Coaches Corner - Hitting Vol. 1

As pitchers get better and throw harder, the reaction time a hitter has to make his decision and swing gets shorter and shorter. One of the building blocks we teach here at All Star helps eliminate extra movement in the swing. The secret is to separate the "trigger" from the swing.

In every athletic motion there are two parts. First, there is a small action getting the body in position. This preparation phase, or trigger, is typically small, slow, and in the opposite direction of the main action. The second part is the main action.

In this case we are talking about the swing itself. When you get a chance to watch baseball on TV and see the professionals, pay close attention to how they prepare to swing. Many of them have different stances, but when the pitcher is about to release the pitch, they all have a triggering mechanism that puts them in the correct position to swing. What you will also notice is that they take this trigger every pitch, not just when they swing.

The correct timing should be as follows: 1) Trigger, 2) decide 'if' to swing, 3) decide 'when' to swing, then 4) swing. All too often youth players suffer when the timing is: 1) Decide to swing, 2) trigger, 3) decide when to swing, then 4) swing. This becomes problematic at higher levels because the trigger takes valuable time away from the decision process. When a hitter commits to swinging (or not swinging) too early he or she has less information about speed, spin, and location, leaving the hitter vulnerable to off-speed pitches and breaking balls. By putting the decision immediately before the swing and everything else before the decision, the hitter can make the most informed decision possible before committing to a pitch.

In order to practice this, you have to incorporate it into each drill. If you are working on a tee make sure to have the hitter in his stance looking at the pitcher. Before he swings, have him take the trigger and pull his eyes to the ball. After a short hesitation, swing normally. For soft-toss or front-toss, have the trigger take place while your hand is moving back. Make sure the trigger is finished before tossing. It is also important to have a reliable tempo with your movement back and toss. This allows you to hesitate right before the toss in order to simulate a change-up if desired. The idea is to be ready to hit and ready to wait from the trigger position.

All Star Indoor Training Complex

3199 46th Ave N
St. Petersburg, FL 33714

(727) 528-3186


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