Tips for Hitting

With The

Perfect Stride


Perfecting the Stride
Jon Hoelter

Young players need to practice their stride or the little step
taken before they swing the bat. The stride should be

1. Straight. Unless they are using an open or closed stance, the
stride should be at the pitcher. When opened or closed, the
stride should put them in a position where their shoulders make a
line pointing at the pitcher.

2. Short (especially for young players). Long strides make it
difficult to keep the head relatively still and thus making it
difficult to see the ball. Long strides also make timing more
difficult, because long strides take more time than short

3. Soft. The weight must be kept back during the stride. Remember
that the swing doesn't start until after the stride is complete.
If the batter's weight shifts forward during the stride, they
will not be able to keep their hands back and will not be able to
get their weight into the pitch when they swing. Weight should
shift during the swing. Teaching players to turn their front knee
in toward their body during the stride will help them to keep the
stride soft.

4. Flat. At least for young hitters, the front foot should stay
close to the ground during the stride. Some young players lift
the front foot to the back of their thigh which makes a soft
stride next to impossible.

5. Closed. Many young hitters point their front toe at the
pitcher when they stride usually because they want to start
swinging the bat before their stride foot lands. The front foot
should not be turned more than 45 degrees upon landing. Often the
front foot will pivot somewhat during the swing (and may end up
pointing at the pitcher), but this is okay as long as it lands

A Level Swing Isn't Swinging the Bat Level with the Ground
Article courtesy of Jon Hoelter

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