It is easy for a young hitter to step up to the plate and swing for the fence. It is harder to execute that objective. One of the reasons a batter fails at the plate is due to poor balance. In many ways, consider this the foundation to the entire swing. What are three ways to stay balanced at the plate?
1. Pigeon Toe: We are not talking about a disease here or a foot injury. We are talking about having our feet turned in slightly and the weight on the balls of our feet.
2. Knees Bent: The player should bend their knees slightly for comfort at the plate not straight up and down like a ladder.
3. Parallel Stance: We all love geometry. What we are saying is that your feet should be lined up straight and parallel with the plate. There are two other stances called Open and Closed. These would not be recommended for the beginning hitter.
How do you know if you son or daughter is balanced at the plate? Well, go up and push them. That is right go up and push them at the plate and see if they fall over or retain their balance easily. You need to check our video to see what we mean. Also this entire lesson is located on page 36 of Dusty Baker’s Hitting Handbook.
You get a sense of the stance by seeing a natural at balance former Cardinal Willie McGee below.