Hitting Stance – The Load
So if you were going to throw a punch and I’m not advocating fighting, but if you wanted to really throw a hard punch, what would you do. Would you stand here like this and just throw a little punch or would you pull your hand back and come all the way through. I think the answer’s simple. We’d want to pull our hand all the way back, and really get into it.
The same is true in hitting. We call it our load, our trigger, our take away. Whatever you want to call it, this is how the hitter gets his weight from his balanced position, gets it back behind the ball. There’s a lot of different ways to do this. The most common way is done in the legs. This is actually what I did. We started from a balanced position and now I’m going to shift my weight from 50/50 and I’m going to push, keeping the weight on the inside part of my foot and the inside part of my knee. I’m going to push back into my foot right there like that. This is going to give us our load. It gives me my chance to get back behind the ball.
There’s other ways you can load. A very common technique now used is called a toe tap. The hitter starts here. They step back and then they come forward with their stride. When they step back this is getting their weight back for them. This is getting them back behind the ball. Some hitters, such as Albert Pujols, who doesn’t stride, uses his front foot as his load mechanism. By pushing up onto his toe, you can see how I’ve now moved my weight to my back leg. See he doesn’t take a stride. He just pushes up this way and that creates his load. Jim Thome, a different example, tries to do his with his hands. Well this would be a right handed version, but he does it with his hands. He comes this way and then just comes forward.
There’s a lot of way to load. The most common, like I said, is shifting the weight from our 50/50 or 60/40 stance, back to the back leg. Just be careful. We don’t want to go backwards over our back foot. This is going to cause problems with balance. Keep the weight on the inside part of the foot and the knee, but you have to have a load. We got to get into our back leg. That’s what we want to use. This is where we’re going to get our power. We want to drive this ball. So get into it. Load up. Be ready. The next time you’re in the box get back there and drive that ball.