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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hitting a Baseball - Which Stance is Best?

By Nate Barnett

There are a lot of professional baseball hitters setting up with an open stance today. If you're not totally sure what an open stance is, it's when the front foot is back further away from home plate as compared to the back foot. Sometimes the front foot will also be pointed slightly toward the pitcher.

I've seen and heard quite a bit of discussion within baseball circles about the positioning of the stance as far as what works and what doesn't in preparing a hitter. The question I will answer is: Does a particular style of stance give a hitter a better chance at hitting a baseball hard versus the other?

The quick answer is no it doesn't make a difference on how a hitter stands when determining his eventual success in hitting a baseball. Having said that, here are a couple thoughts of caution to pay attention to if you work with a hitter who chooses to stand with an open stance.

1. An open stance will take a little bit more time to move into the preparation or load position when a hitter shifts his weight to his back leg. Because of this extra time, the hitter must make sure his timing is right and he generates movement sooner than he would if he was in a regular stance position (with both feet parallel and facing home plate).

2. An open stance often times provides the hitter with a better and more clear view of the pitcher as the eyes of the hitter are facing the pitcher more equally. Because the front part of the hitter's body is opened slightly, he will need to make certain as he moves into the load position that he closes his front side off to the pitcher.

*** I realize that I'm using terminology (load position) that may not be familiar to you. There are other articles I've written on that topic if you find yourself confused.***

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball designed to improve the mental game of baseball in athletes. Learn how to help your game by improving the skill of mental baseball

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick