Baseball Batter Stance Stride and Separation
So if you’ve watched baseball for any amount of time, you know that most baseball hitters take a stride. The stride is that small step that the hitter takes before he swings. Well when should that happen? How should that look? In this segment I want to talk about stride and separation. The hitters stride from his stance is going to take place either at release or just before. We want to make sure we give ourselves the best chance to succeed. The size of our load is going to play a part in this, when that stride takes place.
Now let’s talk about the direction of it. My stride should always be at the pitcher. If I stride to a closed position, we’ll call that diving, I have no chance on the inside pitch now. And on the outside pitch, I’m going to end up having a problem getting all the way through. There’s a problem with stepping towards the third base line, or we’ll call it stepping in the bucket. As you can see, my hips have already left and my shoulder’s going to have a tendency to leave early. The other thing that can happen is now I lose plate coverage. I no longer can cover the outside part of the plate. So we want to make sure, from our good stance, that our stride is directed straight towards the pitcher. That’s going to give us the best chance to succeed.
Also, be sure that your shoulders don’t over rotate when this happens. We get ourselves in here too far we can get into problems trying to cover these pitches. So when we talk about stride, we want to make sure it’s at the pitcher. It’s not closed. It’s not too far open. We want to make sure that when we stride, we control the weight with our foot. Now how far should the stride be? There’s a lot of ways to look at this and the reality is our stride should be as short as possible. I say that from somebody who had a really long stride for most of my career. My stride would cause me so many problems, because if my foot covers lots of ground, my weight has now gone forward. The easiest way to deal with this is a little phrase that was taught to me by a coach with the Milwaukee Brewers. Control the head, the body will follow.
Let me explain. Wherever my head is, my weight’s going to be. If my head comes forwards my weight’s going to go forward. If my head says back, my weight’s going to stay back. For me that worked really well, to think about controlling my head. It gave me less things to worry about. Where my feet were, what my legs were doing. It made it more comfortable. Made it simpler, which is what we want as a hitter. We want this to be simple. So the next time you’re in the box and you’re going to take your stride, keep it short, do it early and be sure it’s at the pitcher. That way you can have a great game.