The hitting sequence – hips, shoulders, bat

While this is nothing particularly revolutionary or even new for some, when it comes to softball hitting it can’t be emphasized enough. There is a very specific sequence or order for the movements in the swing: first come the hips, then the shoulders, then the bat.

The reason I bring it up is that it’s easy for players to slip back into old habits – ones that are hard notice unless you work with hitters all the time. Usually the hitters know the proper sequence as well. Yet there’s something about holding that bat in your hands that makes hitters want to get it going too early.

When I’m teaching lessons, sometimes I will see a player who normally hits with good power struggling to make strong contact. Upon closer examination, I’ll see that the shoulders are turning either along with the hips, or even slightly ahead of the hips. There is a certain look to the swing when the upper body is getting ahead, even by a little bit.

At that point, I will ask the hitters “what’s the sequence?” She’ll repeat it back: hips, shoulders, bat. Once she has everything going in the right order, the power returns and all is right with the world.

Getting the body parts moving in the right order is critical for quality at bats. Remember that sequence – hips, shoulders, bat. It absolutely makes a difference.

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About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on January 16, 2014, in Hitting. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hi Ken. I tend to take this even a bit further. I tell my students your swing starts from the ground up. It starts with Heal Plant after stride. Then firing the back knee towards the front. Then your sequence. My reason for this is often when the hitter takes a stride they will drive off the back leg and it will be straight (Girls are worse than boys about this because they hate to bend their knees) going into contact. It looks like they are lunging at the ball when in fact they may not be but thats what most coaches think they are doing when they swing. If they get that back knee fired in towards the front then they will have better balance in the center of the body at contact and it fixes the coach thinking they are lunging at the ball. Take care my friend.

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  2. Completely agree, Dana. I teach that as well. It comes earlier in the swing. So once the stride is complete, the knee fires to drive the hip – and then it’s hips, shoulders bat!

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