Baseball Drills: Hitting: Introduction
Coil | Stride | Hip Rotation | Swing

Drill: Hip Rotation (Hitting Series - Part 3)

Purpose:
Develops the proper hip rotation of the swing and good balance.

Equipment:
Bat and helmet.

Setup:
This drill can be done as a group with no bats or a batting practice station.

Execution:
The hitter places the bat behind his back, holding it with both arms between his forearm and bicep. The barrel of the bat should be facing the catcher.

Have the player take his normal stance with the bat behind his back.

The coach will simulate a windup and deliver an imaginary pitch. The coach will yell inside or outside as he delivers the pitch.

The hitter will take his normal coil, stride, and then rotate his hips open. The hitter will rotate his hips open farther on an inside pitch than an outside pitch. Have the player focus on having the back hip driving the rotation. The key here is rotation, as many players mistake rotation for driving forward toward the pitcher. There is a transfer of weight, but the back foot should still be firmly contacting the ground in the "squashed bug position".

Things to look for:

  • Hips rotate farther on an inside pitch.
  • Hips should rotate on a level plane. Player should not be leaning forward over the plate or back away from the plate. If so, they are not balanced.
  • Back foot must pivot in order to have good hip rotation.
  • Player should land on a stiff front leg. Often a player will unnaturally bend his front knee in order to keep his balance.
  • Front shoulder opens up first. This can be difficult to see, but when watching a player see if the first movement of the hip rotation is the front shoulder starting to pull open. If this is the case, the player is using his front side to pull his back side open instead of his backside driving the front side open.
  • Head level should stay consistent through entire drill.

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Just read your latest blog article. Thanks for this excellent message Don. I will be sharing this with several fellow coaches.

- Randy R.