Looking to improve your players baseball swing?
In this post we look at a video from ‘Pro Speed Baseball’ that focuses on three steps to improving your player’s baseball swing mechanics.
Plainly speaking, all you need to do is Load, Stride, and Swing, but there are a few details which you’ll need to pay attention to if you want your players’ skill and technique to improve.
Take time to read the through each step, watch the video and then implement yourself. Once you’ve done that you should be prepared to bring the new found knowledge to your players.
So without further ado – let dig in…
Step 1 – Load
The correct position of loading your baseball bat should look like this:
Keep in mind that you also need to pay attention to your stance. Your feet should be parallel with your shoulders, knees bent a bit, back straight, hands tightly gripping the bat, as described in this image.
- Your feet need to be in line with your shoulders while your front foot needs to be a bit curved.
This stance will give you the stability needed to perform a solid shot. The parallel between your feet and shoulders can be perceived as a straight line. This is imperative for all the steps that will come at a later point.
- Bend your knees just a bit
This will keep the pressure off your back and divide it equally between your back and knees. It’ll also make sure that you have the proper angle just before you make the shot. If your knees are straight, you’ll have less space for your swing. Keep in mind however – don’t bend your knees too much or you won’t have the aforementioned stability.
- Keep your back straight
Even though your knees are bent, your back needs to be straight at all times. The main purpose of this is to avoid back injury, but this will also improve your stability.
- Hands tightly gripping the bat, placed in front of you
By tightly gripping the bat you’ll avoid slipping and you’ll also be able to exert more power into the shot. Know the difference between the upper grip and the lower grip – the upper grip describes the hand which is on top. Most people let it fly away after the shot. The lower grip is the hand that holds the bat and it needs to firmly grip it at all times.
Recommended drill for this step:
As loading is rather simple, you will need to drill your stance. Remember all the details and constantly check if you are following all the notes. Keep your back up, keep your feet in line with your shoulders, and firmly grip the bat.
Step 2 – Stride
Striding is a simple movement of having your front leg in the direction of the swing.
You will perform a stride by extending your front leg. It should make a sharp angle between your feet after which you will perform the swinging motion. Striding is comprised of several simple details – moving your front foot, extending your leg, and performing a circular motion while your legs should follow in a bio-mechanically correct way. Let’s break it down:
- Move your front foot
Make sure that your front foot moves only by a couple of inches.
- Extend your leg
Now is the time for your front leg to extend. This will prepare you for the next step…
- Perform a circular motion
Simply stride from side to side. This means that you will pull the pressure from your back foot to your front foot. This will support your power and precision to your strike.
- The explanation of a “biomechanically correct way”
By moving in a biomechanically correct way, your body will perform the movement on its own unless you want it to be differently. When performing the previous steps, you will have the urge to move in the manner which is the simplest to your body. Doing it differently may cause your back to ache or your muscles to hurt.
Striding is best drilled by shifting the pressure from one foot to the other. It’s a simple exercise that is commonly practiced by professional baseball players.
Step 3 – Swing
The final step is the swing. It’s a finishing blow that is supposed to send the ball into orbit.
The most important thing is that you avoid re-loading and re-striding. This will disturb your balance and may catch you off guard. Swinging can be done in two ways – by letting the bat go with the upper-grip arm, or by holding it with both arms.
- Letting the bat go with upper-grip arm
The benefit you will gain by letting the bat go with one arm is that the strength output may increase by a little. A matter of preference and entirely subjective.
- Gripping the bat with both arms
People tend to go with this method because it makes sure that your bat doesn’t slip. As with the previous method, it’s a matter of preference.
Get in the position, check if you have done everything right (straight back, knees bent, and everything else above), pause. Stride, pause, then swing. Repeat everything a couple of times. There are a whole host of baseball practice nets and pitching machines to help you progress your training effectively in a balanced way.
Now that you’ve had a run through it doing it yourself – it’s time to help your players.
Remember, it may the first time your player has had it broken down to them in such a logical way. Be patient and balance your coaching points between demos & key points to remember and let them make mistakes so that they can correct the movement themselves.
All the best,
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