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Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Coaching Little League Baseball - Tips for teaching proper batting stance and stride.
The batter's stance should be wide enough to insure a solid base and wide enough so that the batter can use a "soft or short" stride technique. It is best that the batter simply picks the front foot up less than an inch and puts in back down in the same place. There is little or no movement forward by the front foot. This is known as the "no stride" technique.
A wider base and shorter stride allow the batter to keep the head still and prevents the head from dropping during the swing. When a batter assumes a narrow stance with the feet close together, the batter must take a long stride during the swing. This long stride causes the batter's head and eyes to "fall or drop" during the swing. This is the reason that many coaches teach and preach a no stride technique. Of course, another reason is the fact that "long-stride" hitter's often cannot catch up with the velocity of many pitchers in the game today.
The optimum width of the feet would be slightly wider than shoulder width. The batter's weight should be on the "balls" of the feet and off the heels. The front foot or stride foot should be "placed softly as if it is on a carton of eggs". This softness allows the foot to be lifted and placed back down easily. The back foot or pivot foot is also important during the swing. The back foot should not "move or leak forward" but should turn up "shoe laces to pitcher" when the front foot settles into place during the swing.
COACHING POINT: It is recommended that all batter's use an even stance meaning that the toes of each foot are even when the stance is assumed. A closed stance is one with the back foot farther away from the plate than the front foot. An open stance is one with the front foot farther away from the plate than the back foot.
COACHING POINT: You may actually use a simple demonstration to illustrate how a long stride causes the head to drop and the eyes to move. Have a batter assume a narrow stance. As you face the batter, hold your hand palm down exactly even with the batter's eyes. Have the batter take a long stride while you hold your hand perfectly still at the level where the eyes were when the stride began. A long stride will cause the batter's head to drop and the eyes to drop also. This movement of the head and eyes makes it more difficult for the batter to "see and hit" the ball as it travels through the strike zone.
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Posted by Coach's Profile: at 4:23 AM