Some hitting coaches say a 2 to 3 inch stride length for batting is best and some say an 8 to 12 inch one is best. They are both right.
When you watch great major league hitters, most, if not all, do the same things to swing the bat, once the stride foot lands. Before that though, many major league hitters have their own style with how they initially setup and with their stride length. There is simply no one stride length fits all, when it comes to correct hitting mechanics. However, it is safe to say that all great players' stride- length takes them to the ideal balanced position, which is that position that allows them to perform such an explosive action under control and with ultimate speed.
This explains why there is no perfect stride length for baseball batting, as it varies depending on each player's individual style-setup. Players, who prefer a narrow initial stance, stride further to get to that ideal balance position and those, who like a wide stance to begin, have a short stride to attain ideal balance position.
With that in mind, one of the first thing coaches should do with young players, is to find and explain this ideal balance position. This balance position, not only helps with hitting, but with setting up to steal bases and for setting up in ready position on defense, among other things.
Many young players have trouble figuring out ideal balance position, so a couple of ways to help them include:
Having found this ideal balance position, coaches should measure it and give players that measurement, so they know when they are not getting to it. Using their baseball bat as a measurement device, generally, is the easiest measurement device and the most useful.
Once done, players can practice the stride length that takes them from their initial stance to this ideal balance position.
Losing balance after their swing is a good indicator that players are not getting to ideal balance position.
With very young players, it is best to have them hit initially from this ending balance position (no stride hitting) to help them get the feel for it.
It is a lot to expect inexperienced player to achieve the perfect stride length to the perfect balance position, so starting as close to ideal hitting position is best, meaning a short stride approach.
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.
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