Hitting A Baseball - Finding The Root Cause Of A Mechanics Problem
By Nate Barnett
There is nothing more frustrating for a hitter than having a mechanical problem with the baseball swing and not knowing
what the issue is or how to find a solution. While I don't have the ability here (nor do you have the patience to sort through
it) to discuss all of the root causes to the countless mechanical failures of a baseball swing, I will give you one for today.
Of course, you will need to consult with your hitting instructor for more depth and practical baseball drills to help solve
the problem I discuss.
Let me point out the biggest lower body problem for hitters. I say the biggest problem in the sense that it does the most
damage when trying to hit a baseball effectively.
The Problem: Hips floating forward
At the beginning of the swing, the hitter must begin to transfer some weight from the (presumably balanced) stance position
onto his back leg. The weight distribution will then be roughly 60% weight on back leg, and 40% on front leg. Most hitters
can do this step quite easily without a lot of baseball drills to assist.
The second movement a hitter makes is to begin to take some of the weight he has loaded onto his back leg and move it forward
to create energy (this is the trigger process). At this time the back knee and foot begin to rotate towards the pitcher. This
is when the hips floating forward problem begins for most hitters.
The weight that was originally placed on the back leg MUST remain there as the rotation occurs. You can see if this is
happening by looking at the angle of the back leg. If there is a bend in the back leg at the knee (during contact with the
baseball), there is a good chance this hitter is keeping his weight back. If the back leg is relatively straight when the
hitter makes contact with the pitch, then the problem of hip floating forward has occurred. The only reason this happens is
that many times younger hitters think they must move towards the baseball and begin turning their body with their rear hip
and moving it forward towards the pitcher. This does nothing to create energy, and in fact, destroys the ability to create
a quick and powerful swing.
About the Author
Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball http://bmibaseball.com and is based out of Washington State. His expertise is in
the area of hitting, pitching, and mental training. Coach Barnett's passion is working with youth in helping expand their
vision for their baseball future. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued
his coaching and motivational training career. His instructional blog is located at http://bmibaseball.com/blog
His new FREE ebook, Toxic Baseball: Are you polluting your game? can be found on the main BMI Baseball website.
Hitting 101, an ebook on complete hitting mechanics will be released by June 1st, 2008. Features include numerous illustrations,
video clips, and a special offer to discuss your hitting questions over live on the phone strategy sessions.