Updated: Dec 18, 2020
The Body-Hitting connection is one of the foundations of our baseball performance programs. This concept establishes how swing efficiency and common swing characteristics are directly related to how the body is functioning. Did you know that we can predict what your swing will look like just by observing how you move? Yes, physical limitations in your body can contribute to common swing characteristics such as loss of posture, casting the hands, hanging back, drifting and loss of base.
This is a relatively new concept to baseball and it is something that has traditionally been overlooked in hitting instruction. However, thanks to organizations such as OnBase University we can better understand this relationship and help you create a swing that best matches your physical capabilities. This will likely help you to have a more efficient, consistent and powerful swing.
I think the easiest way to understand this concept is to see a real life example of how we can apply this information. Below is a video of a hitter who has a tendency of swaying during his negative move during the swing. A sway is defined as the back knee moving outside the middle of the back foot. This creates an extra move during the swing that can lead to inconsistency, difficulty with timing and also make it more difficult to optimize ground reaction force.
What does this have to do with this player's body and movement? The ability to properly load the back leg requires good mobility of the back hip and ankle as well as good strength, balance and stability of the back leg. When screening this players movement with the OnBase University Hitting screen we found significant limitations in the mobility of the right hip and ankle. When these physical limitations are present it is very common to see compensations such as sway. As you can see in the video above when his movement screen was entered into the OnBase University app it predicted there was a 83% likelihood that he would sway during his swing.
Could this just be due to poor technique or mechanics? Yes, that is a possibility, although it is likely that these underlying physical limitations in this case are a strong contributing factor. Trying to ask the player to simply quit swaying or provide drills to help with this will likely lead to less than ideal results as the player doesn't have the physical capabilities to perform what you are asking them to do. This can lead to frustration for both the player and the coach.
Working with a physical therapist or strength and conditioning coach to remove the physical limitation first could make it much easier on the coach and player to improve this in his swing. We work closely with all hitting coaches and instructors in this process to identify these connections and come up with the best plan for you. The coaches responsible for identifying the technical issue that they want to focus on. We will then focus on seeing if there are any underlying physical limitations contributing to the technical issue that need to be addressed. Based on this process, we can help differentiate if your problems are mechanical or physical in nature (or both) and help get you on the right path to achieving your goals
Contact us today to learn about your Body-Hitting Connection.