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  • Writer's pictureJared

What is The Body-Swing Connection In Baseball?

What is the relationship between your body and your swing? If you haven't considered this you could missing out on a significant area for improved performance. The OnBase University Hitting Screen was designed to evaluate baseball specific movement patterns and see they how they relate to the baseball swing. While we believe that each athlete should have certain fundamental movement patterns, each sport will have its own unique movement patterns. The OnBase University screen consists of 12 tests which look at these specific movement patterns for hitting. These tests can be grouped into four “gangs”:

1. Rotation: Toe tap test, Hip 45 Test, Seated Trunk Rotation test

2.Core Control: Pelvic Tilt Test, Pelvic Rotation Test

3. Stable Posture: Wide squat Test, Lateral Step Test, Ankle Rocking Test

4. Live and Independent Hands: Shoulder 46 Test, Separation Test, Holding Angle Test, Hitch Hiking Test

The OnBaseU Hitting Screen

After we screen the player, we now have an idea of what they can and cannot physically do. This information allows you to build a swing around what you can physically do. This tends to work much better than forcing you into a certain swing style that your body isn’t physically capable of achieving. Instead of fighting to get your swing to look more like somebody else's, unlock your own athleticism and potential to play at a higher level. If you can physically perform the movement pattern, this gives you flexibility and options for your swing.

If you cannot physically perform the movement you have two options:

1. You can teach around the limitation

2. You can address the physical limitation and then coach the new pattern you want to develop

Next, we will assess your swing using video and 3-D analysis. We will look at your swing characteristics from the video. There are 13 common swing inhibitors to an efficient and powerful swing (this is not to see others don’t exist). These include characteristics such as casting the hands, sway, drifting, loss of posture, and hanging back. These swing characteristics often times have an underlying physical cause. When we identify a physical limitation with a swing characteristic/inhibitor present that is called a body-swing connection.

Let’s use the following example to demonstrate how the body swing connection works:

The athlete is a right handed hitter. He has a tendency to sway when he tries to load into his back leg. His parent also notes that he has a tendency to have a false step/turning out of the back foot as he loads in the back leg, but can't seem to correct it.

During the OnBaseU physical screen he presents with significantly limited right hip internal rotation on the toe tap test as well as poor stability/balance on the right leg during the lateral step test.

These are two very common impairments which can contribute to the sway characteristic. To further complicate matters the player sets up with with his right foot turned inwards as you can see in the picture above. This further limits his already tight hip. Based on this information, it's no surprise why the player can't load properly into the back hip and almost has no choice but to sway especially with the way he is set up. After talking with the coach, player and parent it was discussed that the player would change setup to now have the back foot turned to a neutral or slightly flared position and will also work on improving his hip mobility in the process. We apply this same process with the other 12 common swing inhibitors. Stay tuned as we will be doing similar case studies of those swing characteristics

Contact us at 260-222-6157 or to learn more about our baseball performance assessments or to schedule your assessment today!

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