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Stride Soft? Not so fast. (Stride leg contribution to power generation)

While most hitters and coaches know that the biggest contribution to power generation comes from the lower body, the actual dynamics of how that happens can be confusing at best and completely wrong at worst. One of the coaching points and cues that needs to be changed is the idea of striding softly with the front foot. Today we are going to explore why this cue exists, why it needs to be retired and the importance of the stride leg to power generation.

Why do coaches tell hitters to stride softly?

It is common to hear a coach tell a hitter to avoid striding firmly or hard on the front side. You will hear cues like "soft stride", "step on glass" "Stride onto ice", etc. Without understanding how power is generated from the ground, it makes sense for coaches to use those cues for some hitters, especially those who have a tendency to lunge. However, when a hitter lands too softly or passively with he front side, a whole host of other issues can show up in the swing. In addition, when hitters keep too much weight back in an effort to stride softly, they often times end up shifting forward as they swing, defeating the purpose of this coaching point.

How the stride foot/leg contribute to power generation

In a nutshell, power generation starts from the ground. The more energy a hitter puts into the ground, the more potential energy they can send up the chain to eventually create bat speed. This whole process of sending energy up the chain should be kickstarted by the front foot landing in the ground. This force on the front side is what gets the hips to begin rotating to initiate the swing.

In just discussing power generation, hitters who land too softly with the front foot limit the amount of energy they use to begin that initial hip turn and therefore, the amount of power that can be used to send up the chain. Check out this video on the dynamics of the front side and its contribution to power generation.

How to fix landing soft

Many hitters get fearful of landing more forcefully on the front side because they are afraid of lunging. In order to combat this, this drill allows the hitter to anchor themselves to avoid lunging.


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