By Nate Barnett
When I teach hitting (or pitching for that matter) there are a few important core movements that if accomplished will lead to a greater chance that other movements further in the baseball swing process will be successful. Keep in mind that there are quite a few significant movements within the complete baseball swing. Please don't think the below is an exhaustive list.
Core Hitting Movements:
1. The load. Movement backwards where weight is stacked on back leg is valuable so as to make sure the back knee and hip are fully involved in the triggering (power creation) process. Without the load, little power can be effectively generated with the lower half and therefore, the front hip or hands will begin to take over to compensate (a bad thing).
2. The trigger. Movement forward with the back knee and hip are essential. If the front side (leg and hip mostly here) are doing their job, then the rotation with the back side first will create torque in the swing and allow the upper body to then whip through the bat through the zone.
3. Front side stability. I teach a lot on the lower half of the body. It's the source of the power. If it is not under full control, the upper half must work extra hard, sometimes too much in creating energy while hitting a baseball. Therefore, the front knee and hip should remain closed off to the pitcher as the back side begins it's initial movement. As the rotation continues, the front side will give way and allow full hip rotation to continue. If control of the front side initially is accomplished, the results will be energy (not to be confused with weigh transfer) being directed back into the pitch. If there is little front side control, meaning the hips begin to open too soon, the energy will not be directed into the pitch, but instead away from the plate.
As always, pictures or videos provide the best example for baseball instruction. However, understanding what one is looking at while viewing pictures or videos is the most important part in understand a fundamental baseball swing.
Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball http://bmibaseball.com and is based out of Washington State. His expertise is in the area of hitting, pitching, and mental training. Coach Barnett's passion is working with youth in helping expand their vision for their baseball future. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career. For more information on hitting mechanics, find his instructional blog at http://bmibaseball.com/blog
Hitting Mechanics 101, an ebook on complete hitting mechanics will be released in June, 2008. Features include numerous illustrations, video clips, and a special offer to discuss your hitting questions over live on the phone strategy sessions.
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