Thursday, January 18, 2018

Don’t Sit Back

January 24, 2012 by  
Filed under PT Blog

Why Keeping the Weight Back is a Really Bad Idea.

This is a gamble that many coaches are taking when they talk about keeping the weight back.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice that great hitters move forward prior to launching their swing.  And if a player is moving forward prior to launching the swing, then why on earth would we say keep your weight back?  Do you want forward movement prior to launching the swing or not?  If you do, then staying back has to be eliminated from your vocabulary.

Coaches that believe that there is a forward movement prior to launching the swing should not be telling their players to keep their weight back.  You can’t send mixed messages to your players and expect them to be successful.  If a body is moving forward, then it is moving forward.  You can’t move forward and stay back at the same time; it just doesn’t work that way.

Now, I guess, if you are teaching your players to squish the bug and hit off the backside, then you could probably use the phrase stay back, if that is really what you are teaching.  But, why would you want to teach a player to sit back and hit off the backside when we know the best hitters in the game do exactly the opposite.  They move forward prior to launching their swing and they hit off their front side.

It is much easier for a player to stop their swing motion then to rapidly start it.   This is exactly what you are seeing with great hitters. As a player loads and strides forward, they are doing so in anticipation of the pitch.  This process of loading and slowly shifting forward happens as the pitcher is in their wind up on every pitch, regardless of actual location.  If the pitch happens to be what they are looking for then firing the swing and going into their heel drop is a simple and natural sequence.

 If the pitch is NOT in their “zone” (not what they are looking for), then halting the swing is simply a process of NOT going onto heel drop.  We call this a “toe brake” and “checking” the swing. Both the “swing” and the “check swing” occur on the front side, not the back.  There is not sitting back, staying back or waiting.  There is forward motion “fire”, or forward motion “stop.”  A timing issue nothing more.



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