Baseball Batting Tips: How to Execute the Proper Stride

A great way to keep a rhythm throughout your swing is to step or stride toward the pitcher. Learn how to add this technique to your swing while still keeping a balanced, relaxed approach to the ball.

A great way to keep a rhythm throughout your swing is to step or stride toward the pitcher. Learn how to add this technique to your swing while still keeping a balanced, relaxed approach to the ball.

The majority of hitters take a stride when hitting, which helps the timing of their swing. Alignment and direction are key in executing a proper stride. It is also important to land softly and in an athletic position. The front foot should land on the flat or on the inside ball of the foot to create a good launch position. One common flaw with young hitters is that they will stride “open”, rotating their hips away from the plate, instead of back toward the pitcher. This is called “stepping in the bucket” and is not the preferred method.

One method to work on to improve your stride is to put something lightweight behind your heel in line with the pitcher. Try a piece of foam or even an old t-shirt or towel. If you stride low and open, you’ll kick the object and get instant feedback that you are striding incorrectly. If you are striding “closed” with your front foot drifting too close to the plate, simply shift the item on the other side of your foot for the same impact. Work on this drill until you are comfortable striding toward the pitcher.

Some hitters will take more of a leg kick in their stride. For this, consider using the top of a ball bucket as you would the piece of foam, tee or towel. Place it where you stride when your front foot lands, open or closed. If you are not striding directly back at the pitcher, you’ll feel it under your foot immediately.

If you can land in the same spot with good alignment and direction back toward the pitcher, you have a better chance of hitting the ball consistently.