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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Timing of stride

Posted by: Jimmy (bigjims33@roadrunner.com) on Tue Feb 26 08:04:58 2008

> > > > > My son is 12 and this season I have noticed that he is swinging late at everything. I think the issue is that he is beginning his stride too late and not getting his foot down in time. When should he begin his inward turn and stride? Should the stride begin as soon as the pitcher begins to release the ball or after the ball has been released. I am trying to determine the best way to teach him to develop rhythm..so he isn't late for the fastball and he is able to wait on the change / curve ball. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
> > > >
> > > > Hi john,
> > > >
> > > > In my experience, the easiest way to cover both the fastball and have enough left to stay back for offspeed has this type of rythm.
> > > >
> > > > Have him start with his weight close to equally balanced on both feet. A medium tempo type of rythm from his legs should start to shift his weight towards his back side just as the pitcher is breaking his hands as he begins his descent down the mound.
> > > >
> > > > A continuous fluent weight shift from the middle to the back side and then back to the middle should make his stride a natural and smooth action. As his weight is beginning to return to the middle this is about when the stride foot will softly be returning to the ground.
> > > >
> > > > The stride foot should softly land when the ball flight is about half way to the hitter. The whole loading action should flow fluently into the swing on a fastball, and there will be a natural slight adjustment to the rythm forward on offspeed pitches.
> > > >
> > > > I hope this helps. Any questions for me, feel free.
> > > >
> > > > Jimmy
> > >
> > > Thanks Jimmy. In your opinion how long should the stride be? So it sounds like the stride should begin as the pitcher breaks his hands and the stride is completed with foot landing when the ball is about half way home. This makes a lot of sense...and it is an approach you can apply to all pitching styles. Now when he begins the stride he should also begin completing the inward turn as well...correct?
> > >
> > > Thanks again.
> > >
> > > John
> >
> > John,
> >
> > Yes the weight shift back should begin as the pitcher breaks his hands. This will allow the timing of the front foot to land about when the pitch is half way to the plate. The slight inward turn of the front shoulder should naturally happen as the weight begins to shift forward to the middle from the back.
> >
> > So I guess it would go like this...
> >
> > Start balanced...Shift weight back (should generally happen when pitcher breaks his hands)...Fluently bring weight back to the middle (this is when the front foot softly lands and the very slight inward turn should happen without forcing it!)...This all flows into his swing without any large pauses.
> >
> > Slow controllable rythm and momentum equals build up of quality, usable batspeed through the hitting zone as well as being controlled enough to take balls out of the zone.
> >
> > Does this answer your questions?
> >
> > Good luck.
> >
> > Jimmy
> Yes....I appreciate all of your help. We actually went to the cage tonight and experimented with the approach and it has really helped him with his timing. We have worked on his hitting for so many years but the one component we never really worked on was his rhythm...now that he is getting older and he understands the concept I am going to make sure we practice this as well. I really appreciate all of your help. Any drills that you recommend in or just batting practice?
> Thanks again.


That's great that he was able to implement that rythm into his swing already. Sounds like he understands the importance of it which is great.

There are a few rythm drills out there but they can be a little tricky to try to do correctly without seeing it done. If they are done incorrectly they can be very counterproductive for his development.

Here is one that he may be able to do without seeing it...

I call it "The Throw Back Drill"

1.Have him get into a balanced, athletic position with his legs.
2.While in this position, have him point the bat out toward the
pitchers mound with just his lead arm. (kind of like Jim Thome but
make sure his arm and bat are in a line, not hinged at the handle)
3. The coach can toss this from either the side or the front if an
"L" screen is handy. It is important that the coach gives the hitter
a rythm in his delivery of the toss instead of just tossing the ball
without giving him any time to start his rythm.
4.Just as the coach starts to wind up to toss the ball, the hitter
should simultaneously shift his weight back and throw the
bat down and back to swing it up into his launch position.
5.The hitter should fluently swing the bat to the ball from this
position. This is an important part to doing the drill correctly. It
must be a continuous, fluent action without any stopping or pausing
at the point of his launch position. He should have a rythmic tempo
bringing the bat and his weight back then right into the swing on
the ball.
6.He should finish his swing in a natural and balanced position with
his weight right between his feet.

The tossed ball should enter the hitting zone in rythm with the swing. The timing of the tossed ball should not rush the hitter or even give him a feeling of being rushed. It should give him a feel and sensation of developing a fluent rythm with his legs and hands working together to produce a strong swing through the ball.

Hope this explains it well enough. If you have any questions feel free to ask. Good luck!



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