By Nate Barnett
There are a lot of professional baseball hitters setting up with an open stance today. If you're not totally sure what an open stance is, it's when the front foot is back further away from home plate as compared to the back foot. Sometimes the front foot will also be pointed slightly toward the pitcher.
I've seen and heard quite a bit of discussion within baseball circles about the positioning of the stance as far as what works and what doesn't in preparing a hitter. The question I will answer is: Does a particular style of stance give a hitter a better chance at hitting a baseball hard versus the other?
The quick answer is no it doesn't make a difference on how a hitter stands when determining his eventual success in hitting a baseball. Having said that, here are a couple thoughts of caution to pay attention to if you work with a hitter who chooses to stand with an open stance. 1. An open stance will take a little bit more time to move into the preparation or load position when a hitter shifts his weight to his back leg. Because of this extra time, the hitter must make sure his timing is right and he generates movement sooner than he would if he was in a regular stance position (with both feet parallel and facing home plate).
2. An open stance often times provides the hitter with a better and more clear view of the pitcher as the eyes of the hitter are facing the pitcher more equally. Because the front part of the hitter's body is opened slightly, he will need to make certain as he moves into the load position that he closes his front side off to the pitcher.
*** I realize that I'm using terminology (load position) that may not be familiar to you. There are other articles I've written on that topic if you find yourself confused.***
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.