Daily Deals

Get our tips & specials!


we respect your privacy

Hittingworld.com, Sporting Goods - Retail, San Carlos, CA




(Your shopping cart is empty)

  Home > Tips, Drills & Articles >

  The Crucial Power Swing Sequence
Dave Hudgens Hitting Article


 
By Dave Hudgens

Product Code: ART2
 

Description
 
New Page 1

The Crucial Power Swing Sequence  

by Dave Hudgens

 

I recently bought a car for my daughter that is a 5-speed stick shift. Teaching a teenage girl how to drive a stick has been interesting. There is a sequence to the process. When driving a stick, you have to:

  • Push the clutch in
  • Turn the key
  • Combine the clutch with the gas pedal
  • Ease into first gear

 

It sounds easy but takes a while to get to work smoothly. That process only puts you in first gear. You now start another sequence to get into the next gear and so on. Just as there are sequences to driving a 5 speed, so it goes also with the swing. The proper sequence is essential to having consistent success at the plate.

 

SWING SEQUENCE

  • When your stride foot comes down, your weight needs to be balanced to 60% back with your hands around the back foot. This is a critical position to be in to hit for average and power.
  • The stride should start early, it should be easy and your stride foot should be down by the time the ball gets half way to three quarters of the way to home plate.
  • After the stride, as the front heel lands, the back heel should start to lift off the ground. This will start the proper sequence with the lower half of the body.
  • This is not a two part movement.
  • As the back heel comes up the rotation of the hips will start.
  • You don't want to push forward off your back foot- this will force your hips to slide forward, you want more of a rotational movement at this point.
  • Just after the backside starts turning, your hands will start their path to the ball.

 

PROPER TAKES


I can tell by looking at a hitter's take whether or not he has a good approach, if he is going to over swing, or if he is going to be under control. The take is so important because it is the first sequence in the approach to the ball. If the take is hard, the swing is going to be hard and out of control. Many mechanical breakdowns occur when the swing is out of control. If the take is easy, more than likely the swing is going to be under control. If the swing is balanced and under control the sequence will work properly so you will be able to repeat your swing and have a good feel for what you are doing.  As a hitting instructor, when I see a hitter that has a nice take, not too hard and not too easy, I know he has a chance of success regardless of whom he is facing.

 

A proper take is one with good balance and proper heel - toe action. If the heel - toe action is correct, the hip sequence is good. If I don't see the proper heel toe action, I know the hip sequence is incorrect. If the lower half action is correct, my eyes go to the hitter's hands. I want to see the hands start to every pitch. So as the back heel starts its turn, the hands will start their approach to the ball.

 

HAND PATH


Let's examine the path the hands will take through the swing. The goal of the swing is to keep the barrel of the bat in the strike zone for as long as you can.

  • Get the barrel of the bat in the strike zone with the shortest possible angle.
  • Keep the barrel of the bat in the strike zone for as long as possible.
  • Finish with extension out front with a good follow through.

 

If you do this, you will have an efficient swing, one that will be consistent and repeatable. Staying inside the ball will:

  • Allow you to make adjustments with your hands on different types of pitches
  • Help you to keep the barrel of the bat in the strike zone for a long time
  • Keep your wrists cocked and the barrel back for better bat speed.

 

Keeping the barrel of the bat in the contact zone as long as possible is what you want to do. This reduces your margin for error. Your timing does not have to be perfect. Every good Major League hitter stays inside the ball. Staying inside the ball allow you to be accurate with the barrel of the bat to the ball which will allow you to hit for high average and increased power as you gain more strength. Picture this: imagine someone driving a rod through your shoulder, through your back leg, and through the knee. The line should be straight through your body with your back heel up. You will either end up on the top of the toe, or just turning a bit on the ball of the foot. I prefer that you get up onto the back toe to make sure your weight is in the center position at the point of contact. After contact, and during your follow through, your weight will be balanced. The key here is to go from back to center.

 

LEVERAGE


Leverage plays a very important role in the process of hitting for power. It is one of the components of having a firm foundation. If you don't hit against a firm front leg, you will not create the needed leverage for power hitting.

  • When you start your approach to the ball, the back heel will come off the ground.
  • At this point the front knee will start to firm up.
  • This will help push the front hip out to give you the correct hip action.
  • If your front knee is bent, and by that I mean not firm, (because there can be a slight flex in the knee yet still be firm) you will lose a tremendous amount of power.

 

90% of kids that play baseball at the youth league level have long swings. They can get away with it for awhile but it eventually catches up to them as they advance in their playing career. It's unfortunate because with the proper instruction, many of these kids could have a shorter, more explosive swing which would lead to success.  A long swing can be a result of:

  • Using too heavy a bat.
  • Having used an aluminum bat which has such a large sweet spot that gives the appearance of a good swing which can be deceptive until you face good pitching.
  • Trying to hit the ball too far and over swinging.
  • Casting the barrel of the bat out from your back shoulder, thus forcing your hands away from your body. This action forces you to use your upper body to swing the bat and you are no longer using your wrists to their full advantage.
  • Not getting into a strong position soon enough.
  • Improper sequence of swing.

 

It is very important to take a proper and consistent angle to the ball; the lower half of your body is what allows you to take this angle. If the feet and hips are not working correctly, the hands and arms will not be able to take the correct path to the ball. Also mentally the hitter must not be thinking home run or have these types of thoughts in his mind. These thoughts will throw off the proper swing rhythm and sequence of the swing. The approach must be fundamentally sound from the ground up or somewhere along the line you will reach your ceiling and improvement will stop. This is why it is so vital that these mechanics are learned as soon as possible, the more time that lapses, the more difficult it becomes to overcome.

 

- Dave Hudgens has been involved with the best of baseball for over 30 years. He is currently the Minor League Hitting Coordinator for the Cleveland Indians. Prior to that he was a longtime hitting coach in the Oakland Athletics' organization.

Be sure to check out Coach Hudgens'
Hitting for Excellence DVD Series
:


Suggested Products...
Hitting for Excellence DVDs
Our Price: $99.95
Deal of the Day Price: $72.90

Add
Hitting for Excellence Instructional Video Series
CoachDeck Baseball Drill Cards
Our Price: $19.95

Add
CoachDeck Baseball Practice Drill Cards
Hitting for Excellence 6
Sale Price: $17.95

Add
Hitting for Excellence Explosive Training Video
Hitting for Excellence 1
Sale Price: $16.95

Add
Hitting for Excellence Swing Mechanics Video
Hitting for Excellence 5
Sale Price: $17.95

Add
Hitting for Excellence Q and A Video
Hitting for Excellence 3
Sale Price: $17.95

Add
Hitting for Excellence Short Stroke Video
Hitting for Excellence 2
Sale Price: $17.95

Add
Hitting for Excellence Curveball & Power Hitting Video
Hitting for Excellence 4
Sale Price: $17.95

Add
Hitting for Excellence Vision Training Video


Browse for more products in the same category as this item:

Tips, Drills & Articles
HittingWorld.com
1480 Moraga Rd #I-272
Moraga, CA 94556
Ph: (877) 300-0087
Fax: (650) 472-8975
 About Us
 Gift Certificates
 Become an Affiliate
 Privacy Policy
 Send Us Feedback
 
The Hitting World Facebook Page Hitting World YouTube Channel Follow Hitting World on Twitter
Company Info | Shipping & Returns | Product Index | Category Index | Help | Terms of Use
Copyright © 2014 B Side Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Built with Volusion

Hitting World is Upfront