Slapping – keep the right foot pointed right
I was working with a young slapper tonight, and she was having trouble keeping her shoulders parallel to the plate. She could do it with practice runs, but once the ball was on its way her shoulders pulled forward.
I worked with her a bit on pulling the left shoulder back when I happened to look down at her feet. I saw that when she took a jab step back, she turned her foot so her toes were facing forward (toward the pitcher). Hmmm, I thought, no wonder she’s having trouble.
When you throw overhand, one of the tricks to help you get into the correct position is to turn the throwing side foot so the ankle bone is facing toward the target. You do that to open up the hips so you’re sideways to the target. It works pretty well for throwing.
But turning the foot when slapping works against you by doing the same thing. It pulls your body around so you are sideways to the plate instead of facing it.
Correcting it is easy — and challenging. It’s a bit of a difficult habit to break, but it can be broken. The hitter simply needs to work on her jab step back, keeping the toes pointed toward the plate. That will strict the motion, allowing the shoulders to stay in toward the plate.