Solving a hitting mechanics issue can be highly frustrating for any competitive athlete. I compare this problem to me trying to find the cause of a engine problem in my car… I usually have no idea where to start. Good news, there is hope for you here. I’m going to simplify your understanding of hitting mechanics in the hope that you can begin to solve your own issues with your swing.
Most of time, (close to 100%) I place the blame on the lower half of the body as causing the majority of kinks in a swing. I have even helped athletes correct their bat path by correcting how their weight transfers in their lower half. This being said, the first problem that usually occurs for many athletes is the failure to shift enough weight to the backside prior to the swing. Or, they let their weight shift forward before the swing occurs. Either way, much of the power and bat speed can be lost if either of these two scenarios occur.
Let’s start with the first problem, failure to shift weight to the back side. Most all hitters begin with their weight nearly evenly distributed on both legs during their stance position. When the pitcher begins his windup, the hitter will need to move some of the weight to the back leg. This is commonly referred to as getting into the load position. The purpose of this is to store up some energy to be used in creating bat
speed during the swing. So what happens when a hitter doesn’t shift any weight to the back leg? There is no ability for the lower body (back leg/hip) to be engaged in the baseball swing. This forces a hitter to create power with only his hands which is not an efficient usage of power.
The second hitting mechanics problem mentioned above occurs when a hitter loads his weight properly though just prior to rotation he shifts the weight forward towards his front leg. This problem creates much of the same effect as the result in the above paragraph – poor lower body power and the over-usage of the upper body in generating the power. Shifting the weight forward onto the front leg prior to rotating prevents the hips from opening. When this happens, it becomes virtually impossible to hit inside pitches with any amount of consistency.
The only solution to the problems explained above is to keep the weight back at the beginning of the swing, and balanced in the center to center-front at the swing finish. A sure sign of weight-transfer problems is when the front knee is bent while making contact with the ball.