The Mechanics of a Baseball Swing

The same general principles apply for both baseball and softball swings, but in my experience, I have found that women have a harder time keeping their hands back and initiating a swing by opening their hips than do men. One of the fatal flaws in any swing occurs when a hitter becomes impatient and takes too large a first step. This gets their weight forward and players take early, desperate and weak cuts at a pitch.

Some of the cardinal rules are:

  • Eye on the ball
  • Weight Back
  • “Squash the Bug”
  • Keep Bathead Even

In the first stage of a swing, during a pitcher’s delivery or as they deliver, the batter should take a small step with their front foot. There is no weight transfer in the step: it acts a timing mechanism for the rest of the swing. A batter should always have the vast majority of their weight on their back foot at all times. Hold your hands where they are comfortable and avoid moving them before you swing. Quick hands are as important for good swings as any other fundamentals; excessive movement slows down swings and can get the bat out of proper position, resulting in foul-offs and pop-ups.

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As you track the ball in, open your hips first by pivoting on your back foot and “Squashing the Bug” as I was instructed to for so many years. Driving off of the back foot and opening the hips generates speed through the swing and makes it easier for the hands, and then the rest of the body, to come through the zone when swinging. Again, keep your weight back as you swing and take your power from opening the hips. As you open your hips, your hands will naturally begin to follow through with your upper body, really beginning the swing.

As you swing, don’t adjust the bathead to the pitch’s height, adjust your hands to get a level swing and create better contact (Don’t keep your hands at your waist and drop the bathead down to get a pitch just above the knees). Do not turn your hands over as you swing through: this drops the bat and can turn a triple into a pop-out by causing you to hit the ball at a lower spot than you intend. Make sure that your head travels from shoulder-to-shoulder, following the ball from the pitcher’s hand to your bathead to make solid contact.

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You should know how to swing at inside and outside pitches to take them where you want to prolong your at-bats and increase the number of hits you get.

Not quite clear, read more on:

  1. Hitting Tips to Improve your Baseball Swing – Pro Baseball Insider
  2. The Biomechanics of the Baseball Swing – Scholarly Repository
  3. Hitting mechanics – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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