There are many different attitudes concerning the stride. They all address one or more of these questions:
- How much weight?
- Which direction?
- How high and how wide ?
- Should we stride at all?
An instructor during my pro days who was teaching me how to hit in baseball told me that if the pitch is straight down the middle, step forward. If the pitch is outside, step toward the outside, and if the pitch is inside, step inside. The problem is that against good velocity, there is absolutely no way for a hitter to wait until after he determines the direction of the pitch before he takes his stride. He will always be late getting to the pitch and will have extreme difficulty with his timing.
Another method made famous by Kirby Puckett, is to raise the front foot in an exaggerated hop-step stride. Many hitters who try this method struggle because they cannot get the front foot down in time to start the stroke.
Our Super 8 Hitting System techniques are simple, easy and repeatable.
Here is a very important principle: THE STRIDE DOESN’T HIT THE BALL. It merely gets us in position to hit the ball. This means the hands are still back at the completion of the stride. The stride overcomes inertia and supports the hitter against the fastball.
If the pitch is a fast ball, the action would be “stride-stroke”. If the pitch is slower, there would be a momentary pause. Example: ”stride-(pause) stroke”.
The stride is initiated by the large muscle in the upper leg (hip thigh area), which keeps it consistent.
Here are the rules:
- The stride travels only 6 inches, directly forward, in the same place every time.
- It occurs at the time of pitcher release.
- It distributes approximately 30-40% of the weight to the front side, and lands on the ball of the foot, which remains closed, open no more than 45°, which usually happens during the pivot. Some players stride in a “toe tap”, with no significant weight on the front foot. If a player places only 10% of his weight down on his stride, how will he get 90% more of his weight off his back side when he rotates to the pitch? He can’t.
- It happens quickly, getting the batter into position to hit.
Finally, never underestimate the importance of a good stride. It is part of the hitter’s timing. When he’s striding, he’s deciding.
The hitter must work on his stride in his baseball batting drills, using either live or pitching machine practice, so that he can drill “stride and take”, just concentrating on technique.
These techniques are fully explained in our baseball hitting tips web site for the “Super 8 Hitting System”, completely demonstrated in eight baseball hitting videos, which include many tips on how to hit in baseball.