Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Creating the Perfect Batting Stance

By Jim Bain

A batting stance which does not allow a fluid and mechanically sound swing and follow through will void any aspirations of becoming a good hitter. Learning the proper batting stance is the second most important thing you must learn as a hitter. What's the first thing? Professional baseball players will quickly tell you hitting is 90% mental, and without a clarity of purpose and a vision of how the body is going to perform while hitting the ball, the body will not respond efficiently enough to consistently hit the ball with power. Mental toughness is for another lesson.

There are numerous basic mechanics, which we'll delve into, but the first thing which must be addressed about perfecting a batting stance is it must be Comfortable and Balanced for you. These are the two basic building blocks all batting stances are perpetuated on, and I know there are Professional Baseball Players, who resemble pretzels or some other weird looking configuration and who will violate one or more of the elements required for a good batting stance.

One must remember, these players are the exception and are not to be mimicked, as we are looking at establishing good fundamental basics on which to build.

Some of these steps you are already performing, some may be uncomfortable at first, but all of them will become automatic after you acquire more experience, but it is important we look at and identify every step individually to establish a good system and batting stance.

Squaring yourself to the plate should be the first thing you do as you enter the batters box. The greater majority of hitters, more or less, place their feet shoulder width apart with home plate centered between the legs. This is not an unbreakable rule as some hitters prefer to stand up or back in the box, but the majority will straddle the plate.

Where you stand in the box is of your choosing, but no matter where you stand in the box, always stand in the exact same location every time you bat. You must be able to establish a location in which to relate to the ball or else you will not see the break or the rotation of the ball clearly if you're seeing it from a different perspective every time you hit.

Extend your bat out and be sure you can touch the outside of the plate with it, if not move closer because you may have trouble reaching an outside pitch if you're too far away from the plate.

Standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width, bend your knees and bring your chest over your feet. You don't want to be erect when hitting because it retards flexibility, rather lean slightly forward, insuring your weight in on the balls of your feet, not on your heels.

The next step is learning the proper way to hold the bat. A lot of players grip the bat more with the palm of their hand than their fingers, which is incorrect as few people realize there is no strength in the palms of your hands, only in the fingers. You want a strong grip on the bat for control. A little hint: Always check to make sure your Knocking Knuckles on both hands line up. This is the proper grip and if they aren't lined up adjust them to where they are.

Holding the bat your hands should be brought to shoulder level, slightly above or below is also acceptable as long as you can still wrap the bat barrel around the back of your head.

You now have a perfect foundation on which to build additional hitting skills.

Jim Bain - Former Minor league baseball player, who since retiring has dedicated his life to teaching baseball to youth. Visit his exciting info packed website:

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