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How To Correct An Open Or Closed Landing

Written By: Luke Johnson

How To Correct An Open Or Closed Landing

Landing in a good position, in line with the middle of the field, and with a strong foundation, is the start to every great swing. So, when we land with our hips already open or closed off, we are setting ourselves up for failure from the start. Doing either of these things could cause you to have bad direction, less power, and less time in the zone.

When we step open, or commonly referenced as “stepping in the bucket”, our hips will begin to open prematurely. When this happens, we lose the stretch created throughout our load and our barrel will follow the direction that our hips take, causing us to have poor direction through the zone. This bad direction will also leave us wondering why we can’t get to pitches on the outer half of the plate.

Luke Davis gif

As you can see Khris Davis steps open and he does this on just about every swing. From 2016-2018 he tore the cover off the ball and made a name for himself. With the position his stride puts him in it forces him to side bend way more than most to be able to cover the outer part of the zone which many people would not be able to do because of physical limitations.

When we close ourselves off in our stride, it will cause our rotation to be slower and our front hip will stop us from being able to finish our turn. This will leave our hips closed at contact and our barrel pushing towards the opposite field gap. When our barrel pushes through the zone it causes us to take away the inner part of the plate and take a lot of balls off the hands.

Luke Altuve

For some, like Jose Altuve, this can be a beneficial move because it helps the hips to decelerate. If the hips do not decelerate then the barrel cannot accelerate as fast. The people who this stride could benefit are individuals with hypermobile hips, which is kind of like being double jointed. People who are hypermobile need extra help to decelerate their turn. With that being said, this is not going to benefit the majority and will actually cause harm to the speed of rotation. 

Luke Arozarena

The reason we want to stride in line is the same reason why you tell pitchers to step towards their target. It keeps everything in line to the direction they want to throw. Just like the examples I have shown you above of some of guys that can get away with these flaws, there are elite pitchers and throwers that can as well. However, just because Chris Sale can step crossed his body, doesn’t mean that Johnny from next door should be trying to do the same thing. The elite players who can get away with these strides are either helping to correct a direction problem or they’re athletic and flexible enough to get away with it. So, for the other 99% of us, a good stride in line with the pitcher is important to hold good direction.

Drill To Correct Stride Problems

Correcting this problem is easier than most mechanical adjustments; it just takes awareness. The reason why we do it on a wall or cage net is so we can tell if we’re loading correctly and see where our stride is. 

Just remember this one tip, stride in line so you can have a good time!

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