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Baseball - The Batting Stance

Baseball coach Mike Cassidy demonstrates proper batting stance.

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Coach Cassidy, I am the lead hitting instructor here at the Virginia Baseball Club. Weve been doing camps and baseball instruction in the area for going on nine years now. Were about to have another facility in Woodbridge, Virginia. Over a 100 wins in my career at Everett and I stayed on coach. I was assistant coach in University working with the hitters and the outfielders. It takes a lot of hand-eye coordination, a lot of patience and a lot of balance. In the five steps were going to run through, are going to help you to become a successful hitter. Whether I am working with little leaders, high school kids or college kids, theres five basic steps in a swing, the way you hit. Theres five things that you must do to be a successful hitter; very, very basic things. Step one starts with the stance, 90% of hitting is mental. So, you got to be comfortable, you got to be confident and that all starts in your stance. First thing you want to do when you get up to the plate, just come up and touch the outside corner. If we cant reach the outside corner without reaching too far then were not going to be able to cover the whole plate. Next thing we want to do is set our feet, our feet should be a little bit further than shoulder width apart. The wider I am the more balance I have. Always want to keep our weight on the balls of our feet, never ever on our heels, whether were hitting, fielding, running, pitching, throwing, catching, never ever do we want to have our weight on our heels, always on the balls of our feet. Slight bending the knees and what I like to teach is to keep the chest right over the toes. We dont have to be bent way over here, but we want to have our chest a little bit over the toes as opposed to being straight up. If I get straight up my weight starts getting on my heels and then I am falling away from the plate. When we hold the bat, very important, were lot stronger on our fingers than in our palms, and I see a lot of guys come in here and hold the bat in their palms and now the bat is loose. So, when you grab a bat just roll it into your fingers, right here always you want to have a door knocking knuckles lined up. Good way to check that, put your hands on the bat, point your index fingers, theyre lined up, youre good to go. So, from there, we got our grip. When were in our stance we want to have our bat with our hands right at our back shoulder, not too far back, not too far up, right off our back shoulder. This is a nice comfortable hitting position. My front shoulder facing the pitcher, my eyes always on the pitcher; were looking at the pitcher until he shows that ball. Once he shows that ball, everything is concentrating on the baseball.

Last thing, I want to talk about with the stance is see a lot of kids, lot of high school players do this, getting the bat right here or straight up. We want to have that bat barrel directly behind our head. This is a good hand slot to throw the bat to the ball. Thats the basic, thats the basic parts of a stance, not every stance is going to be the same, but with those principles you can find something thats comfortable for you.