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  • Step or No Step?

    What does everyone think about hitting with no step versus a short stride? I have seen kids have success with both, and I have seen kids develop some bad habits with both. With the stride, there is a tendency to lunge forward, and some kids have a lot of unnecessary movement with the head. With the no-step approach, I've seen some kids struggle with balance, timing and rotating the hips. It seems like they're just way too wide. It also seems like they're not able to load as much.

  • #2
    Originally posted by HeinekenMan View Post
    What does everyone think about hitting with no step versus a short stride? I have seen kids have success with both, and I have seen kids develop some bad habits with both. With the stride, there is a tendency to lunge forward, and some kids have a lot of unnecessary movement with the head. With the no-step approach, I've seen some kids struggle with balance, timing and rotating the hips. It seems like they're just way too wide. It also seems like they're not able to load as much.
    I have found that I can help fix lunging and timing issues with a stride, easier, than fixing problems with no stride. I encourage the players to use the stride but if they are doing well and hitting with power with no stride, I leave it alone.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by jbolt_2000 View Post
      I have found that I can help fix lunging and timing issues with a stride, easier, than fixing problems with no stride. I encourage the players to use the stride but if they are doing well and hitting with power with no stride, I leave it alone.
      I completely agree. My son's new instructor switched him to a no-stride swing. He appears to use the same stance for all of his kids. My son hit the ball really hard a few times with this new swing, but he's also taken some absolutely terrible swings. He's almost fallen forward on his face a few times. In his last game, we went with his usual stance, and he pounded line drives up the middle.

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      • #4
        When younger kids struggled with hitting due to stride and balance I would put them in a wide stance with their front heel up. Dropping the heel was the only stride. It started the hips moving. It also helped keep their weight back, stop lunging and stop hitting off the front foot. As the kids got their balance they tended to come out of the no stride into a small stride naturally.

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        • #5
          Perhaps that's the goal with the new stance my son has been using. He started to lunge more this season than in the past. I'd like to see him return to a step because he is able to load better that way. I guess you're already loaded when you use a wide no-step stance. By the end of summer, he should have a nice approach. He has a nice swing.

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          • #6
            I like the stride.

            however I think it is funny that some Hall of fame hitters change between the two. I have clips of albert and cabrera hitting HRs with the no stride as well as with the stride. I think a good hitter should be able to hit with both. however it is important that you still have some forward movement as you coil with the no stride.
            I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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            • #7
              I feel it depends on where he is in the development trail... I have found, for some, that a short stride for youngsters helps with timing.
              "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
              - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
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              • #8
                "No stride" is a less natural approach, IMO.

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                • #9
                  After doing some reading, it seems that many believe the no-step approach is a quick fix for lunging and other flaws with the lower half. I have read that most players can revert back to a short step once they have an understanding of what is supposed to go on with the lower half. I can understand why an instructor would go to the no-step hitting. It's a lot easier than repeating the same thing over and over and over.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by HeinekenMan View Post
                    What does everyone think about hitting with no step versus a short stride? I have seen kids have success with both, and I have seen kids develop some bad habits with both. With the stride, there is a tendency to lunge forward, and some kids have a lot of unnecessary movement with the head. With the no-step approach, I've seen some kids struggle with balance, timing and rotating the hips. It seems like they're just way too wide. It also seems like they're not able to load as much.
                    Don't worry about stride length. Make sure the back hip is causing the stride, not the front leg.
                    Last edited by pstein; 06-29-2012, 08:16 AM. Reason: Clarification

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                      When younger kids struggled with hitting due to stride and balance I would put them in a wide stance with their front heel up. Dropping the heel was the only stride. It started the hips moving. It also helped keep their weight back, stop lunging and stop hitting off the front foot. As the kids got their balance they tended to come out of the no stride into a small stride naturally.
                      This has been my experience, as well.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                        When younger kids struggled with hitting due to stride and balance I would put them in a wide stance with their front heel up. Dropping the heel was the only stride. It started the hips moving. It also helped keep their weight back, stop lunging and stop hitting off the front foot. As the kids got their balance they tended to come out of the no stride into a small stride naturally.
                        Echo TG's experience/insite. My son started as no stride and as he is older now has a small natural stride. He's always been a very consistent hitter.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by HeinekenMan View Post
                          My son's new instructor switched him to a no-stride swing. He appears to use the same stance for all of his kids.
                          This will result in the coach having a season of good contact hitters, and the players having a lifetime of mediocre hitting.

                          99% of these kids aren't stepping on every pitch. Then the genius coach (I used to be one of these) wants to eliminate the stride. Fix their timing. Don't screw up their swing.
                          Last edited by songtitle; 06-29-2012, 10:55 AM.
                          efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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                          • #14
                            I agree completely with songtitle here. My son struggled with lunging on slow pitches and stepping out on fast pitches this season, but I never once asked him not to stride and any coach that suggested otherwise was ignored.

                            Why? Because this is a marathon, not a race. Some coaches want the best hitting they can get for that game and the vast majority of instructor's I've come across want the easy fix (i.e. "It's a lot easier than repeating the same thing over and over and over"). I want the correct, long-term fix regardless of the ugliness that ensues in the meantime.

                            Oh, one other warning sign regarding your instructor HeinekeMan is "He appears to use the same stance for all of his kids". You can't cookie-cutter hitting. What works for some, doesn't work for others.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pstein View Post
                              Don't worry about stride length. Make sure the back hip is causing the stride, not the front leg.
                              That's what I was thinking. Stride or not stride isn't the right question. What causes the stride? is the question that needs answered.

                              Any batter can stride or not stride. Is that really what we're wanting them do?

                              Teach them the right way to use the hip and the stride or no stride is merely a side issue.

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