Saturday, June 30, 2018

High Hands in the Stance Can Be Trouble

Yes.  I usually do not focus too much on the stance as truly it matters much less than the "Launch Position".
This hitter's hands are pretty much as high
as they should be.  In fact, this is a really
good Launch Position in all aspects.
The Launch Position is the phrase many use for the "loaded position".  This is the position the hitter is in when she begins her swing.   
There are seven components to the whole swing:

  1. Pre-Stance (some hitters have a little bit of a pre-stance where they are essentially standing and waiting before they get in their stance)
  2. Stance (usually static but sometimes has a little movement)
  3. Load (is a movement to prepare for the approach)
  4. Launch Position (at the end of the load/beginning of the approach - see the photo to the right)
  5. Approach (the forward movement of the hands. 
  6. Contact Point (where our body is positioned at contact)
  7. Followthrough (after contact)

The loaded position is much more important than the stance so I usually don't worry too much about the stance as long as the launch position is good.  However, a hitter that has high hands in her stance. (I would define high hands where the bottom hand is higher than the ears, but ideally, the bottom hand should be about the level of the back shoulder).

The problem with high hands in the stance is that they must "load" downward and this is counter-productive to power as we would rather load backward (toward the umpire).  Even more of a problem is if the hitter load is late, this will cause the hands to move faster than it should and faster than it usually does and the momentum will take the hands really low and creating a huge arc or uppercut in the swing.

So, if you are hitting well with high hands in your stance, then don't change where your hands are but if you feel you are late to contact or you are rolling over more than you should or popping up too much...consider changing your hands to a lower position.  Changing your hand position is really an easy fix and can actually fix a lot of things. So, if you aren't hitting well and not sure what the cause is and you have high hands...start with lowering your hands in your stance.  It might help a lot more than you think!

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