In this third edition of our Coach's Tip, let's continue with our focus on hitting and cover some key points on the Take Away, Stride and Separation, Release, Contact and the Finish.
This starts with the hands moving back. The movement should be slow and controlled. It's during the take away that the weight should transfrer to the back side.
The stride should be a controlled movement with the front foot coming down as softly as possible. Stride in the direction of the pitcher. Striding towards the plate will cause you to block your hip while striding towards the foul line causes you to open up to soon. When your stride foot comes down, your hands should be behind or even with your back leg.
The swing starts foward with the release of the backside. This is done by pivoting the back foot or "squashing the bug". The pivot is a turning motion - not a push. The hands will start foward with the turn of your backside and will be inside the flight of the ball.
At contact, the top hand should be palm up and releasing foward. It should not roll on contact. The front arm is straight on contact. The back arm should be slightly bent and will straighten out as the swing continues forward.
After contact, to maximize your power and force against the ball, it is critical that you finish as far forward as you can before you let the bat turn over.
Most importantly- Be Positive. If you believe you can hit, you will.
That's it for now..keep your head in the game.
Updated August 19, 1997