The Stride

Just as there are many ways to stand in the box, there are many variations of getting into the stride position.  Players like Mike Trout, Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson and others use a high knee hitch or lift, loading a good deal of weight inside the back foot and then striding toward the pitcher, while others like Albert Pujols have a simple front heel lift and very little if any step forward.  There is no one correct way to stride, but there are some moments of truth when the stride foot lands that I have found common among great hitters. They include:

 

1.  The feet getting into an athletically wide position (I prefer the feet to be as wide as the length of the bat).

2.  The hands being set around shoulder height with some flex in the front arm.

3.  The bat being angled behind the head with knob pointing to the ground behind the hitter.

4.  The weight sitting more inside the back foot than the front (60/40).

5.  The back elbow at shoulder height or slightly below.

6.  Landing softly on the inside of the front foot ("testing the ice").

 

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