Perhaps the most important thing about hitting is sequencing the kinetic chain properly. Successful hitters vary across the board in countless style points. Wide stance, narrow stance, hands high, hands low, leg kick, no stride, etc. However crazy these style differences are, one thing can be found in virtually every high level hitter: a properly sequenced kinetic chain. Today I want to go over what the kinetic chain is and explain why utilizing it correctly is the most important thing in hitting mechanics.
WHAT IS THE KINETIC CHAIN? In its simplest terms, the kinetic chain are segments of the body working together to create movement. For our discussion let's break the body into 4 segments or link in the chain: the hips, torso, arms, and hands. The kinetic chain is how these links interact with each other to create power and an efficient swing.
HOW SHOULD THE KINETIC CHAIN WORK? In just about every rotational sport, the kinetic chain acts in an almost identical fashion to create maximum power. Of course, postures are different depending on the activity, but watch a golfer, hitter, tennis player, boxer or any other rotational athlete create power and you will see the same use of the chain. Power is created from the ground up. This means that the order of rotation or rotational peak speeds should happen in the following order: hips, torso, arms, hands. Essentially, the hips should start turning first and reach their top speed which helps rotate the torso, which helps pull the arms, which pulls the hands through.
WHY IS UTILIZING THE KINETIC CHAIN SO IMPORTANT? As I stated earlier, the one constant thing that I see among the highest level hitters that train at Elite Diamond Performance is a proper use of the kinetic chain. Why is this? Two main reasons.
Power Generation- In order to create their maximum power, the kinetic chain must work in proper sequence. In an efficient hitter, each segment of the chain should rotate at a higher speed. This means that each segment above gets its energy from the segment below. If the chain is out of sequence, rotational speeds are slowed and power output can’t reach maximum potential.
Contact Consistency- One of the things that high level hitters all do is commit the hands as late as possible. This allows the hitter to generate power while giving themselves the longest possible time to get information on the incoming pitch. Utilizing the proper sequence of the chain allows the hitter to begin their swing and not commit the hands until later. When hitters turn out of sequence, the hands go too early with less information of pitch speed and location.
DRILL TO WORK ON THE KINETIC CHAIN