After giving a lot of lessons to kids with the Laser Strap, I have noticed that the first thing they want to do when they swing is to start with their hands. The problem with this is that it takes away your bat speed because you aren’t using your core in your swing.
It also creates problems in a game when you get fooled by a pitch. If you get fooled by a pitch and you lead with your hands, you have nowhere else to go. If you go hands first and are fooled by the pitch and want to hold up, you won’t be able to. You will swing and miss.
When you lead with your hands you will immediately take all the power away from your core. All the pressure is on your upper body now as opposed to if you lead with your hips, all the power is still in your hips and it’s generating to the ball. When you go with your hands, it can only be a split second delay, but that’s enough to switch off the power in your core and force it go into your upper body and you will lose bat speed.
It’s important to start with your hips first, then when you’re ready to make the decision to hit, release your hands.
Also, if you get into the habit of leading with your hips, it will allow you to take very tough pitches at the last second.You might see guys who are able to take a good slider on the outside corner at the very last second. This is because their hips are taking the pressure as their back elbow goes back into their body. If I’m in a game, I have my foot down and ready to hit, at the last second I don’t want to hit that pitch. You can see how I’m able to hold up because I haven’t released my hands from my hips. As soon as you go with your hands and you try to hold that swing up, you have nowhere else to go. Even if you try to hit, you can’t speed that swing up either. As soon as your hands are released from your hips, you’re done.
You will also have a better feel for timing. Some people like to use the front foot analogy for timing. This is incorrect. It helps a little bit, but it’s just part of the process. Talking about striding, my front foot is down, but I still have a lot to do with my swing. When you lead your swing with your hips, you have the ability to adjust to pitches as opposed to with your hands where you have no room to adjust. Leading with my hips, I see that I don’t like the pitch or maybe the pitch is a change-up, I can still keep my hands back and let the hips go. As the ball travels and I make the decision to hit, as long as I keep my hands back, I still have a lot of power in that swing.