In today’s blog post, we are going to discuss lower body mechanics and dynamics that apply to both the hit and the throw. By implementing these baseball mechanics into your teams game, you will soon be throwing and hitting to win!
Baseball Mechanics Secrets: The Why?
If I take a guy that’s throwing 95 miles an hour off the pitcher’s mound, the first thing that moves is going to be his front knee. He’s going to bring it in towards the back knee. When he brings that knee in, he’s going to get something out of his lower half. He’s going to be humping that ball up and throwing it hard for a reason – the front side helped create that, and the body mechanics he performed with the front side and the front knee. Take that same guy, and you tell him not to do that and you tell him just to slide step, and that same guy is going to lose three to four miles an hour on his fastball. He’ll also lose the ability to put the ball where he wants to put it, as far as accuracy. So he’s losing velocity and accuracy. And some of the pitches he wants to put a bit on, he’ll lose the ability to do that too.
The same applies when talking about hitting. If you take a hitter and they don’t do anything on the front side in their load, and when they take their stride, all they are doing is just taking a step, and then they have a dead front side. They’re not creating any power or momentum by cocking the lower half of the body. And the same thing that happened to that pitcher is going to happen to the hitter. If you have your hitter include all of those same body mechanics we saw in the pitch, they’ll create more power and rhythm.
Baseball Mechanics Secrets: The How
The dynamics of the lower body is an important aspect to work with in a developing young hitter, because the knee mechanics are the same for both the swing of the bat and the throwing of the ball, as well.
When you do this, the front foot really doesn’t come back with the knee, but the heel comes off the ground. And some hitters can take their front knee in, and when it comes in the front foot comes with it a little bit and then goes back to the same spot. Either method is okay as long as you’re getting that front knee to go in first.
Now, when we overdo it and we bring that knee up in the air, that’s when we get problems. And that leads into what we’re talking about here in our main phase of the stride.
When you stride, you want to slightly lead/quietly lead with the ankle and step on the big toe and the balls of the feet, with the front heel just a little bit off the ground. We don’t want it too high off the ground because then you’ve got too far to put that heel on the ground and get in your back side of the swing.
So you load and then you are going to stride quietly. And you should notice right now that you are leading with the heel. Your hands are in a good launch position, and the front side’s closed. The chin is right above the shoulder, and you can see the pitcher very well. Your hips are in the middle of his body, with the head over the belly button. And now you are in a good launch position to be able to execute the swing. When you watch good hitters, good hitters hit with their hips in the middle of their body. We want to think about that as we’re a hitter.
When you load, the distance between your knees is going to decrease. And then when you take your stride, you’re going to go back to about the same distance you started with your stance. Make sure your front knee is still bent. We don’t want land with our front leg straight.
Want to learn more about baseball mechanics that can improve your hitting game? Then check out “How To Teach Hitting Mechanics To Kids 7-14″! And be sure to Become a Fan on Facebook, where you can discuss this and other baseball mechanics topics with other coaches, players and fans!