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Hitting 201

Advanced Hitting Concepts

Posture & Shoulder Tilt

Hitters should maintain good upper body posture through the swing. This does NOT mean a hitter should stay upright through the swing. In fact, the hitter should have their chest over their knees and belly button pointing down at the plate.


As the hitter rotates their shoulders should tilt towards the strike zone, but the spine should not bend. Instead, the hitter's back hip should be lower than the front hip, which lowers the back shoulder as it comes through the hitting area. The angle of the barrel should approximately match the angle of the shoulders at contact.


Separation aka “Rubber Band Effect”

Separation is a critical part of creating bat speed. Separation occurs at two points in the swing:

- During the stride, the front leg extends towards the pitcher and the hands work back to separate from the center of the chest. Video

- At the beginning of the rotation phase, the hips rotate first and the shoulders stay closed, keeping the hands back. As the hips and shoulders separate, the core muscles get stretched like rubber bands until the shoulders fire.



Bat Path

A good bat path is critical for timing and solid contact. The phrase to remember is “short to the ball, long through the ball. Think of a Nike “Swoosh” logo, with the short end of the curve representing the path from the starting position into the strike zone, then the long tail representing extension through the ball.


Another element of bat path is the “attack angle” or path through the strike zone. Pitches are traveling through the strike zone at a downward angle, and we want to create a head-on collision between the bat and the ball. If the bat is also traveling down through the strike zone, contact will typically be a glancing blow that will lead to a ground ball or weak “chip-shot” line drive/fly ball. If the bat is traveling slightly upward, to match the angle of the pitch traveling downward, a head-on collision will create hard-hit line drives.




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