Re: stride steps
I'm a little confused about the stride.
> > Does the knee and shoulders rotate inward first and THEN stride and bring the hands back, or is it all in one movement?
> To who ever you are,
> I will assume you are talking about some fast pitch game, baseball or fastpitch softball.
> You will find different theorys about the stride. Some want it to be separate from the swing. They recomend you do it just before or as the pitcher releases the ball. After the stride there is a short pause and the batter starts what ever cocking motion he uses. Pushing the bat back, a small turn away from the pitcher, then the hips start the move toward the ball. It varies.
> Others teach that the stride is the first part of the swing. The stride happens first followed immedately by the cocking motion. Its part of the swing. They teach this because they see many pros do it.
> If you are teaching younger kids, under 18, don't teach it this way.
> The pros do it because they are stong and quick enough to do it. Most kids are not. So, teach the stride with a pause before the cocking motion.
> Make the stride short. Its only a timing mechinisim for those us use it. Actually it can do more harm then good. It adds nothing to the swing but it can cause a movement that is harmfull to good hitting. But, some kids get in the habit of doing it and its hard to break. So, if you can't keep them from doing it, limit it a minimum. Try having them pick it up and putting it back in the same place.
> Joe A.
i agree that the stride is a timing mechanism. however, it is also used to develop rhythm and tempo in the swing. Yes, there is a SLIGHT pause before rotation after the lead foot makes contact with the ground - achieving a sense of "land and go." But, i think the stride, or move to the ball, is a critical element of the swing. as i mentioned, the stride develops timing and rhythm. in addition, it allows the hitter to provide more of a collision at contact as long as the foot lands squarely with the plate and the hitter's chin stays behind the lead heel.
some coaches eliminate the stride because hitters tend to either land open, drift over the front foot, etc. Instead of eliminating the stride, one may want to examine the timing of the trigger, or initiation of the weight transfer back before striding. If the hitter has a late trigger, as what we see when the hitter waits till release point, the feet speed up, tempo and rhythm are lost, and the hitter has the tendency to open up.
in my honest opinion, the lead foot may be the second most important aspect of the swing - behind the importance of the hands. spend more time with hitters on staying inside the feet, landing square with the plate, and developing slow, smooth feet in the stride. chances are, they will see results.
as for your opinion on what big leaguers do as opposed to amateurs, where do you draw the line on what is reserved for those in mlb. obviously they are doing something right that enables them to succeed at the highest level. wouldn't one want to emulate some of the common characteristics of the traditional big league swing? go watch a good college baseball game, or the college world series. go see a high school game where some pro and college prospects play. i guarantee the vast majority incorporate a stride.
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