When I say up, it has to be comfortably up for the hitter. I’m not saying up by their ear(although some hitters do), probably a good rule of thumb is about the top of the back shoulder. Some hitters will have difficulty with the idea of keeping their hands upthrough their swing, visualizing the need to drop the hands to “go get” lower pitches butwhat the coach must understand is that a hitter’s front shoulder needs to lead the path tothe ball, not the hands. Picking up your front shoulder in your peripheral vision as youbegin your stance and thinking of driving it toward the pitch, wherever it is pitched, lets ahitter visualize how they can keep their swing short, with hands up, to go get the ball. Nocompromise to the absolute, and the ability to both turn on inside pitches and stay closedon the outside pitches. With this understanding, hitters will go down with their bodiesmore effectively for slightly lower pitches and keep their swing in tact.When looking for hitter’s hands to stay up, watch for bobbing of the hands or a “hitch”but be careful that you don’t confuse a good trigger mechanism for a hitch. A hitch iswhere the hands bob late and do not get back up to the proper hitting position (theshoulder area). A timing mechanism for some hitters (Barry Bonds) is where they willdrop the hands and come back up & back as they load the swing. The hitch is bad; itwon’t get the hands up and the swing short. The timing mechanism is not bad and couldbe a good trigger for the hitter. Assess carefully.
Here is where balance becomes critical; but before we get to that let’s discuss “loading”or what I call rhythm hitting. One of the 1
Laws of Physics is that:A body at rest staysat rest unless an outside force acts on it. A body in motion will stay in motion unless anoutside force acts on it (Inertia).This means that to best start a powerful swing, we muststart from motion, not stand still mode. This is the reason for ‘loading’ the swing, to startthe motion and ensure inertia for maximum force.Loading can come in a variety of forms and is very unique for every hitter. The coach’s job becomes an observation of the load (or some would call it the trigger mechanism) andwhether the process the hitter is using is effective or works against the swing’s motion.Remember that an unrelated motion will not cause the same inertia, ie. if the handsmovement is straight down then back up
with no backward movement
, the verticalmovement does not create the inertia to go forward. Most timing dips go down and thenback (as they come up) creating the proper load: