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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Little League Digest - Proper Baseball Swing Mechanics and the "Belly Button" Rule of Hip Turn

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By Nick Dixon

Little league Digest: Baseball Batting Coaching Tips: Teaching Hip Turn Mechanics and Using the "Belly Button" Rule to Improve Baseball Swing Quality

The hips play an important part in the baseball swing process. The turn of the hips helps to generate power and bat speed. There are several important coaching points about the involvement of the hips in the swing. The "B B" rule is one good way to teach young players the degree of hip turn on various pitch locations. This article presents several coaching points and explains the "B B" rule.

Here are 10 Coaching Points related to Hip Movement Mechanics:

1. The degree of hip movement is determined by the location of the pitch.

2. The hips must turn more when hitting an inside pitch.

3. The hips will turn less when hitting a pitch away.

4. The hips should not move before the hands and bat.

5. To free the hips, the back foot must spin, rotate or turn onto the toe.

6. The hips follow the barrel. The hips should open behind the barrel, not before it.

7. Premature front side or hip movement will cause a batter to pull the head and to pull of pitches.

8. The correct hip movement is a spin. Lunging or sliding the hips forward is not acceptable.

9. The hip movement should be a thrust or fast rotation. The faster the rotation of the hips, the faster the bats speed.

10. The degree of hip rotation can be taught by teaching the "Belly Button" rule as explained below.

The "Belly Button Rule" is explained as the following:

The Belly Button should follow the barrel of the bat through the baseball swing process. The location of a pitch determines hip turn. The degree of hip turn determines where the belly button is pointing when the batter finishes the baseball swing. The belly button should always finish in a position that points toward the direction in which the baseball was hit.

For example, when a ball is hit to the opposite field, the batters "Button" should point or be directed toward the opposite field when the swing is completed. If a batter pulls an inside pitch, the belly button should follow the ball and point toward the direction in which the ball was hit.

Coaching Point: For right and left handed batters, if the ball is hit through the box, up the middle, the belly button should "shine" or point toward second base when the swing is complete. For right handed batter, is a ball is pulled, the belly button should finish pointing toward third base. If a right handed batter hits the baseball down the right field line, the button should point toward first base when the swing is completed. If a left handed batter pulls the baseball, the hips should turn completely and the button should finish pointing at first base. If a left handed batter hits the ball to left field, the hips should turn less and the belly button should finish the swing pointing the 5-6 hole or between 3rd and 2nd base.

I hope that you found this article to be informative and helpful. Thanks for taking the time to read it. I wish you and your team good luck this season! Have a great day, Nick.

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Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, a sports training company established in 1999. Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of the BatAction Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Target Trainer, the SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and the SKLZ Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Youth Baseball Digest, the Little League Digest the Baseball Parent Guide, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, and Blog4Coaches.

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