Batter Lifting Back Foot Off Ground


#1

This summer, my 13 year old lefty son picked up what I though was a bad batting habit. I took a video of him on July 31 in the batting cages - his last day of baseball before he starts his Fall break from baseball - and I noticed he is now lifting his back foot off the ground when he swings. Never did this before. I thought of pointing this out to him as a potential flaw, but I did some research first and to my surprise found that lifting the back foot off the ground is actually not that uncommon. See the image below of Ruth’s and Harper’s swings, with the back foot lifting off the ground (Canseco and others did it too). I was very surprised, to say the least.

I don’t know where my son picked this up, as I’m his only batting (and pitching) coach. But this is something I’ve never heard of or read about before, and I try to read a lot! Any thoughts? Is this something a 13 year old should be doing? This just seems to run counter to much of what I’ve read about batting. :confused:


#2

If he is completely transferring his weight to the front leg the back foot will usually be lifted by the hip rotation. If you can get good slomo of Pujols you will see the same thing. It is not a teach but evidence of solid weight transfer. How is his hitting?

good luck,

Ted


#3

Thanks, Ted. Your analysis is exactly what my online research revealed, that full weight transfer to the front leg will effect back foot lift.

As for his hitting, he’s hitting very well. He spent the past two-and-a-half months of summer (May 15 - July 31) on a 13/14 “training team” run by a local high school coach and former MLB pitcher that focused on core strength conditioning, speed training, batting, and an occasional field practice. No games. He’s taken thousands of swings in the batting cages this summer; maybe that, along with the core strength conditioning, led him to develop a full weight transfer that he didn’t have before?


#4

As your son progresses up in competition, where the quality of pitchers can improve (depending on the competitive level) take note with this batting style dealing with the slider and the change-up. These two pitches can have this weight transfer committing to early or to late - again, depending on the quality of the pitcher and the pitch. Also, if your son gets called on a “check swing” with increasing regularity, I’d address his current batting style with a coach who understands the art of hitting.


#5

Glad he has had that opportunity and is doing so well. The high speed photography and video has really made this kind of a golden age for seeing what really happens with pitchers and hitters. It is really fun.

Best regards,

Ted


#6

As long as upper and lower half weight shift does not occur together and result in this back foot coming off the ground, then it should be fine. We don’t want hitters lunging at the ball and being off balance.
Weight should shift from back to middle during the stride. Then, as the hands come through, the weight comes to and through the hitting zone with the bat. If this is the point where the back foot comes off the ground, everything should be OK.