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Does anyone have a solution for the hitter whose hands travel forward with the body on the stride. This particular hitter will load the hands but by the time he strides the hands are moving with the body. I do quite a few lessons and this is my #1 most difficult issue.

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Hi Ralph...One drill that I have used for this issue is to have the hitter stride upward into a slight incline(using the backside of mound for instance)...If done properly, when the stride foot lands to the slight incline of the mound the hands will separate from the stride and the hitter will feel a strong, balanced position...If there is no separation(hands traveling with stride), the stride leg collapses causing an unbalanced approach/feel that the hitter will definitely notice. Also, I have used the tee with success in some hand/stride separation issues(the tee forces the hitter to separate his hands from stride). After extended use of the tee drill..muscle memory should correct the problem....Hope this all makes sense to you!?...Mike Hart
Thanks Mike - good to hear from you and I will give these ideas a shot

Hello Ralph - Very difficult to gauge when you can't see the subject.. Most people - will give you mechanical answers to solve this issue. But deeper, below the superficial side of examining hitters that most hitting coaches overlook is the hitter's relationship with the pitcher .. And, how the hitter is managing his flow of energy, momentum, tempo, in relationship to the pitcher. #1 - Without seeing him, sounds like the hitter is trying to keep tempo, rhythm, with the pitcher with his feet/legs.. doesn't trust his upper body for rhythm..#2 - Inside the hitter - you describe, I would be almost certain, that he has already, predetermined to hit the ball.. well out in front of his body, before you throw it .. He wants to "get the ball" - before - "the ball gets him".. type of attitude... SOLUTION - #1, establish, the need of tempo with front toe and back knee, #2 - help the hitter manage the impact position with ball, next to his body, not in front - http://www.TheLanguageOfHitting.com
I would put him on video so he sees what he is doing. He might not even know how far his hands are traveling with his body, or he might not believe you when you tell him. He needs to think of the movement as "walking away from his hands". As he strides his hands need to reach back, or at least not move forward. A lot of young players are afraid to create too much length in the lead arm, but length is a good thing as long as it isn't completely locked. My guess, if none of this works is that he is taking his stride with his upper body getting out in front of his lower body. When he strides he needs to keep his head between his shoulders and in line with the middle of his body and make sure not to lunge with his upper body. If he does this he should be able to perform the correct movement.
Matt,
As you say it is #1. most important to center the head between the shoulders, hips and feet and to also establish and to maintain as much as possible a good solid athletic stance/body position.
If one cannot move one's head out of position one cannot shift/ lunge one's weight out over ones front foot.
Don Ervin
kom_ervin@yahoo.com

I saw this video recently on You Tube. Jump to 1:20...
With some of "TED WILLIAMS" and" ROD CAREW" I will throw something out there for the viewers to comment on. first of all the approach to making good hard consistent contact with a thrown baseball [is a combination of "ROTATIONAL" and" LINEAR" forward body movements,] starting with counter, reverse, negative, circular knee and hip movement during one's load up with one's very short linear /step if any step at all executed at the same time, "LOAD/STEP together,[ with no step] Front"TOE DOWN, FRONT HEEL UP," there is a hip and shoulder separation as the hips first lead the way/with shoulders following/ rotating forward in a positive circular movement while the hands, top hand palm and knuckles up, bottom hand palm and knuckles down, bat knob and hands stay inside the ball and bring the bat barrel on down into a level plane with the downward flight of the ball which at the point of contact the wrist action that has been mentioned is simply to pull the knob back towards the catcher with the bottom hand and at the same time flick the top hand wrist forward, both hands move as one unit "PULL BACK, FLICK" which when executed in a quick rhythmic movement propels/ explodes the barrel into and through the point of contact, "POINT OF CONTACT TORQUE," there simply is no, strictly one or the other "LINEAR" and/or "ROTATIONAL" body only movement during the approach and swing movements as some are led to believe, although there definitely are individual definitions of the two. In viewing the above video clip and many other batting approach body movements to the point of contact, I see so many demo's etc. of batters who linear move straight back, no rotation during the initial load up, I feel that with no reverse rotation during the load up movement that those who lean straight back are missing/ leaving out a very necessary rhythmic timing body movement during the initial preparation to one's launch position which should be as important to each batter's total approach/ body movement to the contact point as is the reverse, circular, positive forward movement.
There are three contact areas where excellent, good contact can be executed while keeping a batted ball in fair territory between the white lines,
#1. The #1. prime contact area which is 90 degrees to the flight of the pitched ball.
#2. The #2. prime contact area which is 30 degrees forward of 90 degrees
#3. The #3. prime contact area which is "15" degrees to the rear of "90"degrees.
One can also associate these three contact points/areas in relation to the approach to the front hip/leg, the center area of one's body and just past/ to the rear of one's center/body rear hip area, Actually when making contact within each of these contact areas one is basically hitting the ball where it is pitched.
Don Ervin
kom_ervin@yahoo.com.
HeyRalph,
It sounds to me like your batter is swinging with his whole body, if so
Does he get his upper body half prematurely out over his front foot? If so he is not keeping his head properly centered between his shoulders, hips and feet and is prematurely moving his head forward which is the reason for the premature weight shift and the committing of one's weight out over one's front foot, to check this problem get him in his stance with bat in hand in his ready position no swinging, hold the front mound side of his head so he cannot move it forward, have him attempt to shift his weight forward, all he will be able to do is move his front foot app. 6 to 8 inches forward which leaves his whole body still in great position to hit the ball.

As for whole body swinging movements one must be aware that there are two separate body movements while executing the forward approach/ movement to successfully making good hard consistent contact, which are called "HIP," and" SHOULDER SEPARATION," executed at the proper time in the proper sequence and at this time during the rotational hip movement the hands stay still, calm and ready to come forward, in close to one's body inside the ball led by the hands and bat knob which all players must learn and become very familiar with so when the time comes for them to execute their hip and shoulder separation during the forward movement the movement will be habitual as Mike says when hitting with a tee, preferably dry running first, load up then first rotate your hips only keeping your shoulders closed, now you are in the hip and shoulder separation mode, execute this movement 10 times then at the end of hip rotation immediately rotate your shoulders to complete the swinging movement without swinging, execute 10 times.
Now put a ball on the tee do the hip first, shoulder and hands/knob second and just bring your barrel right down to contact point without hitting ball off of tee, do this 10 times then get a 28inch bat hold in both hands in ready position with bottom hand palm knuckles down, top hand/ palm knuckles up, now remove top hand from bat and place hand on chest right under chin take barrel to ball on tee, not knocking ball off, do this 10 times, make it a every day habit to acquire muscle memory.make sure the posture is good, head centered between the shoulders, hips and feet, make sure the head is not prematurely moving forward, make sure the hands are in close behind the ball, make sure the hands are not sweeping out around the ball.
Most importantly establish a good solid athletic body position.
Work diligently on the hip shoulder separation movement which should eliminate the whole body moving at once during the swing and will hold the hands back until the completion of the hip rotation when then it becomes time to generate the swing. Also remember that where you stand in the box determines where your three contact points will be. Move back and forth and your contact points move back and forth with you.
Video tape every session, game and practice, compare videos to see if when and what changes come up from one taping to the next. It sure would be nice to view a video of your player. Experiment with Ted Williams, method, Load up in a negative circular, reverse ,rotational body movement and execute the very short six inch step at the same time right down the line to the middle of the mound, split the rubber right down the middle, draw a line directly from the front corner of home plate or from the batters box chalk line then execute the methods I mentioned above, I also really do like Jim Edmond's method of rotate, toe down, heel up method, the quieter one is in the box and the more explosive one is to the ball while properly executing in proper sequence the hip, shoulder separation movements the more opportunity one has to be successful in the process.
Hopefully I have given you something here to help you to get those hands and arms operating in their proper hitting mode.
Don Ervin
kom_ervin@yahoo.com
Ralph, sounds like it is "hip slide" His hips are sliding forward after his front foot lands. Is he rotating his hips? Does his back knee turn downward as his back hip rotates forward? If so, then I would ask him to concentrate, with dry swings, on making sure his front hip grotates backward as his front hip rotates forward. I would start the dry swings at like 50 % speed so he could really feel the hips rotating. If his back knee turns in and goes down his center of gravity should stay right in the middle of his body. I would look at Mike Epsteins website. The "torque" drill is what I am talking about. It fixed my son. Just my 2 cents

Thanks to all who responded concerning the hands traveling forward with the body. I tried most of the ideas suggested plus reviewed video with those suggestions recommended. What do you think of the cause being from separating the hands prior to loading the body? In other words his first move is to move hands back to launch, then stride forward bringing the hands with him rather than holding them back. It seems like the order of events is to load the body to get in position to stride/separate (attack the ball). The separation is not synced up with the stride. Is this on the right track?

Ralph,

See if this makes sense.... Separating the hands from the stride in sync is a key component to hitting. I did a drill when I played where the person doing front soft toss would allow me to separate or load and I would hold that load until he released the ball. I would then allow the ball to travel to me before I hit.  Be careful of extra movement after the ball is released.  In my early load/separation (same thing just different term) I wanted to feel my hands move away from my stride at the exact same time and distance and then WAIT for the ball to get to me.  I describe this as "playing tug of war" with your hands and feet.  Good hitters heads stay still.  When the hands come with the stride you will get head movement forward.  Plus your hands will leak to a weaker hitting position, thus speeding up the reaction time and you will hit from a weaker hand position.  Picture a game of tug of war.  If two teams play tug of war and the rope is pulled on with the same force equally, the flag in the middle of the rope stays still.  That flag represents your head.  If you separate your hands and feet with that tug or war mentality your head will stay still. That example seems to click with the guys I work with. That little drill was the best one for me in making sure my hands and feet separated at an equal distance and early because when you get back to separation early you can let the ball get to you have time to really FEEL the movements.  Hope that helps!  Kash

The sequence should be Coil-stretch-uncoil

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