Re: Re: front foot diving

Posted by: LarryB (lbieber@q.com) on Thu Apr 22 14:13:06 2010

> > My son tends to dive in towards the plate with his front foot. I see
> this as causing 2 problems. The first is it carries his momentum
> towards the plate not the pitcher. I think it keeps him from being
> able to get hip rotation and transfer of weight. The second is hitting
> the inside pitch but I think that is due to the diving. Are these
> assessments accurate? What can be done to solve this problem. He hits
> about .500 at the varsity level.
>
> Scot,
>
> I don't think that "carrying his momentum toward the plate" is a
> problem in this instance. When your son's diving front foot plants, it
> should create the axis about which he rotates, and no motion toward
> the plate or pitcher generally occurs at this point. If it did, his
> head would be moving and he would probably have trouble just making
> contact with the ball. As you state he hits around .500, contact
> doesn't seem to be an issue.
>
> To hit the inside pitch, the batter must get his shoulders around a
> bit quicker, to get the bat head around on the ball. The change
> between a neutral stride and your son's stride is the difference
> between the angle of his shoulders at contact and the angle of his
> feet. Imagine a line through both of a hitter's feet. The neutral
> hitter's foot-line will point towards the pitcher and second base.
> Let's call this our zero-degree line. A pitch down the middle would
> generally require a shoulder angle of about 90 degrees relative to the
> zero-degree line. The shoulder angle for the inside pitch would be
> greater, say 100 degrees (his chest would point towards the
> shortstop). It sounds to me like your son creates a closed stance when
> he "dives in" with his front foot. So the line through his feet would
> point toward the second baseman, say -10 degrees to the zero-degree
> line. The problem this poses is that he then needs to rotate his
> shoulders 10 degrees MORE just to get to the same position to his the
> inside pitch. This is OVER-rotation of the shoulders and will result
> in poorer bat speed.
>
> To remedy this, there are two main options. First, adopt the same
> stance but move away from the plate. This allows one to hit the ball
> earlier in the swing and can keep the shoulders from over-rotating. It
> will also cause the ball to travel more towards the opposite field.
> This, however, can lead to other problems, namely reaching the outside
> pitch. The second is to adopt a more neutral stride/stance and strive
> to hit that zero-degree line.
>
> A few caveats to all this: The are numerous major league hitters who
> have closed or open stances, so this does not mean that your son
> cannot keep his diving foot and be a successful hitter. Second: if it
> ain't broke, don't fix it. Hitting .500 at the varsity level is no
> mean feat. I would deter you from trying to change your son's swing
> unless he has an obvious weakness, for example, if he NEVER swings at
> a pitch on the inner part of the strike zone because he can't get good
> wood on the ball. If he can't do that, he will not be successful at
> higher levels. Make sure that whatever stance/stride he uses, he is
> able to get good contact with the meat of the bat anywhere in the
> strike zone.
>
> Hope I understood your question well and gave you a useful answer,
>
> Bryce

Good answer, Bryce. How far does your son's front foot 'dive' towards the plate? This may provide an indication of the seriousness of the problem. This is hard to address properly without seeing some video. He could be starting to far from the plate and the dive gets him where he should be, albeit closed to some extent. I agree .500 ain't too shabby. What is your motivation for 'fixing' it?

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