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Any Advice on How to stop a player from being outfront, lunging whatever you want to call it, but not the typical out front.

I have one high school player I am working with that I can not fix!  I have tried everything I can think of and nothing is working, doesn anyone have any ideas?  

When this player loads, his body is in a good position, but when he is loaded right before he swings,

his body is always leaning forward.  It is almost like he is trying to generate power with his upper body.  

I have tried starting him with his legs close together, toe tap, leg kick you name it,  but he still gets to this position you see in the picture right before he rotates or begins the swing.  He does it pretty quickly and can fool you because he catches up to a good position at the end of the swing.  but on slow motion you pick it up,  I have tried several different items, belts, bungee pulling, pushing with no luck.

I even tried to spread him out no stride, as seen in the picture from last night and he still gets to this position.  I know this is something he has done since he was younger as I asked his mom for any old video of him hitting and it looks just like this.  Does anyone have a fix.  Thanks, Rod

The hitter on the top is an MLB player I was trying to compare him too.

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Teach him how to properly execute "HIP TO SHOULDER SEPARATION" letting the rear pivot foot, knee and hip initiate the movement, then let the shoulders execute their movement, remember as in the pitching movement one's body starts and stays in a closed, sideways position until stride foot touch down letting the lower body half the large muscles and the core execute their movement then immediately thereafter the upper half /the shoulders execute their movements,  also the shoulders do not rotate during the hitting approach/the stroke they tilt up and down on a lateral axis all on a vertical plane.

Hip to shoulder separation ha a two fold duty, as it serves as a timing mechanism and also carries the body movement up through it's kinetic chain through the legs, the core the arms, hands and on out through the barrel to contact.

As Tim Belk says, where the body goes so goes the head.

Great Base Ball-N to all.

Don Ervin

Being a wrestler, I always thought that saying went "Where the head goes, the body follows"? Lol, but what do I know

It seems you have a problem with everything I say. Where are your statistics to back up your knowledge.I watch law and order so I must be a lawyer. Why take instructions from some one who has never been where you are trying to go.Experience is knowledge.Do you need some more under tones or are you getting what I am laying down.

No, I don't believe I have a problem with everything you say, but by all means, please give me some more undertones so I know exactly what you are trying to lay down. I just simply disagreed with some of the things you said because they aren't what elite hitters do-squish the bug, etc, but it seems you have a problem with people disagreeing with you. I think I asked a question whether you were saying a player should squish the bug by knocking a ball backwards as they hit which would suggest you are telling them to spin on their back foot-which would collapse their weight onto heir back leg. Then I commented about the body following the head instead of the head following the body. No harm meant, but you obviously took offense to a benign comment. Did you wrestle? I did and so have my sons. First rule after not being on your back is that where the head goes, the body follows. 

 So, you are saying if someone has never played in the major leagues that they can't teach someone to hit? Or throw? Or field? But someone that did play and hit .200, with a .250 obp and .200 slugging is more qualified to teach hitting than someone who didn't play mlb? Does experience only come with playing in the major leagues? I think not.  What are my qualifications you ask? Hmmmm, apparently not much because I never payed in the major leagues, but I did play in europe a little with the army way back in the early 80's. I played a lot of baseball in my younger days and then eventually got old and played softball along the east coast with the Army. I have also had the fortune and privilege for the past 7-8 years to work with two of the top hitting instructors in the nation, if not the world. One of them even played under the late, great Ted Williams, was very close friends and created his own hitting system endorsed by Ted. I have had the good fortune to work closely with his son and continue my knowledge of the elite swing by working closely with this father and son team and some of their top hitting instructors studying video of elite swings and noticing the similarities for hitters technique and also understanding that style is different in each player, but their technique is the same. I ask questions and make comments in the spirit of dialogue, not ridicule such as the comment you made to the gentleman on page one. Btw, love Law and Order.

How has this player progressed? From the pictures above, he doesn't look like he is lunging...he looks like too much weight is on his back leg.

Get back to basics... Read, Tony Gwynn's The Art of Hitting book... Read, Charlie Lau's, The Art of Hitting .300 book...Watch the following videos on YouTube...Tony Gwynn's, King of Swing ...and Charlie Lau's The Art of Hitting .300... ...Also...have the kid BUNT PRACTICE ALOT to Opposite Field...As well as extra Batting Tee work with focus on hitting to the OPPOSITE FIELD... Let me know if this helps... As I am quite sure it will help the vast majority of hitters... :)

Good reads and informative. I would add Mike Epstein's 'Mental Side of Hitting', Ted Williams 'The Science of Hitting' and 'Sixty Feet-Six Inches'-great read of a conversation between Bob Gibson and Reggie Jackson. There are many other hitting books and videos that can be very helpful, but like anything, take what works for you and leave the rest behind. Even Mike Epstein's video 'Do We Teach What We Really See?' has a lot of good info. A bit long, but worth the info.

A statement/question: I am curious how the practice of bunting will help the full swing? Or hitting opposite field? Opponents I might be able to get, but not completely agree with, but practicing opponents are you trying to get the feeling of keeping your front shoulder down, or in longer? I like the why with the what so I can use it to help other hitters...if you don't mind?

Thank you for replying. I think you are getting a little too "cerebral."...My reply to yours is for you to watch the two videos. And have your hitters watch them too, and strive to get them to follow a fusion of what Gwynn and Lau are teaching... The law of averages will eventually dictate that, if your hitters strive to focus on MAKING CONTACT, by practicing BUNTING ALOT & PLAYING PEPPER ALOT...As well as striving to hit the ball to the opposite field and on the ground in regular BP...And in using the Batting Tee...They will overcome their hitting problems...And start making better contact, strike out less and raise their averages...  :)

I have been off the website for quite awhile but will update on this player.  Still lunging and no definitely not more weight on his back leg than front.  He strides and his body is almost straight up and down some would say a front foot hitter which this posture doesn't allow him to uppercut slightly instead causes him to swing down which causes a lot of hard ground balls and very few deep balls.  When he has faced some upper 80's pitchers throwing really hard he has hit some homeruns and I believe its because he couldn't get out-front too early but was back more. 



You mentioned about extra Tee practice, if you will notice that standard tee's force a batter to swing level/parallel to the surface unless the batter hits it or knocks it over, Which is not conducive to bringing the barrel down into a level plane with/into the downward flight of an incoming baseball, the only ball in flight to the catcher that will not tend to lose speed is the high rising fast ball. The tee I recommend that allows a batter to make proper barrel to ball contact without hitting it is the {BackSpin} tee which allows a batter to make proper barrel to ball contact at any incoming ball flight angle.

Yes,yes,yes, you are certainly correct about sacrifice bunting practice, my main gripe there is that most players at every level including professional players do not know how to prepare, body wise bat/ handle and barrel position to put the ball down, my first piece of advice to those i communicate with and/or instruct is that {basically}the game of baseball is physically played on the balls of the feet and in front of the eyes, catching fielding the ball, throwing the ball, bunting the ball, making barrel to ball contact should all {basically }be executed on the balls of the feet and in front of the eyes, {NOTE} {delete}making barrel to ball contact on the balls of the feet.}

 There is more to a batter hitting a ball to his/her non pull field and just keeping the hands ahead of the barrel, the feet and body position, front shoulder down, are of the utmost importance along with keeping the hands ahead of/leading the barrel.

A regular/consistent game of five player pepper, {not bunting,} shorten up a bit and actually make good brisk directional contact implementing a short hands inside the ball path to contact is great for the stroke approach to directional contact, Back in my playing days we were taught that from the launch position to barrel to ball contact was a stroke and that after contact during the barrels follow trough was the swing segment and that we were to think of the movement as #1. A stroke and #2. The swing{ Barrel follow through.}

Numerous players up through the seasons have resorted to pepper games and sacrifice bunting practice in order to get their timing, stroke and overall approach to contact ironed out.

While viewing various MLB games I occasionally hear an announcer comment about a particular batter executing a beautiful stroke to contact.


Don Ervin

Instead of his front foot starting his action when the ball is delivered try to stand more in an upright position and lift the front foot while not allowing his bodyweight to move forward. Almost balancing on his back foot and then instead of a step towards the pitch it is more of a weight transfer or "glide".  The discussion I posted here:

A lot of younger players get into trouble by stepping as the pitch is coming because it causes a lot of head movement. The players head and eyes are moving forward only to stop suddenly when the front foot lands. This makes it harder for players to differentiate between different pitches. The more still a players head is as the pitch is coming, the easier it is for that player to see the most important thing in that moment which is the baseball. Get the front foot up early...and that way a player can focus primarily on the pitch and where it is going. The weight transfer isn't the problem. The problem is the player becoming antsy and having too much movement right when the most pivotal part of hitting is determined. (which is when the baseball is arriving). Everyone is so focused on their swing that they forget about the most important part of hitting which is being on time. You can have a terrible swing and still be a great hitter if you are consistently on time. At the end of the day hitting is putting a metal or wood bat on a baseball.


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