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Out of curiosity does anyone support/teach a closed stance? Growing up I had a closed stance due to the fact that my all time favorite player was Will "The Thrill" Clark. By the time I got to college I opened my stance up to see the ball better. I support an open stance 100% but I never change my hitters stance unless it is completely necessary. Are there hitters out there having success with a closed stance or is this a lost art?

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i dont support the close stance only for a few reason.
1. the close stance doesnt give you the same view of the release point as an open stance, its worst with a closed
2. on a closed stance it locks out your hips (hence the name "closed") so you cant get any torque, which wont allow you to have maximum bat speed + power
3. on a closed stance its much harder to hit an inside pitch rather then being open and hiting the outside pitch
Hello Nate - I love the hitting style of guys like Will Clark, John Olerud, Rafael Palmeiro.. During the 1960's, 70's, 80's - most youth players (including myself) were conditioned / exposed to a hitting style that promoted the hitter into being closed .. to dive into the pitch ..and then during the late 90's .. we see a style of hitting where the hitter is opened ... - to help him "SEE THE BALL " better ..

What I have come to discover thru my study is this - Building the stance around the player's "dominant eye" .. Most players - NOT ALL - have a dominant eye ... meaning - whenever a player stares at an object - this dominant eye will work harder in focusing on the object - than - the NON dominant eye .. So would it not make sense then to position this dominant eye into a place that it would function better ... Meaning, back eye dominant players - open stance - .. And front eye dominant players Closed Stance ....

During the 70's -80's ... with a push of close stance hitters .. I have always been curious as to how many players playing MLB baseball .. how many more players there were - during that era ... who were front eye dominant - hitters...

Currently - working with Pro and Amateur hitters - I have found this ... EVEN Stances work better ... WHY ? - Timing ..
NOT with everybody - But When problems creep up For closed stance hitters .. most guys end up having to "muscle up" on their swings - because, closed stance hitters - NOT ALL - commonly fight into bringing their backsides into the pitch

... Common problems with open stance hitter is - they don't get to a "control point" OR get to their "LOAD" soon enough .. they end up being late - causing them to "muscle up" on the swing ..

So - the "Even Stance" from what I notice, is MORE functional in managing the hitters TIMING ... All the hitter - adjusts in an even stance is the positioning of his face ..more front eye player slightly closed face .. back eye player .. slightly open face ...

- I like how Reggie Smith put it to me .. he said, "DAVE... there is NO wrong way to hit ... Just MORE efficient ways to get it done .."

Dave Kirilloff
Great feedback! Thanks Dave!
I personally use the closed stance because I'm a tall person, like Barry Bonds. But I do use the open stance every now & then.
There are a lot of good and different opinions here,
Open, semi open, closed, semi closed stances, Sometimes the most comfortable stance or the best feeling bat is not the most successful way to go, Take the catcher who feels good by setting up off center to the pitcher thinking he is in the best position to get off a better or a more quicker more accurate throw which is not true and simply does not realize that his movement to the opposite side is hampered tremendously.
In my opinion the most important thing to do is stand in there in a good athletic position where you can comfortably turn your head so you can completely visualize the total peripheral visional area between the pitcher to the 90 degree position of the bat to ball point of contact with both eyes taking into serious consideration one's dominant eye without getting into an unnecessary exaggerated body position,"TED WILLIAMS,"JIM EDMOND'S," and others who stand in there nicely and make only the very few and necessary moves within their approach to the baseball which allows for very few approach mistakes, are good examples to follow, from there on it is all a matter of timing, Timing is the essence of successfully making good hard barrel to ball contact. Hitting is all about timing, Pitching is all about timing and also about destroying a batters timing. Bad timing throws all aspects of one's game out of kilter. One's head is the most important part of one's body to staying in there with the ball and maintaining good balance in the process,. to maintain good balance and to not allow the weight to prematurely shift out over one's front foot one must keep one's head centered between one's shoulders and keep one's shoulders centered between one's hips and keep one's hips centered between one's feet which should be kept in a good athletic position, keeping one's head, shoulders and hips centered is also ultimately important for pitchers during their movement up to their release point in particular. keeping one's head basically centered is ultimately important period. To test this get into your stance, bat in launch position, turn your cap sideways have someone hold tight to the bill so your head cannot move forward attempt to shift your weight out onto your front foot, you can move your front foot forward a little but not your weight. The hitting movement process is a combination of linear and rotational body movement, get a copy of "TED WILLIAMS," book, "THE SCIENCE OF HITTING," study it and the diagrams learn how the most intelligent hitter of the game explains how to basically make good hard consistent contact to all fields. Study his comments on the step being executed first during the hips load up and his reasoning for doing so.
All comments pro. and/or con are certainly welcome.
Open Stance definitely!! Not only helps to see the ball better with both eyes but in my opinion, it also helps getting extension when hitting the ball.
Since we had this discussion, I decided to focus on the open/close in our senior league game on Sunday. As he catcher, I tried different things with different hitters. I definitely found that we could bust a fastball inside on closed hitters. We broke three of their bats doing that...I tried busting inside on open-stance hitters and got mixed results: some hitters hit loud fouls because they were too early, but others drove the ball to the opposite field. I messed with my stance a bit (even tried the David Wright toe-tap in batting practice), but I'm most comfortable in an athletic position and, with two strikes, a wider stance and choking up a bit. Anyone else trying some new things? I'm starting a new strand on tape at the handle of the bat...

Nate, that's a great discussion topic.  I personally believe that all batting stances have pros and cons and should be used to fit the type of hitter and the swing that you have.   I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to paste in a link because its an article I wrote about the advantages and disadvantages of each - the open, square and closed batting stances.

I learned to play with an Open Stance. The reason why ? My coach told me that if a have an Open Stance I can hit Inside Balls better . I don´t know if this fact is right , but I really fell comfortable with it.  

There is the key statement right there, Stefan, you fit comfortable with it. Being in theaters box is about being comfortable. You know, I have even seen some MLB hitters step out..Franco...and it wasn't because he was cheating on an inside pitch.

I think flexibility has a lot to do with weather you should be open or closed.  Can you get your belly facing the pitcher at contact?  That is what determines if you are able to be closed.  Open stance is kind of a cheat to get around quicker on inside heat.  If you use an open stance, you better get close to the plate to drive the outside pitch the other way.  I start closed but off the plate and then stride toward the ball.  I have the flexibility to get rotated around closed hips.  Will Clark did not take a long stride and had a very upright stance which allowed him to rotate freely so he could be closed more.  I believe in the dominate eye theory but I don't think an open stance helps you see better.  When stance is closed, your head is still facing the pitcher so both eyes are still in play.    Other than that I think it is a matter of comfort and confidence.

I've read a lot of responses and notice everyone talks about open stance, unless the player is flying open and then go to a neutral or even closed stance to correct that.  Consider this; flying open isn't caused by the stance because you can have a player who has a closed stance "fly" open as well. We have all seen it...they step in the bucket all the time or fly open. So the question is, "how do we stop players from flying open"? Make them keep their front shoulder down longer...after front heel plant. Simple" Heck no...but it takes correct and proper repetitions to correct a flaw.


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