Loading the Swing
There are hundreds of different stances in the MLB alone, not to mention high school and college baseball. But the one fundamental that has stayed consistent throughout is loading the swing. Watch the best hitters in the game, the stance will change from batter-to-batter, but the load is similar with all of them. Why is that? Because we hit from the load position, not the stance. It hasn't changed throughout the generations. Babe Ruth, Josh Gibson, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Hank Aaron, and the list goes on into this generation of great hitters. They all loaded up to hit the baseball, and they all looked similar doing it. They all understood that the load helped them to generate more bat-speed during the transition phase of the swing.
What Is the Load?
Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn said, "hitting is timing, and pitching is upsetting timing". Sounds simple, right? Well, it really is. If a pitcher can upset a hitter's timing, he wins the battle. I will also add rhythm to the equation, but that will be explained in another article. The load is simply a slight movement to the back side of the body which allows a hitter to develop more power as he starts the swing. The load is the position that a hitter actually hits from, not the stance. That is why more emphasis should be placed on the proper load position than the stance. When the hitter is in the load position, about 70 percent of the body weight should be on the back side. From this position the batter is ready to transition for launch or the start of the swing.
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