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Baseball – how to improve your swing motion and power?

Elvis Elvis

Striding into your swing motion is just one of the many areas of hitting that can throw your balance and timing off if not executed properly.

The “stride” is a forward step of your front foot requiring perfect timing so your swing meets the ball at the optimal point without needing to resort to delays, or aggressive movement of your hands. The stride is then followed by stiffening of your front leg and a quick shift of weight from your back foot to your striding foot after contact.

Find a comfortable weight shift for you.

As the pitcher nears his release point, your stride should be set into motion. Approximately 70% of your weight should first transfer to your back foot. The further you shift your weight backward, the more power you’re likely to achieve.

The drawback to a big shift backward is a loss of balance – throwing off your hands, your eyes, and your swing. So, be sure to find a comfortable weight shift that best works for you in achieving your maximum balance and power potential.

The swing motion of lifting your front striding foot.

During your swing motion your front foot should be lifted either partially or completely off the ground. This will be dependent upon the amount of backward motion in your stride. The farther back you shift your weight, the more likely you will need to lift your front foot completely clear of the ground.

Your front knee should also turn inwards, and your back leg should bend to harness the power of the backwards motion and to provide balance.

Baseball   how to improve your swing motion and power?

At this point, it’s ideal if you have some form of a hitch or delay in your swing motion, so that you can set the actual stride in motion at the exact point the pitcher will release the ball. Some pitchers have hitches of their own to delay and vary the timing of their delivery in an attempt to throw off the timing of hitters, so having this naturally in your motion will largely eliminate this move from a pitcher’s repertoire.

Stepping and planting your front striding foot.

You should then stride forward with your front foot. If you do not pick your front foot up entirely off the ground during weight transfer to your back foot, you will need to momentarily pick it up now for the stride.

Your stride should not be overly aggressive as you should not lunge forward, but should remain balanced with the majority of your weight staying back. Overall, your step should not exceed more than 8”.

Upon planting your front foot upon the completion of your stride, stiffen your front leg to provide a brace for your swing motion.

Location, location, location.

For younger hitters, your front foot should land pointing toward the pitcher during your stride, directly in line with your back foot and equally distanced from home plate – as your main objective is to just hit the ball into fair territory. But, as you mature as a hitter, your stride’s landing point takes on more significance.

Your landing point can better help you reach inside and outside pitches. With inside pitches, take a slight step away from the plate, allowing you to better get your hands out in front and extend your arms. With outside pitches, you may take a slight step toward the pitch, helping you to better contain your balance and use the sweet spot of the bat.

Where your front foot lands in relation to your back foot may also indicate the field you’re trying to hit the ball to. If you’re attempting to hit the ball the other way, you’re front foot should land closer to the plate than your back foot’s pivot point. If aiming back up the middle, your feet should be in a relatively straight line facing the pitcher’s mound.

If you’re determined to pull the ball, you should utilize a slight stride away from home plate with your striding front foot, giving you a chance to get the head of the bat out in front to pull the ball. But, be cautious. Opening your stance too much during your stride should be avoided, as it can result in a loss of power and poor balance.

The final weight shift.

During your swing motion, your back foot should turn and face the pitcher, turning your hips. Your front shoulder should remain as closed as possible during this process though, with your arms lagging well behind your body at this point.

Your weight at this time should still be on your back foot. At the time of contact, shift your weight from your back foot to your front foot during your follow through. This helps to distribute the energy built up in your body into the bat – adding power to your swing motion.