Baseball hitters lift their legs while hitting to generate more force into their swing and to help with timing the pitch. Lifting the leg helps create momentum, which allows more force to be fired from the back leg during their swing. As a result, the hitter can hit the ball with more power.... read more ›
How to Properly Execute the Leg Lift Load (Pro Speed Baseball)... see details ›
Ignite Baseball Hitting Ep: 19 Why should you lean back in the swing?... view details ›
Lesson 1 - Creating The Proper Leg Kick & Stride - Hitting Drills - YouTube... see details ›
The art of the leg kick - YouTube... continue reading ›
Baseball hitters lift their legs while hitting to generate more force into their swing and to help with timing the pitch. Lifting the leg helps create momentum, which allows more force to be fired from the back leg during their swing. As a result, the hitter can hit the ball with more power.... see more ›
- Video Guide.
- Over Swinging.
- Bad Stance, Balance and Rhythm.
- Swinging Up.
- Keep Head Down.
- Hitting Plan.
- Hitting Load.
- Bat Casting.
Timing. As the pitcher starts his load (leg lift) you want to start your weight shift by moving a portion of your weight on your back foot. Weight distribution. If you started somewhere between 50/50 and 60/40 weight distribution, after loading you should be at least 60/40 (to your backside).... see details ›
All good baseball hitters first learn the proper batting stance. No matter how strong you are, how quick your hands are, and how good of an "eye" you have for the game... You won't be a consistently effective hitter if you don't start with the proper batting stance.... see more ›
3 Baseball Hitting Drills TO KEEP WEIGHT BACK! [Stay ... - YouTube... view details ›
The swing starts from the ground up and your legs start the power that creates torque to hit the long ball. The core controls your whole body. The stronger your core is the stronger you are.... see details ›
Leg kicks hurt so much because you're kicking the soft tissue of the leg repeatedly with the force you can generate with your legs. Kicking where the common peroneal nerve runs through the soft tissue with a hard shin sends a sharp and very unique pain signal to the brain.... read more ›
Specifically, the musculature of the upper back, the abdomen or core, and the glutes and hamstrings is of vital importance to a baseball player.... view details ›
Baseball Hitting Stride - YouTube... continue reading ›
5 Ways To Set Up Leg Kicks in Kickboxing with Ben Woolliss... see details ›
How To Improve Timing [7 Baseball Hitting Tips to Drastically ... - YouTube... see more ›
Lifting with your legs means generating force through your hips and your knees together to absorb the weight. Lifting with your legs means allowing your back and your entire core to stabilize to support the agonist and antagonist muscles of your legs.... view details ›
When you actually lift with your legs, you are doing yourself a great deal of work to support a healthy spine. Hence, it is recommended that you squat down and pick something up which would not only help keep the spine intact but also help you get some hip exercise and movement.... continue reading ›
Step timing... Good or Bad? | Baseball Hitting Mechanics (Pro Speed ...... see more ›
Neglecting leg workouts won't cause muscle to turn into fat. However, over time, your muscle cells can shrink while your fat cells will enlarge. This can cause you to look and feel less fit and muscular.... see details ›
Proper Front Foot Stride, Knee, Leg Position When Batting In Baseball & Softball | Hitting Drills To Keep Feet Still During Swing ›
If you're teaching baseball hitting mechanics for youth that are not validated with science, then YOU'RE losing...
For our purposes in this post, a hitter MUST be bending the knees at landing to engage, what Thomas Myers calls, the Spiral & Deep Functional Lines extending down as a stirrup under the feet.. Click here to 'Get Instant Access' In the above baseball hitting mechanics for youth video, I use Hanley Ramirez to demonstrate how important the bending of the front knee is to making timing adjustments to off-speed pitches.. In his book Positional Hitting , Jaime Cevallos called the hitter bending into the front knee at landing, or to buy more time , the:. The first base person strides forward toward the incoming ball, and bends the front knee (‘gets shorter’) to get the eyes closer to the ball.. In other words, just like an NFL wide receiver goes from a bent plant leg to straight at push off, a hitter MUST go from a bent landing leg, to a straight leg at ‘push off’.. ‘Blocking’ is basically the action of going from a bent front leg at landing, to straight at impact.. And according to Homer Kelly, the front knee must get to straight before impact, in order to slant the hitter (or golfer) up.
I come across so many hitters with 5 common mistakes in their stance and it causes a domino effect of breakdowns in their swing. Here are the top 5 mistakes
There are many young hitters that instead of starting with a balanced 50-50 stance, they end up putting the majority of their weight on their back leg to start.. When hitters get their eyes, nose and chin behind their belly button in their stance, it means that they are starting in a bad posture and their back shoulder is a little (or sometimes a lot) below their front shoulder.. If the hitters shoulders begin uphill (front shoulder higher than back shoulder) this causes a ton of problems in the load and stride and “most” hitters when they get to launch position are even more uphill than when they started and causing an extremely upward swing path.. Now try the exercise again, this time, after lifting your front heel and feeling your weight shift back, shift your weight back to 50-50 and keep your front heel up.. So, if you are a front heel down in your stance hitter, you can ignore these mistakes in your stance .. There are many hitters (more in softball) that start in their stance at that distance and just lift their foot and place it back down (No stride, very little weight transfer).. Like I’ve mentioned, if you are a big, strong hitter that is having success (hitting a lot of home runs) with this huge stance, you can ignore this mistake .. One of the most common mistakes hitters make in their stance , is with their hands and bat because they go “hand in hand” (see what I did there).. If the hitters hands are too far above their back shoulder not only does it make it difficult to have a good load, their back shoulder is really tense and prohibits good bat speed and relaxation.
For some reason baseball players have come to be treated as gentle athletes. They tend to be babied because they have million dollar arms or million dollar swings and even the slightest bit of heavy lifting could perhaps ruin all of that. I have come to this observation and have trained many baseball players who […]
This type of babying and fear mongering that even a little bit of stress could perhaps bring an athlete to injury is not physically or psychologically well for a baseball player.. Baseball players need to lift heavy to maximize their development as an athlete.. In order to increase absolute strength you have to LIFT HEAVY.. When training for absolute strength an athlete develops the ability to produce more force over time the longer you train for absolute strength.. Yes, training for absolute strength puts a little more stress on the body so you have to be smart as to when you train for it, and make sure the athlete is always in the best positions possible.. How does increasing absolute strength increase velocity or power output?. Lifting Heavy Doesn’t Have To Be Dangerous. Also, heavy lifting in high quality positions still reaps the same benefits as really heavy lifting in compromised positions.. If you are a baseball player that wants increase your strength and power to be better at the game, lifting heavy is important.
Anchoring the Back Foot & Hip Thrust: Why YOUR Swing Won't Succeed Without It - Baseball Rebellion ›
Lower Body Mechanics: The Foundation of the Swing The lower body swings the bat. Many coaches under appreciate this fact. They teach hitting from the top down, emphasizing the hands, the hands, the hands...
They teach hitting from the top down, emphasizing the hands, the hands, the hands — teaching lower body mechanics as an afterthought, a timing mechanism.. Whether you teach a ‘sway’ or ‘shift’ load, where the weight moves from centered to back towards the catcher, or a ‘coil’ load, where the front hip rotates inward while the shoulders stay straight, there is one constant.. The double inside load drives the rear foot big toe and ball into the ground, creating your anchor .. Load into the back hip with a double inside load and create the super strong support structure that all elite swings are built on.. Many common misconceptions in upper body mechanics are spawned from poor and incorrect lower body mechanical teaching.. This teaches players to turn the rear foot inward, to turn the rear knee, to turn the rear hip.. Double inside loading and anchoring the back foot helps set the hips up for optimal thrust in the swing.. How many times have we heard a coach tell a hitter to ‘push’ with his back foot, or ‘drive his knee to the pitcher’?. This time, after loading however you like, use your rear leg calf muscle to ‘push’ your weight forward onto your front foot while turning the hips.. This time, either coil or sway into your load, but this time, keep the rear knee inside the instep of the rear foot and the kneecap inside the tips of your toes.. This action, a D.I.L., weights the instep of the rear foot, creating a strong, immobile anchor, to allow the rear hip to turn the knee.. Do this without turning the shoulders…so the hips are turned, the back foot is not…and the shoulders are still straight, with the lead shoulder pointing at the pitcher.. Josh Hamilton’s beautiful lower body mechanic: (1) Anchored Rear Foot (2) Hips turned, knee and foot still with the toes pointing towards the dugout with weight on instep of back foot
Many coaches write in asking for tips on hitting mechanics. Below are the 6 basic components for teaching an effective baseball swing. Have a look and let me know what you think by leaving a comment in the box below the article. Enjoy! Stance The beginnings of perfect mechanics are the components of the stance. The following descriptions are the ideals for a batting stance and should be the goal of every batter: - Weight over the balls of the feet; never over the heels - Knees bent - Shoulders level -
– Weight over the balls of the feet; never over the heels. – Knees bent. – Shoulders level. – Hands a comfortable distance away from the back shoulder; often this is 10-12 inches from the shoulder, though it is up to the batter’s preference. As the batter begins the swing, the hips come into play for the first time.. When the batter starts the swing, the hips should turn in a bit, toward the catcher.. The hands pull back toward the back shoulder and start the pre-launch torque that drives the body through the rest of the swing.. By starting the movement at the hips and letting it drive up the body through the arms, batters ensure that they put the most possible power behind the bat.. If the knuckles are not in this stabilizing position, the bat has a tendency to jump in the hands as batters turn their wrists over as they finish the swing.. As speed is a necessary part of batting, a short stride is desirable because it helps batters move to their next element, the swing, sooner.. As the batter is about to bring their hands forward to start the swinging motion, the striding leg should come forward toward the pitcher.. During the swing, there are also small adjustments that players can make to ensure that they get the best swing possible.. Keeping the head still ensures that you keep proper balance throughout the swing, which is otherwise hard to do because the batter is moving nearly every other part to connect with the ball.. If the batter’s body has one still part that does not move or change during the swing, that batter will have a better idea of what part of their swing needs work or what part is not synchronized with the rest of the body.. As the ball is pitched, batters should bring their hands to meet the ball.. At the same time that batters are bringing their hands to the ball, they should be keeping those hands level and still, so that the bat slices through the air on an even plane.. While some players may grumble about starting at such a fundamental level, you must show them the importance of being able to hit a whiffle ball off a tee, perfectly, every time.. If players cannot hit a ball where they want it to go when it is sitting right in front of them, how are they going to be able to hit a ball moving toward them at 50 miles an hour or more?
Baseball Hitting Position is an Absolute [A Chance is All Anyone can Ask For] - Baseball Coaching Tips ›
The correct baseball hitting position when the stride foot lands is crucial for young baseball players. Without it, all hitting problems develop.
One of my most used phrases, when teaching hitting is, “The correct baseball hitting position gives you a chance to be a great hitter, and if I can teach you that, I have done my job; the rest is up to you.” Of course, I am joking some, but it attests to the importance of their starting position.. All hitting problems with youth develop because of the incorrect baseball hitting position when hitter’s stride foot lands before swinging.. If you wonder why your son or daughter was an accomplished hitter when younger and all of a sudden they cannot hit, it’s usually because the wrong baseball hitting position caught up to them.. Baseball hitting position, the time when the batter’s front foot lands and they are set to launch the bat, determines everything to follow.. Said in a more positive manner, “Hitters, who can maintain the correct hitting position when the stride foot lands, have a great chance to develop a sound, repeatable swing that allows them to get to all pitches and speeds.. However, it is usually best for players to spread their feet at least shoulder width apart.The hitter’s initial weight distribution is also personal preference, but when striding it needs to be mostly on the rear leg, so it may be best to start hitters with their weight mostly on the rear leg.. With the weight back or moving back and the bat in this correct position, the hitter takes a soft, controlled step directly towards the pitcher, leaving much of their body weight on the backside leg as they move towards the pitcher.. It bears repeating that nothing is more important than the correct hitting position when their stride foot lands for hitting success.. When hitters have the incorrect hitting position, rarely, are they able to recover with the proper baseball swing.. Finally, all of this is meant to tell parents and coaches of the necessity of insisting on the correct baseball hitting position at a young age.
The lead leg block in pitching is rarely understood correctly and is often analyzed from a baseball-specific viewpoint. Looking closer at the pitching
Using force plates to see if our kinematic indicators of lead leg block, listed above, resulted in good ground reaction forces.. defining what a lead leg block is looking closer at how the front foot lands looking at what research can tell us about the lead leg block. Since athletes generate force from the ground up, the lead leg is a key factor in stopping the momentum created from their back leg and redirecting that energy up the chain to torso rotation and to the throwing arm.. When the lead leg GRF first exceeds 100% of body weight to get an idea of the direction of early force put into the ground, shown with the blue shape below.. Stride leg ground reaction forces during the arm-cocking and arm-acceleration phases were strongly correlated with ball velocity (r2 = 0.45-0.61), whereas drive leg ground reaction forces showed no significant correlations.. Stepwise linear regression analysis found that peak stride leg ground reaction force during the arm-cocking phase was the best predictor of ball velocity (r2 = 0.61) among drive and stride leg ground reaction forces.. The fact that the stride leg is applying force AGAINST the direction of the throw means that this force is being applied in a posterior direction.. The back leg gets our momentum going towards the plate in an anterior direction but the we must “slam on the brakes” and stop our momentum by applying force backwards with the front leg.. While back leg “drive” did NOT significantly correlate with increased ball velocity, lead leg posterior force did.
The end of summer can be disappointing for students and teachers who have to go back to school or families
Every little league hitter seems to have a different initial hand position.. I’ll use the young hitter I nicknamed DR Sammy, who I met while working with hitters in the Dominican Republic, as the model for the improvements I would like to see young hitters make.. Professional hitters can set-up with their hands in positions that are not ideal, but most of them get to the powerful hand position I advocate at some point before the pitch is thrown.. By moving the hands back toward the catcher like DR Sammy, hitters are able to generate more hand and bat speed.. I can prove using bat speed measuring devices that hitters who try to be quick to the ball by moving their hands forward have lower bat speeds than hitters who start with their hands back.. Hitters who start with their hands back have much higher bat speeds, which allows them to wait longer before initiating the swing.. I can’t think of any reasons why hitters at any level should set up with their hands in any other position than back toward the catcher like DR Sammy.. Here is DR Sammy in a powerful “load” position:. First, hitters will enjoy a complete and powerful weight transfer by lifting the front leg.. Lifting the front leg sets the stage for the powerful rotation of the entire body into the ball.. Hitters who don’t lift their front legs off the ground during the swing sequence are forced to reach for pitches on the outside corner of the plate and need to swing too early to pull inside pitches.. Of all the hitting keys I teach, lifting the front leg to initiate the baseball and softball swing sequence is the most controversial, but I’m not sure why.. Here is DR Sammy in the perfect finishing position:. As DR Sammy lifts his leg, the angle of his body will slowly and naturally begin to change.. Letting the bat finish where IT wants to finish means allowing it to follow the same path and angle as the body, ultimately ending high and away from the hitter’s head.
Solid baseball swing mechanics start with a strong and balanced stance.. As you “load” or gather your energy back and prepare to make a forward move into the ball, your weight should shift to the inside of the back leg.. Keep hips square and make sure your head and knee are inside back foot for optimal balance.. Once a portion of your weight is on your back foot, you will want to keep the lower half of your body square to home plate and inside the ball.. As your front hip rotates firing at the ball, the back foot will pivot, allowing you to explode forward.. This is the foundation of proper baseball swing mechanics .. If the back elbow, back hip, and hands don’t sync correctly then you’ll end up pushing the barrel of the bat rather than releasing through the ball.. Hips before hands – when the lower half rotates, the upper half will spin and the bat will work through the hitting zone.. With proper baseball swing mechanics , the lower half (back knee) drives toward the pitcher.. With proper hand position at contact, you should be able to drive through the baseball.. This is an important element in proper baseball hitting mechanics.. Identifying the right movements and activating the correct muscle groups using our patented baseball swing trainer while swinging will instill the “feel” of proper baseball swing mechanics.. Being faithful to a daily hitting routine that incorporates the use of baseball hitting aids during hitting drills will enhance your ability to correct flaws and get a “feel” for proper baseball swing mechanics .. The simple but effective baseball hitting drill shown below can help improve any player’s baseball swing mechanics in no time.
MLB swing,rotational hitting, Baseball Hitting. Softball Hitting. How to hit a baseball or fastpitch softball.
Then: The downward drive of the back shoulder, and the rotation caused by your front knee opening just before toe touch,. will open your front hip just ahead of your front shoulder (your front hip must 'clear'. - or get on the back side of your axis. - otherwise you have a slower 'gate' swing) The front hip will initially advance ahead of the front shoulder during this phase, then return to even near contact.. Your back hip, however, stays even with your back shoulder during this phase (this is not a typo - the torso twists to make this happen) Your hips rotate around your torso/spine (not around either leg, which again would be a 'gate' swing) Don't move your hands away from your shoulder (they should not go back, and should not move faster than the shoulder,. or push away from the shoulder - yet) Keep your back knee straight ahead as long as possible -. don't let it roll over until just before the back elbow 'slots' (see Trout).. Hitting faults: Hands to the ball/ swing down on the ball The most common problems in this phase,. destructive cues like "hands to the ball", "swing down on the ball",. and a basic misunderstanding of the MLB swing,. cause the swing path to angle down instead of angle up at contact.. Chipper Jones Hip to Contact. As your back elbow reaches the level of your rear hip: Keep your back elbow rotating with/near your rear hip, as you extend your forearm Only then do you begin to throw your hands forward away from your shoulder Pull back on the knob with your front or lead hand to allow the bat head to swing in front of your hands to contact. Notice the following at impact with ball: Back elbow is at the hip and bent (arms are not "extended") Back shoulder has dropped significantly (they are not "level") Weight has shifted to front leg (not lunging though - the head is even with the back knee) Wrists are not rolled over They are not swinging "down" on the ball to get the ball to go up.. 3/29/2015 Swing to Hip Phase - bat drag section - replaced "caused by the back elbow coming down too early" with. "primarily caused by a near vertical forearm at toe touch" 3/29/2015 Toe Touch - added hitting faults section and item "rear forearm is vertical" 3/29/2015 Stance - clarified 'open' and 'even' hips comments 3/29/2015 Hip to Contact Phase - clarified "As your elbow hits your hip" and "Keep your back elbow at your hip". to "As your back elbow reaches the level of your rear hip" and "Keep your back elbow rotating with/near your rear hip" 3/29/2015. Coil/stride phase - added bullet point "The rear shoulder is generally even with the rear hip from this point forward.. 5/28/2014 Swing to Hip Phase - clarified that the initial front hip rotation is aided by the opening of the front knee 5/28/2014 Coil/stride Phase - added Note 2 clarifying that the hands can go back, or up, or down, or forward,. and clarified that the back forearm must be near horizontal at toe touch.. 2/5/2014 Swing to Hip Phase - clarified 'Don't move your hands away from your shoulder (they should not go back,. and should not move toward the ball',. to read 'Don't move your hands away from your shoulder (they should not go back,. and should not move faster than the shoulder, or push away from the shoulder' 1/18/2014 Swing to Hip - added 'Bat Drag' section to Hitting Faults 1/18/2014 Hip to Contact Phase - added Hitting Faults section (shoulder pause and front arm disconnect) 1/5/2014 Stance - added 'not musts' section 11/27/2013 Stance - added images of Bagwell, Youkilis, and Plantier 10/29/2013 Swing forward/contact - clarified back elbow slotted position 9/19/2013 Swing forward - clarified the back shoulder/elbow drive 9/9/2013 Stride/coil - major change - changed the 'preferred method' to rear leg drive, and deleted 3rd option of torso drive (from 2011-2013 I believed that torso/gravity was the main force) 9/9/2013 Stride/coil - clarifications to various coil moves and positions, revised 'hips are closed' to more accurate 'hips are even' at toe touch 9/9/2013 Swing to Hip - added specific line about moving the bat head backwards 9/9/2013 Stance - Revised hand position from 'Hands near your shoulder or ear' to 'Hands can be almost anywhere', added box grip line 9/9/2013 Hanson Principle - added this section (corrected 11/18/2013) 7/28/2013 Swing to Hip - Added comments on the 'chicken wing fault' 2/26/2013 Stride/coil - major change - Removed references to 'arm bar' as a bad thing 11/30/2012 Stance - major change - added warning about 'stand on balls of feet' myth (will put together separate myth page on this later) 9/12/2011 Swing to Hip - clarify simultaneous events in 'Swing to Hip' phase 6/30/2011 Stride/coil - added 'secret' stride drill in the 'Weight Shift' phase 4/20/2011 Swing to Hip - added front hip rotation - myth exposed in 'Swing to Hip' phase 2/15/2011 Stride/coil - added a 2002 SetPro lunging tip in the 'Weight Shift' phase 2/9/11 Stride/coil - added stride timing points in the 'Weight Shift' phase 2/1/11 Swing phase - separated swing forward phase into 'Swing to Hip' and 'Hip to Contact' 1/25/11 All - added 'destructive cues' 3/9/10 added Youth section, "cues to use", and various caveats Jan 2010 initial page
There is a belief in some baseball circles that lifting weights will make an athlete big and bulky and in turn leave them unable to play the sport effectively. This could not be further from the truth. Baseball is a sport that requires speed and power. The sport also requires certain muscles to be strong […]
Specifically, the musculature of the upper back, the abdomen or core, and the glutes and hamstrings is of vital importance to a baseball player.. If the upper back is too weak to handle that job, then the extra deceleration force is placed on the front of the shoulder capsule.. The second reason that a weak upper back is a big deal has to do with the position of the shoulder blade.. If the upper back is weak, the shoulder joint can slump forward.. To make sure there are no Tommy John’s in your future, it’s important to have a strong upper back that hold the shoulder in the right position.. Now we know it’s important to have a strong upper back so let’s talk about how we can strengthen the upper back.. In the baseball world, that means that the abs have to hold the trunk rigid to transfer the power of the lower body to the extremities of the upper body.. Therefore, this huge area of musculature on the back of the legs is very important to a baseball player.. There is coaching in the video, but it hugely important to keep the back flat and not use weights that cause your back to round.. Now that we’ve discussed all the body parts that are important to a baseball player, let’s pull it all together in one workout.. You can see above that in this one workout which shouldn’t take more than an hour, we’ve trained the whole body while prioritizing what is most important to a baseball player.
Hitting A Baseball Requires An Enormous Amount Of Skill Beginning With A Starting Mechanism
We’re going to begin by learning one of the basic elements of hitting ….. The Starting Mechanism:. The definition of a starting mechanism is a designated trigger which initiates movement of the body when batting.. In order to see a baseball while in motion a player’s eyes must be stationary, meaning his head can not be moving, therefore his body can not be moving.. We must keep in mind, once the body is commanded to become perfectly still, some particular initial movement of the body is required to start the body into the motion, which will be a redundant physical movement which the batter will perform on every pitch … whether he swings or not.. There are three basic body mechanisms which are used in tandem or alone, pertaining to the beginning of body motion.. Because the vast majority of a hitter’s power comes from the lower body, his hips and legs, the starting mechanism will Always involve the moving of the batter’s front foot, because the front foot initiates the generation of lower body power.. Foot Lift - Hands Moving Back. Some players will utilize, through exaggerated moves, the movement of the hands as another way to begin the process of striding and swinging, by moving the hands slightly lower or raising them to invoke movement in the bat.. It’s important to note, when hitting a baseball, hand movement alone will not be sufficient, but must be performed in conjunction with the foot movement, which places the entire body to explode mode.. While developing your starting mechanism, attempting to learn the skill of Hitting The Ball Up the Middle is arguably the best method to develop to become a consistent contact hitter, and to develop the timing required to verify your starting mechanism is correct or needs more refining.. When hitting a baseball and learning to initiate body movement, (starting Mechanism) attempt to constantly make bat to ball contact and simply drive the ball back up the middle, which reduces the swing to it’s simplest form.
Though we remain agnostic to any specific hitting philosophy, we do believe that certain characteristics are more biomechanically efficient or productive in terms of a hitter’s ability to generate power. One of those characteristics is called “Hanging Back” (which we’ve sometimes referred to as “Squish the Bug”).
We think this is largely due to misconceptions with the characteristic and how hitters use the ground to generate power.. Not only do hitters like Harper, Trout, and Edgar not Hang Back, they turn their hips and shift their weight so aggressively that it actually pulls their back foot off the ground.. Swing Characteristics vs Swing Faults: First of all, there are examples of HR swings where Bonds and Judge are hanging back.. 2) Ground Reaction Force Matters Until It Doesn’t: The back foot is not insignificant in the baseball swing.. That said, if you watch the back foot of many of the most powerful hitters in baseball it will leave the ground at some point between the end of the negative move and contact.. Interestingly, Hanging Back can share many of the same physical correlations as an “opposite” hitting characteristic called “Drifting.” Drifting occurs when the hitter’s lead leg does not firm up after the first move and the pelvis continues to move towards the pitcher during the swing.. There are plenty of hitters who can hit for power while hanging back.
We discuss the pros and cons of Olympic lifting for baseball players and what coaches and athletes can do to minimize injury risks.
The debate between strength and conditioning professionals regarding the usage of the olympic lifts for baseball players (snatch, clean, and jerk) is always ongoing, with coaches making compelling cases for each.. Many agree that the Olympic lifts are effective at increasing power, ground reaction force, and athleticism; yet they (the Olympic lifts) can also increase shoulder, elbow, and wrist stress with athletes who already have high amounts of training loading and strain placed upon those joints.. Pros of Olympic Lifting for Baseball Players Cons of Olympic Lifting for Baseball Players Assessing the Needs/Risks of Players Based on Position Weightlifting Exercises for Baseball Players (Barbell) “Weightlifting Exercises for Baseball Players (Non-Barbell) Should Baseball Players Do Snatches Leg Training for Baseball Players Sample 3-Day Off Season Program Sample 2-Day In Season Program. Hang Power Cleans The hang power clean is often used as it is (1) easy to teach to most beginner athletes, (2) limits the need for full squatting and therefore can keep lower body training volume in check, and (3) can be done to increase rate of force production.. Power Cleans The power clean can be done to increase pulling volume and/or add variety to the clean variations.. This variation is often used as it limits the strain on the wrists and shoulders yet still allows for maximal velocities and loading to occur, making it the primarily weightlifting movement for coaches who are against snatches and/or cleans for baseball players ( 3 ).. That said, higher loads can be used in the clean pull (or clean high pull) variation, making it potentially just as effective to limit snatch training altogether for baseball players (see below).. Coaches may opt to use the below exercises to increase athletic potential and power in similar manner to the formal Olympic lifts (barbell) while minimizing additional stress and overuse of the joints and throwing muscles often used by baseball players. When looking at the benefits and risks of weightlifting movements for baseball players (see above), and more demanding the technique, mobility, and shoulder demands of the snatch, many coaches opt to exclude the snatch and it’s variations from baseball strength and conditioning programs.. Personally, as the strength coach for the New York University baseball team and through my discussions with other collegiate strength coaches, the risks (and time demands to coach) of snatching do not out weight the benefits.. Furthermore, many of the same explosive properties can be trained via clean pulls and clean variations, as the focus in on the power outputs within the second pull of the Olympic-lifts, not the actual ability to clean, snatch, or jerk max loads.. In the below sections we offer coaches and athletes lower body strength training exercises to improve strength (unilateral and bilateral) and posterior chain development.. Squat Variations Below are a few bilateral and unilateral squat styles coaches can use to develop leg strength and posterior chain musculature; both are essential to throwing, hitting, and athletic performance.. Note, that some coaches feel that back squats place unnecessary strain on the shoulders and therefore elect to safety squat athletes of simply perform unilateral strength work as the basis for lower body training (both of which are acceptable).
Today’s guest blog comes from current CP intern Jay Kolster, who has an extensive background in hitting instruction. Great hitters are not born; they simply do things to put themselves in gre…
Hitting a baseball is one of the most difficult tasks to perform in sports, and with that in mind, experts have long-debated the biomechanics of hitting in baseball.. With correct timing hitters are able to get themselves in the strongest position at the point of contact.. A hitter is in the strongest position when the back elbow is tucked at a 90 degree angle into the back hip at contact.. During that time a hitter must recognize the pitch type and location and get to a strong contact position.. • Pitch velocity. • Pitch type (2-seam, 4-seam, change-up, slider, curveball, cutter, splitter, etc). • Arm speed variability. • Arm angle and release point. • Pitcher’s method of delivery (windup, stretch, slide step, left hand pitcher hang and read, etc). • Variability of the hitter’s bat velocity. • Situational hitting (hit and run, hitting behind runner at second, sac fly). At any time, the pitcher can change his delivery and pitch velocity, which affects the timing aspect of the hitter.. Keeping the barrel in the bat plane is just as important as having great timing.. For the purpose of discussing bat plane I have taken images from RVP to help illustrate the importance of the bat plane and how it relates to timing.. *Note: Red = pitch line/bat plane, Blue = distance knee traveled from start to contact, Green = Barrel from start to contact.. In this image, Cabrera is not in a great point of contact position, but he did great things during his swing to allow himself to stay on the plane.. Cabrera was able to maintain a good position to hit because of his ability to keep the barrel in the bat plane past his strongest point of contact.. If Cabrera “squishes the bug”, he either rolls over or his barrel is out of the bat plane by the time the ball reaches him.. Cabrera’s ability to keep the barrel in the bat plane past the point of contact is what makes him a cut above most major leaguers and the reason he won a Triple Crown.. On the flip side, if Cabrera were to be late with his timing, his barrel in this particular swing is in plane starting at the back of the plate; giving him an opportunity to be successful.. Regardless of the hitting philosophy, keeping the barrel in the bat plane before and after optimal contact position increases the probability of making contact with the ball.
Every time a baseball hits the dirt it is quickly switched out with a sparkling, clean ball. No, it’s not because the pitchers are picky, and no, they are not taking the balls to turn around and sell them on the dark web. So, why do they change baseballs when […]
So, why do they change baseballs when it hits the dirt?. The dirt may alter the baseball’s trajectory, giving it unique movement, which is a punishable offense in the MLB.. Carl Mays was pitching for the Yankees and Ray Chapman was representing the Indians at bat.. Catchers are also known to help pitchers scuff their baseballs .. Catchers don’t really do this for a pitcher on their own.. From there he would touch the rosin bag without lifting it from the ground while at the same time pressing the moist side of the baseball firmly into the pitcher’s mound dirt.. He would quickly place the ball inside his glove and deliver a fastball.”. If the scuffed side moves during the pitch, the scuffing will be ineffective.. The key to a baseball and its trajectory is its roundness, which is a baseball’s most consistent property.. That was really probably the last time I remember using one in a game.”. Spitting, similar to scuffing, is also illegal in baseball and is considered cheating.. – touch his mouth. – spit on the ball, hand, or glove. – rub the ball on his glove or uniform (though he may rub the ball between his bare hands). – apply “a foreign substance of any kind. – damage the ball in any way. – throw a “spit ball,” a “shine ball,” a “mud ball,” or an “emery ball”. – possess any “foreign substance”. That’s well over a 100 balls a game, which means every ball used only lasts a few pitches each.
Something doesn’t make sense.A good number of baseball players are injuring themselves each year by sliding headfirst. They do it trying to steal a base or hoping to stretch a double into a triple. Some even do it sliding headfirst into first base while trying to leg out a single. The Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig did that last year, injured his thumb and was out for a month.You’d think there’d be more of an uproar over the injuries and the headfirst slide, but there’s not—perhaps because the injuries aren’t season-ending, as with a Tommy John surgery. But injuries from headfirst slides do keep good players on the bench for dozens of games when they could be on the field and in the lineup.If only they didn’t slide headfirst.A lot of people think this topic should be a bigger story because valuable players are getting hurt and putting themselves in harm’s way by the way they slide—and it seems that’s not going to change anytime soon…or at all.Big names. Big deal?Here is a list of some of the players who’ve been injured over the past few years sliding headfirst, and the number of games they’ve missed. Most of the injuries have been to the thumb/fingers and shoulder. Take a close look. There are some well-known names on this list.• Ryan Ludwick, 116• Bryce Harper, 57• Josh Hamilton, 48• Ryan Zimmerman, 44• Nolan Arenado, 37• David Wright, 25 (twice)• Ian Kinsler, 25• Melky Cabrera, 22 (ended his season)• Michael Bourn, 20• Ben Zobrist, 13• Billy Hamilton, 2• Brandon Crawford, 2• Yasiel Puig, 2• Mike Napoli, 1 • Dustin Pedroia (underwent season-ending surgery) Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon, who won the batting title this year, had to miss the 2015 All-Star Game because he tore a ligament in his thumb while sliding headfirst into first base just a few days earlier. In 2010, when he was on the Dodgers, he missed two months of the season when he tore his ulnar collateral ligament sliding—headfirst—into third. Pedroia has had several bouts of injuries caused by his headfirst slides. What’s there to say?In almost every case, the injured players pretty much said the same thing: They just wanted to get to the bag as quickly as possible. And almost all said that they had simply gotten caught up in the speed of the game and the heat of the moment.Of course, they didn’t say anything about giving up sliding in headfirst.Managers and GMs aren’t happy with the injuries, but no one’s really speaking out. Most of them will publicly say that they have some concerns about the headfirst slide, but that’s about as far as they go. For some reason, they overlook injuries and just chalk it up to their players’ (and team’s) misfortunes. They seem to accept the outcome as part of the game.Ned Yost, manager of the World Series Champion Kansas City Royals, is one of those guys. He’s been quoted as saying a player could just as easily get hurt crossing the street, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to tell them to stop crossing the street. That’s not much of an argument.It’s one thing for a player to get hurt running into an outfield wall, diving for a bloop single or colliding with an outfielder. Those are “heat of the game” moments and somewhat rare…like when Derek Jeter dove into the stands at full speed to catch a foul. Some players are just more daring than others at times.That’s not the case with the headfirst slide.Joe Girardi, manager of the Yankees, has given his opinion: “We talk about that all the time: ‘Don’t slide headfirst into first. Don’t slide headfirst into home.’ It’s hard sometimes for a player because of their aggressive attitude. It’s an instinct. They have to make a split-second judgment…. You’re taught not to slide headfirst but your instincts and aggressiveness take over, and you do it.”Girardi and other managers today recognize that players who slide headfirst are trying to make something happen, and that’s good for the team and for the outcome of a game.But when they injure themselves sliding in headfirst and miss weeks or months of baseball…is that good for the team too, especially in the heat of a pennant race?Feet first. Pete first.Until Pete Rose started sliding…or diving…into bases headfirst, almost every ballplayer slid feetfirst. Maury Wills, Lou Brock, Willie Mays and all the other base stealers from the ’60s and ’70s (and even before that) slid in with their legs and feet first. Rose broke into the league in 1962 and played for 20 years, and pictures of Rose’s headlong dives, where he’s soaring through the air like Superman with his arms outstretched, have become famous.In 1962, Wills broke Ty Cobb’s record for most stolen bases in a season, with 104. Brock broke that record in 1974 with 118 steals. Not long after that, most players were starting to shift from feetfirst slides to headfirst ones.When Ricky Henderson came along and shattered Brock’s record by stealing 130 bases in 1982, he was using the headfirst slide.Today, a majority of the younger, faster players (who aren’t so worried about injuries) see the headfirst slide as the best and fastest way to go. Brock has said that if players would start blocking the bag with their knees and feet, players would abandon the practice.And not long ago, Pete Rose said that he doesn’t recommend any player sliding headfirst into home or first base, as a lot of players do today. But he admitted that when he played, his thinking was that he’d rather get scrapes and bruises on his arms and shoulders than on his legs.Confusion, indecision and little discussion.What are coaches and managers teaching in the Minors, colleges and high schools? That’s what’s really at the heart of the story. Here are some things to think about:• Sliding isn’t a skill that teams spend a lot of time on, in the Majors, Minors and college ball. A lot of players admit that sliding is an afterthought in practice.• There’s a general feeling that sliding headfirst gets you to the bag faster. That feeling may be true, but it’s not necessarily a fact. However, players believe that it’s quicker.• Some players slide into first base, which almost all managers and GMs don’t approve of. Research shows that running through first base (and home) may be faster than sliding.• Managers don’t discourage sliding headfirst, even when one of their guys gets injured.• Many Minor League teams don’t allow headfirst slides at all. So why is it allowed when players move up?The potential for serious injury.For anyone who’s followed baseball for a long time, it’s difficult to recall many injuries from slides during the ’60s and earlier. But feetfirst players did (and do) run the risk of getting their spikes caught in the dirt. That’s what happened to Tommy Davis of the Dodgers in 1965. He broke his ankle and never really recovered from it. He’d been the MVP just a few years before.Headfirst slides have also caused several serious injuries at the college level: An Arizona State baseball player, for example, was paralyzed when he hit his head on an infielder’s knee on a slide into second.Is that what it’s going to take for managers, GMs and owners to encourage players not to slide headfirst? Let’s hope not.
But injuries from headfirst slides do keep good players on the bench for dozens of games when they could be on the field and in the lineup.. Here is a list of some of the players who’ve been injured over the past few years sliding headfirst, and the number of games they’ve missed.. Girardi and other managers today recognize that players who slide headfirst are trying to make something happen, and that’s good for the team and for the outcome of a game.. And not long ago, Pete Rose said that he doesn’t recommend any player sliding headfirst into home or first base, as a lot of players do today.. A lot of players admit that sliding is an afterthought in practice.• There’s a general feeling that sliding headfirst gets you to the bag faster.. However, players believe that it’s quicker.• Some players slide into first base, which almost all managers and GMs don’t approve of.. Research shows that running through first base (and home) may be faster than sliding.• Managers don’t discourage sliding headfirst, even when one of their guys gets injured.• Many Minor League teams don’t allow headfirst slides at all.. Headfirst slides have also caused several serious injuries at the college level: An Arizona State baseball player, for example, was paralyzed when he hit his head on an infielder’s knee on a slide into second.