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Hitting Pitching

Hitting Instructional Pictures


While there are many variables in the swing that are based upon a player's individual strength, coordination, and flexibility, there are several parts of the swing that we consider to be "absolutes."  The following photos illustrate the 5 absolutes of hitting we use at Mt. Lebanon Baseball:

Part 1; Stride to Load
Stride to load means that when your stride foot hits the ground, you have not yet begun to swing.  Your weight (and head) are still back.  This allows two things to happen:
1. You can start the swing with your hips and not your hands
2. You can wait back (start your swing later) and adjust to an off-speed pitch.

When the stride foot hits the ground, the following are absolutes, meaning they MUST occur.
1. Weight is on back leg
2. Chin stays back (over belly button)
3. Hands are approximately a fist away from your back shoulder
4. Front elbow is back at least as far as your belly button
5. Top hand is closer to the pitcher than back hand (wrists are cocked)

The following photos illustrate the stride to load sequence.  Even though the hitters use different stances, notice that when the stride foot hits, they are all in the same "loaded" position.

Bonds in his stance before he swings


Bonds taking his stride


Bonds at stride to load


Jones in his stance before he swings


Jones taking his stride


Jones at stride to load


Martinez in his stance before he swings


Martinez taking his stride


Martinez at stride to load


Part 2; Hips Start the Swing
After the stride foot hits, the first thing that must move are the hips.  There is a very brief separation, or "stretch" that exists between the time the hips move forward and the hands start to move forward.

This allows for two good things to happen:
1. More power is generated because of biomechanics.  The bigger muscles start the swing.
2. By keeping your hands back as long as possible, it becomes easier for you to adjust to off-speed pitches.

Here are some photos that illustrae the hips starting the swing.  Notice in the photos how the hitter has begun the hip turn with the hands still staying back.








Part 3; Hands Straight to the Ball
After the hips have begun to turn, the hands must go in a straight line from the back shoulder to the ball.  Doing this allows you to be quicker to the ball than if you separated the hands from your back shoulder and "came around the ball."

As you look at the following photos, notice how the back elbow stays right up against the body as the bat is extended straight to the baseball. (We extend the bat to the ball, we don't "swing" the bat)

Cabrerra on an inside pitch


Ensberg on an inside pitch


Jones on a pitch down the middle


Garciaparra on a pitch down the middle


Delgado on an outside pitch


Texierra on an outside pitch


Part 4; Impact
At impact (when the bat makes contact with the ball) the following are absolutes:
1. You must have a tilt (back shoulder is lower than the front shoulder
2. Your back elbow should be at a 90 degree angle (this is the strongest position)
3. You must have "palm up/palm down" with your hands (this means that the palm of your top hand is up and the palm of your bottom hand is down)
4. Your chin must be drop (looking straight down at the ball) 
5. Your chin should be behind the belly button (head stays back)
6. The front knee must be locked out (axis on which you rotate)

Look for the six absolutes of impact in the following photos

Andruw Jones


Louis Gonzales


Cabrerra on an inside pitch


Ensberg on an inside pitch


Pujhols on pitch down the middle


Jones on a pitch down the middle


Blaylock on an outside pitch


Part 5; Extension
At the point of extension, the following are absolutes:
1. The back elbow must lock out
2. The top of the bat will be pointing in the direction which the ball is hit
3. The chin must remain down
4. You must keep your tilt
5. You must keep the "palm up/palm down" relationship with your hands

*After extension, nothing matters!!!

In the following pictures, look for the five absolutes of extension

Cabrerra on an inside pitch hit to left field


Ensberg on an inside pitch hit to left field


Jones on an pitch down the middle hit to center field


Blaylock on an outside pitch hit to center field


Delgado on an outside pitch hit to left field


Jones on a pitch down the middle


Pujhols on a high and inside pitch





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