If you struggle with your hitters using their feet right when they load or hit, then you might find the answer in their socks.
Feeling is important to help players “get” what you’re talking about, and very often their shoes get in the way. Discover how getting rid of those shoes will improve their hitting.
When it comes to hitting, how a player uses her feet is super important. Players use their back foot and leg to both load and drive into the swing. Getting your hitters to do these 2 actions correctly can be very challenging, especially when working with younger players.The big toes play a huge role in how we use our feet, and this is especially true when it comes to hitting. Hitters should actually load into the big toe of their back foot and then push off that big toe to drive forward through the swing. Makes sense to most of us adults, but can get super frustrating, difficult and confusing to players.
Instead of loading down into the big toe of their back foot, many hitters will drift over the outside of their back foot when they load. This not only makes them unstable, but also weakens their ability to drive forward with their legs. So, have your hitters take off their shoes the next time they work either on their load, or are practicing their drive forward. Hitting in their socks immediately allows them to “feel” how they are or aren’t using their feet, and more specifically, the big toe of their back foot.
When you ask them, what they feel or notice about hitting in their socks, they’ll immediately say “it’s weird”, which is it because who does it?! Then ask them, beyond weird what do you feel – and they will no doubt tell you it really helps them feel their feet more.
Once word of caution when having your players hit in just their socks – only do it using a batting T to prevent foul balls onto the front foot.
For more help with your hitters, check out:
- Hitting Pods (The Hitting Pod is a great training tool for helping hitters of all ages and skill levels develop more power and load)
- Hitting Drill Manual (Packed with over 75 hitting drills, photos and diagrams for beginning, intermediate and advanced hitters)
- Hitting eDrills (Video Drills with detailed explanations you can start watching and learn from right now)