Offseason Adjustments: Perfecting Your Batting Stance

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Now that it’s the time of year when you’re probably not playing much baseball, it’s a great time to begin thinking about next year.

It’s also a great time to spend some time practicing a few things that can help make you a better player when next season comes.

One of the things you can experiment with is your batting stance.

If you struck out a lot last season, maybe one reason was that you really weren’t seeing the ball as well as you thought. This can happen to young players, especially if they try to hit with a stance that is too closed. That means your front foot is much closer to home plate than your back foot.

If that describes your stance, then try moving your front foot farther away from the plate, first to an even stance, where both feet are the same distance from the plate, and then to an open stance, where your front foot is farther away from the plate than your back foot.

The more you “open up” your stance, the more you’re able to see the ball with both eyes. Just as almost everyone is either right-handed or left-handed you’re also either right-eyed or left-eyed.

Most people who are right-handed are also right-eyed. Left-handers are also usually left-eyed. By opening up your stance a few inches and as result turning your head more toward the pitcher, you’re giving that dominant eye a better chance to see the ball.

If last season you usually hit ground balls, then maybe your back elbow was pointed too much toward the ground. If that describes your stance, then raise the angle of your back elbow to around a 45 degree angle. Ask an adult to show you what that means.

If last season you hit a lot of pop flies, then maybe your stride was too long. Remember, it should be no longer than six to ten inches. The longer the stride, the more your head and hands are dropping. And that can mean you’re hitting underneath too many pitches.

If last season you were late on a lot of pitches, hitting them to the opposite field, then maybe your back elbow was too high, causing the bat to be wrapped too far around your head. That results in a swing that’s too long.

Each of these tips is meant to help you correct whatever problems there may have been last season and help prepare you for the next.