Separate from the Pack
As I travel around to different ballparks and hitting facilities, I often enjoy trying to be a fly on the wall and just listen to hitting instruction. I am a firm believer in getting as many different views as possible because we, for the most part, speak the same language but just with different dialects. But when I get a little upset is when necessities of the swing get over looked and often times hardly ever talked about. You are just about guaranteed to hear “stay inside the ball” or “stay on top” or “Hit it the other way” at any game or hitting facility. Then you will see focus being driven on trying to fix that certain movement thinking that is the solution. But as we know now from the 8 Keys to a Great Swing, hitting is a succession of movements that is very dependent upon the previous movement to function efficiently and effectively. So instead of yelling out a bunch of useless hitting remarks that don’t fix anything, focus on what actually affects those. We are going to talk about one of them that is hardly ever mentioned among most facilities and ballparks but every great Major League hitter possesses it; Separation.
Separation is a necessity to keep the body in balance and in an athletic position so it can create more torque and bat speed resulting in harder hit baseballs.
Separation is a necessity to keep the body in balance and in an athletic position so it can create more torque and bat speed resulting in harder hit baseballs. When it comes to adjustments, even if you are fooled, having separation will still give you a chance to hit the ball with some authority because you have your top half loaded with your hands back in a good firing position. When your body is not in a natural and balanced state, you will not see the result you are looking for. It is simple biomechanics. Below is a great visual of separation, or the Rubber Band Effect.
Couple key points to check out: 1. Watch how when his front foot is going forward his hands are going back, like a rubber band being stretched out. This can be accomplished several ways (That is the style part of a hitter). The scapula load aka “scap load,” which is a bone in your back shoulder, is a great feel cue to ensure the hands are being brought and kept back in a good position. You want to think of your arms and hands moving together as if they are one while the rear scap loads your upper half and starts to tip your barrel forward towards the pitcher. The knob will start to point back at the catcher. 2. Front foot landing at about 45 degrees is the target when striding. If you see when he does this, the hip is naturally starting to open when his shoulders are still squared up (AKA closed). This is a move that creates even more separation and can gain you extra bat speed. You can feel the difference when you try striding with a 45 degree compared to when you are striding with your foot closed off. Feel how the hip will start to open up when you step slightly open and you can still keep your shoulders squared. That is the key to staying on pitches by ensuring the shoulders are squared here during this move.
If you take lessons with an instructor and they are not talking about separation or have never mentioned it, I highly advise you to stop and look for someone else. This is one of the absolutes a great major league hitter possesses and you need to have it in your swing.
If you are looking to make some changes to your swing, you can either travel to us or we can work with you via online. Contact us now to get started!