The Premier Baseball Social Network for Players, Coaches, Scouts, and Umpires
Advocates for the crossover are assuming that momentum is equal to the jab step; therefore, it is better because it gets the body closer to the base with the same speed. Baseball players, coaches, scouts, "experts" do not understand the law of inertia. "A body at rest tends to stay at rest". The quick step is the natural way to break inertia. It is like moving a car in first gear compared to third from a still position. The second step is a crossover anyway that happens at the same time as the crossoer as the first move.
I would love to see a coach take all his players out to first base. Mark a spot and time them doing both and post the results. I think some maybe fast doing the crossover but the majority would be faster with the jab step.
The jab step is actually an unweighing of the front foot which happens with crossover also in order to load the push off leg. If there is an advantage, it goes to the jab step for lengthening the initial stride.
They both go together. You have to Jab step first prior to crossing over. Watch all big leagues footwork, when the ball is hit they will actually take a small Jab step "in" (during the minds read phase) prior to drop step then crossing over to one side or the other to go after the ball.
The Jab step (with the drop step) in allows you to open your hips faster as you go get the baseball. So example; if the ball is hit to your glove side, you will Jab step with the "opposite" foot first, then dropstep (if off to side), crossover and go.....
Try it yourself...
Are you talking baserunning or outfield because I was talking Outfield..
For base running, the crossover step, done correctly, is far superior than the jab step. The jab step is a total waste. If you flare the right foot correctly and place more weight on the right leg with a slight lean forward, this set you up for a superior take-off. As you began your take-off, the right leg starts the drive, the left foot crosses directly over the right foot, other words stay in a straight line, DO NOT STEP TO THE SIDE, stepping to the side is wasted motion, effects your tempo, rhythm and add distance to the next base. This technique will crush the jab step every time.
We train baseball players to develop superior speed and how not to be EVER thrown out. Poor take-off no matter how fast you are will get you thrown out.
ET Training Systems, home of the dForce Trainer sport specific products
Who said anything about a "side step"? To be able to move in either direction you have to have a wide stance and stay low. If you place all your wieght on your right leg then your mass will shift to the left. You can't weigh your right leg and push toward second until your center of mass has passed your right foot. The initial movement to get going toward second is a weighing of the left foot so you can't be crossing it over yet. While you guarantee never getting thrown out at second, how many of your clients get picked off first?
I hate to be so critical on here all the time but I feel that forums such as Check Swing should be a place free for everyones opinion and a place to teach as well as learn. I think that particularly in the baseball world there is so much information out there that contradicts each other. It can get very confusing. Your elite athletes seldom contribute or take from internet peddlers because they do just fine on thier God given talents. The rest of us need an edge and forums like this can help, or they can perpetuate myths. Some are on here to promote a program in order to make money. I think that is a great thing and a perfect place to market to focused group of potential buyers. Buyer beware. Training programs have to offer something different than the other programs if they are not willing to reduce price. That is where a lot of dissagreement comes from. I went to ET Training site and saw a video of Mark Brown turning a potential tripple into a double. He looks like a gifted athlete but his running is horrendous. He rounds first so wide that he almost runs in the grass. Then he watches the right fielder the whole time so when he gets to second, you can tell he wants third, he nearly trips and falls. This in not a good example if you are trying to promote a program.
Michael, we train thousands of athletes for speed training and a large percentage of them are baseball players. When you train as much as we do and to the level of detail you discover thing that are consistently done wrong. Taking a side step is easily in our top 3 problems when baseball players take-off. The funny thing about this, most players and coaches don’t even realize that they are doing this, even at the professional level. Base on your “side step” question, you do not study the take-off to the level of detail required to see the flaws during take-off. Film your players and breakdown the film frame by frame and you will be amazed what is happening.
Your stance should be slightly greater than shoulder width a part. The inside of each heel should be slightly wider than the shoulders. For taller players over 6’ 3, their stance may need to be a little wider. Staying low is a criteria, but not to low that you cannot explode out of the stance. No one said place all your weight on you right leg, it clearly say more, somewhere between 60/40 and those who has better athleticism can go 70/30. If you place more weight on your right foot, you mass will not shift to the left. You must be doing something very strange. Please send me a video or picture of this.
Where did you get this one from “You can't weigh your right leg and push toward second until your center of mass has passed your right foot”. When your stance is as I describe it above it work great. If your feet are slightly shoulder width apart and when you lean forward as I suggest, you center of mass is now over your right foot, when you ready to take off, lean forward and drive, you center of mass is now underneath or slightly in front of your right foot.
This is the different in what we teach and shave our clients bases running times by 2 to 5 tenth of a second. Your statement “The initial movement to get going toward second is a weighing of the left foot so you can't be crossing it over yet.” The left foot should be firing forward and not anchor itself down.
My clients never get pickoff at first. For that matter no player should ever get pick off at first. If your players are getting pickoff at first, there mind is not in the game or they are doing something stupid like taking too great of a lead off. Even if it is a left hand pitcher, you should not get pick off at first. If your players study the pitchers movements like you suppose, this will not happen.
We both agree that that you start with a wide stance. I say this is so you can move in either direction. You say that you teach to get more weight on your right leg. I say this makes you vulnerable to "get caught leaning".
You keep saying "lean forward". That to me means that you are leaning toward the pitcher. To lean toward second is to lean to the side. Base runners are facing the infield therefore "side stepping" or "jab stepping" is toward second so your claim that it makes it a longer distance to second is just wrong.
The only difference between my jab step and your cross over step is that your technique teaches to keep the right foot in contact with the ground while the left foot is pushing to initiate the break toward second. Notice that we are all talking about a "jab step" and not a full stride with the right foot. In the jab step, it is only off the ground by a few inches and it is only until the pivot is made and then the first full stride is with the cross over and I can get to this point at the exact time that you can achieve the cross over in your technique.
High speed video analysis shows the jab step but it does not show the exact same thing happening in the cross over which is that the most weight is on the left foot to get moving to the right. You show your athletes this video and convince them that they are losing time with the jab step that most people have naturally. It is natural because it works. A video can't show what the athlete is feeling. He is feeling static with his weight on both feet equally so he can break back to the base on a pick off move or to the next base on a steal. To break this inertia (Google it if you need the definition of inertia) he has to unweigh the side that he is moving to. This can be achieved whether or not that foot lifts off the ground. Lifting it is the jab step and feathering it on the ground is the cross over. Any one that argues against this law of physics is either misinformed or trying to sell something...or both.
Michael, this is very interesting comment. We train professional athletes. This is Mark Brown in high school, participating in a national All Star game for MLB. What you see as horrendous base running, the Cleveland Indians saw the potential and they draft him out of high school. Your critical analysis of others does not carrier any weight. Checkswing is a great forum to share ideas. They make not all be for you. Believe it or not, whether you agree or disagree with someone does not make either one of you right or wrong. The bottom line is to put information out there that might be useful to someone if they have an open mind to try and understand it. What works for one athlete make not work for another! NO pitchers or batters are identical.