I noticed after looking at pictures and videos of my players last season that alot of them had all kinds of different batting stances. Some looked good and some just were not right. So, I decided I would fix it from the first day of practice. The problem was how to fix it fast and in a group environment. Here’s what I did and it should work for any age group.
Batting Stance Assessment & Correction
At the beginning of practice I tell all the players to grab a bat and meet me at the pitchers mound. I tell them to get in a big circle facing in towards me. I’m standing on the rubber in the middle of the circle.
I ask them to take a few steps backward until I’m sure there is a safe space between each of them.
We then all do some stretching and rotating exercises with the bats to loosen up.
Then I tell them to put their bats on the ground facing me and spread their feet about shoulder length apart or just a little wider. A comfortable A-frame batting placement. Because they are all facing me, their feet are all facing straight forward, they way you would want them.
With all the players in a circle facing me, I can quickly look around the circle and correct any wrong foot placement. I can look and correct all the players on the team within 30 seconds. I can also ask assistant coaches to walk around behind the players and help correct any wrong placement.
Next–we dance. I start calling out Left-Right-Left-Right and demonstrate weight transfer from my back foot to the front foot. Since all the players are in the circle and facing me, they all see me demonstrating the rhythm of the weight transfer and they can all see each other for an example of what we are doing.
Then I ask them to dangle their arms in front of them and swing their arms with the rhythm of the weight transfer…back foot…front foot…back foot..
front foot. Then they pick up their bats and do the weight transfer dance while holding their bats out in front of them perpendicular to their bodies.
Then I yell “lock it up”. All the players get set into their bat ready stance and hold as if waiting for a pitch.
At this point I can again look around quickly and check the stances, make sure of feet placement, weight on the back foot, hand and arm placement, head placement and the coaches walk around behind the guys and correct any problems.
When I’m sure everyone is in a correct stance I yell “load and swing”. They all load, step, swing and hold.
The coaches and I check the finish of each player. We check the hip rotation, where the hands finish, straight front leg, not too wide of a front step/foot spacing, back foot twist (squish the bug), and head down.
Again, because everyone is in a circle facing me, I can quickly walk around and make adjustments in a very short amount of time.
If any player is having a difficult time getting the idea of any part of this drill, I can easily demonstrate all of the steps with all of the players watching me all at the same time. With a 5-15 minute drill I’ve got every player on the same page of what I want their batting stance and swing to look like.
We do this at the beginning of each practice and it gets quicker each time. Once I have all players using a good and correct batting stance and swing, we then continue other hitting drills.
Our first batting practice this season was very promising and players only needed some small tweaking on their stances because they all knew what we wanted their stances and swings to look like from the very beginning.