How the Load Affects the Swing

Written By: Garrett Gordon

How the Load Affects the Swing

Educating Coaches and Parents About the Load and the Swing

A lot of times coaches and parents are looking for a quick fix to a swing. They want a drill to perform without really having knowledge of the problem they're trying to correct.  Because of this, I'm not going to tell you a problem and how to fix it. I'm going to SHOW you the problem and what you should be looking for.  Stop just doing drill after drill without trying to dive in further.  Learn how the load affects the swing.

The First Move is Vital

When a hitter initially starts to prepare their body to hit and time up the pitch.  Whether it is a leg kick, toe tap, short stride, long stride, or no stride there are a couple of things you need to be mindful of.  You will see in the video below that 'swaying back' will be detrimental to how the hitter times up and sees the ball. 

Three Takeaways of the "Sway Back"

1.Head Movement

  • Swaying back in the load is not optimal for keeping your head position consistent when seeing the ball. 
  • We see and perceive the ball depending on how much our body and head move. 
  • Therefore,  understanding how to coil and hinge to keep your head in a more optimal position is vital for the success for any hitter.  

2.Back Hip Position: 

  • Swaying back not only moves the head position all over the place but also the center of your mass.
  • The back hip does not sway back it needs to stay inside of the back foot and leg. 
  • If you can keep your back hip stacked inside your back leg it will help hitter stay centered with their mass. 
  • Controlling your body is important when it comes to hitting in games and in the cage. 

3.Back Hip and Glute Engagement: 

  • People say use your legs and what not and I know what they mean by that but hitters may actually think they use their legs. 
  • Power comes from setting the body up and creating separation. 
  • Being able to hinge and coil into the back hip allows for the back hip and glute to engage.
  • This is when all those squats and deadlifts come into play.

What to Look for at Foot Strike aka "Launch Position"

Two Takeaways 

1.Head Position: 

  • At this point, the hitter is about to fully commit to the swing. 
  • As you saw when Jamal swayed back and forward it caused his head position to be farther forward than when he loaded properly. 
  • With his head position farther forward he has cut down the distance he can time and perceive the ball. 
  • This needed to be addressed so that Jamal can see the ball better and become more accurate with his barrel. 

2.Hip and Shoulder Separation: 

  • Due to the fact that swaying back causes so much movement of the center mass of the hitter it truly limits their ability to create the proper hip and shoulder separation
  • How a hitter loads and gets to launch position all changes how they hit the ball and how hard they will hit it. 

What to Look for at Contact

Key Point

Back Hip and Knee: 

  • In regards to what happens with the back hip and knee, you saw how Jamal wasn't able to get in the right position. 
  • This all stems from how he initially prepared his body to move. 
  • You can see how from start to finish that swaying back when a hitter loads does not get the hitter ready to perform.

One Drill To help Not Feel the 'Swayback'

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