In this article we will cover the basic batting stance, including how to practice the right style sure to increase bat speed. You will learn tips that include how the bottom hand takes you to the ball. And the role of the top hand, which is the power hand. Also taught is how and why the back arm forms a ‘V’, and how to keep your hands inside to perform the ‘Power V’.
Begin with the hand position. Get in your basic stance, which is feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, and put your front arm out (palm down). Take your power hand (top hand) and put it palm up. Now close both hands and rotate it so it’s at 12 o’clock, and go one additional step forward to about 1 o’clock. Bring your hands over the top and put it in the shoulder area, this gives us our most powerful and best hand stance. You want your hands in position as if you were throwing a punch. It should look something like this…
The bottom hand is the ‘take me to the ball’ hand and the lead arm forms a ‘L’. The top hand is the power hand and the back arm forms a ‘V’. Keep your hands inside as you go to the ball. Your back arm should look like a ‘V’ just prior to hitting the baseball. All of your energy is in your hands… the top hand still faces up and the bottom hand is still facing down. Like Rogers Hornsby here…
And… a little later in the swing you should still have a “L” formed by your lead arm and a “V” by your back:
This arm position places your hands in the best position to deliver power to the swing. The top hand has now rotated under the bat and is in a position similar to throwing a body punch in a boxing match. The important thing to note in these photos is that the elbows are still in very close proximity to the torso. They DO NOT get away from the players body. This action loses POWER. Keeping the elbows close to the body generates a compact rotational swing and this results in a POWERFUL swing and increased bat speed.
Also, what would NOT work is to keep your back elbow up when getting in your stance. This is one of the biggest misconceptions about hitting. Again, your back arm should form a ‘V’ and the lead arm should form an ‘L’.
Tips & Warnings
- The basic stance is typically feet shoulder width apart, and knees slightly bent like a basketball player playing defense.
- Record baseball hitting videos so you can view your baseball swing.
- Visit local baseball camps to get baseball hitting tips from coaches and players.
- Don’t stretch your hands to the back, hold your hands above your head, bat way back in your stance, etc. None of these starting positions are ‘power’ positions and proper way to hit a baseball.
Watch Coach Brockhoff demonstrate this concept: