Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Misconceptions About How to Hit a Baseball - Stay Back

By Joe Brockoff

I have had many hitters who take a batting stroke and keep their entire weight on their back leg as they swing. This is NOT what staying back is meant to be.


Knocking-knuckles pointed forward
Improper grip produces a sweeping action.
Back elbow at 90 degrees...changes the grip

If the hitter is staying on his backside throughout his stroke, he needs to adjust out of this immediately!

In observing all better professional hitters, we can see that when they are in contact with the ball, their front side is firm, with their weight against the front heel. They are on their back toe, with the back leg making an "L." They are not on the ball of the back foot. The body's center mass is in a stacked position. The weight is not back on contact, rather, it is being transferred through the ball.

Body is stacked on contact. The hands are in front of the body, not over the plate.

The proper term here is not to stay back, but to "start back". We collect our weight on the stride. We should distribute 30-40% of our weight. Then, when we pivot, the weight is transferred from the back side to the front side. This transfer is controlled by the hips, as they come square to the pitch. This method allows the hitter to transfer his weight through the ball.

What really stay back are the hands!

Using the following steps, the weight transfer will be smooth and powerful:

1. Load (or coil). The weight goes back as the hips rotate slightly inward, lifting the front heel off the ground.

2. Stride. 30-40 % weight on the stride. When the front heel goes down, the next step occurs.

Hands are back in the stride. Throughout all of this time, the hands stay back.

This is what "stay back" really means.

When the front heel, comes down, the hips come square in the pivot and the weight transfer occurs from back to front. The hands have the option at this point to launch or not to launch.

Hands in Launch Position

The hands go last.

When a coach sees a hitter commit his hands first, perhaps that is when we hear him say, "Stay back."

This must not be interpreted as keeping the weight back throughout the stroke. A better way of saying this would be "Keep the hands back." A hitter must train his hips to take him to the ball and discipline his hands to wait for the right moment to start the stroke.

Hi. I'm Coach Joe Brockoff, a Division I Head Baseball Coach for Tulane University for more than 19 years, and former minor league player for the New York Yankees. Over the years, I've taught thousands of baseball players how to increase batting speed and improve their overall performance on the field. In fact, my proven training system has sent 45 baseball players to the pros.

As a coach committed to continuous improvement, I share my baseball drills, tips, and techniques here so that you will, in turn, inspire and motivate young players to improve their game. I hope you'll visit my web site, the Super 8 Baseball Hitting System at http://www.learnbaseballhitting.com to watch some of my free instructional videos.

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