee they will be correct after the stride. Hitters, who can maintain or go to the correct hitting position post stride foot landing, have a great chance to develop the perfect swing.
Of course, it is one thing to know the correct baseball hitting mechanics and another thing to perform them. In order to perform the baseball hitting mechanics perfectly, players and coaches must understand that correct hitting position. Ninety-nine percent of all great hitters begin in this position or go to this hitting position when their front foot lands. With young hitters, it is usually best to start them in this position or very close to it because it is a lot to ask them to begin out of correct hitting position and “load” into it. At a later age, they can begin to develop a “loading of the bat,” once they know and can consistently get to the correct hitting position.
Absolute Best Upper Body Baseball Hitting Mechanics
Upper body hitting position
1. Head, shoulders, hips, and elbows are level to the ground. When the stride foot lands, the front shoulder and elbow should be lower than the rear one.
Hand distance away from body
2. The knob of the bat points down and back towards the catcher’s feet, not the catcher’s head.
3. The hitter’s hands are shoulder height and about 2 to 4 inches back of shoulder (towards catcher) and no more than a hands distance away from the shoulder towards home plate.
4. The bat barrel sits on a line directly above the player’s rear shoulder. The trademark of the bat is in line with the hitter’s rear ear.
Lower Body Baseball Hitting Mechanics
Establishing lower body balance
1. Stance distance between the feet varies for all hitters and is personal preference, as long as there is at least a slight bend in the knees.
2. Hitter’s weight is on the balls of feet when the stride foot lands, accomplished with a slight lean of the head in towards home plate at the beginning or on the stride.
2. The hitter’s initial weight distribution is also personal preference but when striding it needs to be mostly on the rear leg, so it is OK to start hitters with their weight mostly on the rear leg, but rocking the weight back as the pitcher begins their motion home is best.
Correct Baseball Stride
A controlled stride is crucial for good hitting mechanics
Next Baseball Hitting Mechanics
1. No matter the distance between the feet with the initial stance, hitters should stride to their optimal balanced position length between the feet. This position often takes a lot of trial and error to find and generally, the shorter the stride the better, so a wider stance, to begin with, may be optimal for young hitters.
2. With the weight back or moving back and the bat in this correct position, the hitter takes a controlled step directly towards the pitcher. Controlled is the key concept here, as the body weight will go to the front leg form the backside leg. As this is happening and no easy thing, the head must remain back as the body weight shifts to the front side.
the key to that action is the lead foot landing on the inside ball of the foot before their weight begins to transfer towards the front leg.
It is important that the front foot lands a fraction of a second before making the decision to swing or not when the fastball arrives in the hitting zone. Being too early or late with the foot landing throws off the whole rhythm and sequence of the swing.
Baseball hitting mechanics – The Swing
1. The next move is the crucial one. The back knee rotates towards the ball as the rear elbow drops into the hitting slot. The angle of this elbow position is crucial to the rest of the swing sequence.
2. With the palm-up, palm down position through the contact zone, players push the back elbow away from the body towards the pitcher, without rolling the wrists.
3. The hands should finish high as the hips rotate fully.
4. The batter’s head should finish on the back shoulder and remain down through contact with their rear foot pointed to the pitcher as well as their rear knee and belly button.
* It is essential to understand that nothing is more important than the correct hitting position when their stride foot lands. When hitters have the incorrect hitting position, rarely, are they able to recover with the correct baseball swing.
* Learning the upper body and bat position, lower body position and stride, should start with batting tee, flipped ball and dropped ball practice, until hitters can repeat their baseball swing mechanics.
Full rotation with head down
Jack Perconte has dedicated his post-major league baseball career to helping youth. He has taught baseball and softball for the past 27 years. His playing, coaching and parenting stories create better experiences for athletes and parents. Jack has written over a thousand articles on coaching baseball and youth sports. Jack is the author of “The Making of a Hitter” and “Raising an Athlete.” His third book “Creating a Season to Remember” is now available. Jack is a featured writer for Baseball the Magazine. You can also find Jack Perconte on YouTube with over 120 fun and innovative baseball instructional videos.