Hitters and coaches often focus on what happened at contact. What is sometimes overlooked is the position your body was in BEFORE you attacked forward. Think about it like throwing: If we have poor mechanics in our arm slot to throw, the throw may not be accurate, quick, or strong. When it comes to hitting, analyze what's going on before contact to get to the root of the issue in a swing. The video below is short, but it exemplifies great body positioning as the pitch is traveling and the movements that need to happen in order to create great contact. Kelly Kretschman is the best hitter in softball right now. 2 Time Olympian, the 1st Triple Crown winner in the NPF, and hit a league record .500 during the 2017 season. Above all else she is a life long student of the game.
Here's 3 key components to Kelly's preparation to swing; also known as "load" or "negative movement."
1. Her hands and elbows move backward creating space between her hands and helmet. Her bottom hand also hinges at the wrist in order to load the barrel of the bat. VERY IMPORTANT !
2. She steps with her front foot and is almost planted and her hands are not yet coming forward. When the step occurs she is not transferring weight to her front side yet.
3. Her hips stay squared to the plate as her body moves making her initial movements in the load LATERAL, not ROTATIONAL keeping her on a straight line also known as the POWER LINE.
A lot can happen before we ever decide if, when, and where we're going to swing. If we have a great approach to our swing, then it makes contacting the ball much easier and efficient.