What’s the most common movement for the back foot? Coach Lisle explains the differences between rotation and leg drive to give you a better understanding of what the best movement is to teach your hitters. Check it out!
I used to teach a lot of back-leg drive. I do think there are hitters that have had success with that.
I would say, that’s not my favorite movement. Mostly because I’ve come across a lot of hitters that, when they drive their backside, they push too far, and can get off balance. The other thing I notice is that they collapse their backside of a lot of times when they’re driving their back knee to the ground, and it prevents rotation to a degree.
So if you have a hitter that’s big and strong, I don’t mind it as much. They’re collapsing their backside. They’re not having a ton of rotation. They muscle the ball of the park. Or, they can hit the ball hard enough without rotation. I would say that those are OK movements.
Hip Rotation vs. Back Leg Drive
I would prefer really strong hip rotation, really good rotation around the body as an axis, and I would prefer that. The fastest I can get my hitters to turn and the more complete that I can get them to turn their torso is when the backside gets unanchored. When I do that, I’m going to get a little bit of push forward.
It gives me that kind of backside drive or backside force. It’s not something I have to teach, or think about, or talk about, because it just naturally happens.
Just as my hips are forcing the turn and my bat’s coming forward, my body is going to go forward a little bit. So by allowing it to be unanchored a little bit, just allows me to kind of let my body do the thing I’m doing. A good example is golfers and how they get into their front side. I don’t think you see too many guys pushing in. And maybe they might push their hips a little bit and do different movements.
If you’re watching a major league baseball game this week or killing some time on YouTube or Twitter, watch hitters like Mookie Betts and some of the best hitters in baseball. Slow the video down and focus on their back foot and their backsides. See how they’re getting to contact and through contact.
In my experience, the best hitters have learned how to just kind of get that back foot unanchored way less, and it comes forward a little bit. But you will see hitters that drive their back knee, that push forward, and have had success.
Again, not something I would teach, but something that if they’re having success doing with it. I’m not going to change it.
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