The Batting Stance

There are three diferent terms that describe the batting

stance. They are balanced, open and closed. These approaches to hitting have been developed since the beginning of the game and even in today's modern game these stances remain prevalent. There are a couple of variations like more open or more closed but other than these three terms, there's really no other way to stand in the batter's box.

Which one is the best? Which one should you use? The answer is totally up to you, because the main object of batting is to hit the ball and be relaxed doing it. No one would question you if you went up to the plate stood on your head and managed to get a hit with that particular approach, although it's highly unlikely.

This page and the illustrations provided will give you a step by step approach to the proper hitting techniques and is designed to show you how to approach a particular batting stance. We will show you what we feel has been a success for the majority of the hitters and these check points can possibly make you a better hitter if you apply them to a regular routine. Remember never get away from the basics. For more on batting stances and drills please refer to the following page The Batting Stance

How far from the plate should I be when I get in the batter's box? To determine how far away from the plate you should be, start at the plate and put one foot behind the other (heel to toe). Once you do this hold the bat and place it over the plate. You should be able to touch the outside corner with the barrel of the bat.

Next for the normal or balanced batting stance we want to set our stride mark and align our toes When starting out you can use a 2x4 or simply draw a line in the sand to replace the board. Notice how the front foot is aligned with the back portion of home plate where the plate begins to angle towards the catcher. This is the basic starting point for the batting stance and depending on how the pitcher is throwing will determine if you should move up or move back in the batter's box. That would be the only adjustment in the batting stance when choosing the normal approach. These steps are also important because they help us get balanced in the batter's box and by aligning our shoulders and legs up to the pitcher.

Next we want to relax and bend our knees keeping our legs a least a shoulder's width apart. The front knee should be turned in slightly towards the back knee as they pinch together while our weight should be evenly distributed on both legs. When doing this you can also cock your hip by turing the hip slightly towards the back portion of home plate. Remember hitting starts from the ground up so the legs and hip are extremly important to hitting a baseball. We want to explode our hips towards the pitcher.

The batting stance, as far as choosing an open or closed position goes, there are pros and cons for each. The open stance shown on the left is good if you find yourself stepping in the "bucket" when a pitch is thrown. The bucket refers to the outside line of the batter's box. Usually if you start in the open position you won't open the batting stance further from the plate when the pitch is thrown, instead the idea here is that the batter will bring his front foot towards the plate when swinging. The open stance also could also help the batter if he is having trouble hitting a curve ball. Opening the stance sometimes allows a batter to see the ball better. The downside is that you wind up doing the even / balanced / normal stance so you have added an extra step to get there.

The closed stance shown to the right has the batter place his lead foot closer towards the plate. Againg this adds an extra step in the process. The batter with a closed stance is more likely to throw open his front shoulder thus losing power and possibly tightening up or inhibiting his swing. Notice how the toes in both stances are not aligned one leg is out the other is in.

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