Good vs Bad Head Movement and the term “Stay Back”

There is a term in baseball “stay back” that is used on a daily basis wether it be in games or practice. What happens 99% of the time is the term gets taken way too literally because people just don’t understand what it really means. You ask 10 people in the baseball world and you are likely to get 10 different versions. This is why players end up getting confused about the swing because everyone has a different meaning of the term. We are going to help you understand the true meaning of “Stay Back”

Staying back has to do with the head movement during the actual turn of the swing, just after the stride. So when you are not staying back, the head is actually moving forward while the body is attempting to turn the barrel. Basically you are using way too much body to swing (Front Side pulling the back side). The head needs to be centered/balanced at 50/50 in the hitting position and it needs to remain still during the turn of the swing. Imagine you have a pole being driven through the top of your head down out your rear end into the ground. It should turn around that axis.

It’s ok for hitters to have small, quiet head movement during their stride to ensure there is no head movement during the turn of their swing. Their head must be centered 50/50 between their feet when they get into their hitting position.

Most coaches try to fix the problem by saying “stay back” during their load and making a player take a very hesitant stride keeping all their weight (And Head) on their back side, causing an imbalance of their body. So what happens is the body NEEDS to balance itself back out before it can swing resulting in the body and head together moving forward (During your turn phase) causing significant problems with your swing. This is bad head movement and we don’t want that. In order to see the ball better while hitting it, your head needs to be still during the turn.

We want good head movement. Good head movement is when we take a normal feeling stride letting our head and body travel forward depending on the length of our stride (land on the ball of your foot not the tip toe to help this). Once the front foot locks down, the body should be 50/50 and balanced with your head in the middle between your feet. That is your hitting position by the way! From there the body should be able to turn easier and your back side should be turning your front side, keeping your head still. Again it is biomechanics in action. Being afraid to let your body move forward during your stride will make your body move forward when you really don’t want it to (During the turn).


Here is a great example of Carlos Correa using good head movement going forward and locking in on the turn keeping his head still during the turn or “staying back.” Watch how Carlos takes a normal feeling stride and his head and body move forward. Now once he gets his front foot set down into the ground he is centered 50/50. This body position is the best possible position your body can be in to turn efficiently with no wasted movement. That is why he is able to keep his head still during the turn of his swing.

So staying back actually isn’t referring to staying back during your load and stride. Is it staying back during the turn of the swing. For more help and training for your swing, Contact Us today!

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