Measure Approach Distance
Baseball and Fastpitch Softball
This Measure Approach Distance article is excerpted from The Ultimate Hitting Training Guide (click for a description of our new drills book).
For recommendations on how and when to use various training methods (dry, heavy bag, pylos, tee, toss, live, machine, etc.) and to shop for practical and durable training equipment click on the link Hitting Training Methods and Aids.
Introduction to Measuring Approach Distance
There is a wide variation in the degree of forwarding movement (toward the pitcher) during the approach phase. Most High-Level hitters’ approach is somewhere in a broad range of four to eighteen inches. One way to gauge and track the degree of momentum into the swing is to measure torso travel distance.
Use the following method to measure approach distance:
- Watch where the hitter’s front hip stops (on a background) during their rear weight shift. Pin this spot with your eyes as the starting point of the hitter’s approach.
- Now ask the hitter to stride and swing. Again, mark with your eyes the point (on a background) where the front hip arrives and forward motion stops.
- Measure the torso travel distance (degree of approach) from the front hip’s starting point to the stopping point.
- Measure the torso travel distance 1) off the tee, 2) toss, 3) machine, and 4) live BP.
- Remember to record distances and the date.
Measure Approach Distance Benefits
Measuring forward movement provides a useful metric. For example, different approach distances execute in longer or shorter times. For the hitter’s timing to be consistent, they strive for the same forward movement distances on all swings (tee to live BP). Also, if the goal is to shorten or lengthen the swing, measuring approach distance provides one objective measure. Begin experimentation with various stride types and approach strategies from a baseline measurement.
Other Swing Analytics Articles You May Find Useful
Click on the links below for further free swing analytic articles:
Building Rome Series Books: Building the High-Level Swing Series
Click Building the High-Level Swing Series to learn more about our new two-book hitting series containing a detailed and comprehensive description of 100 hitting fundamentals and 140 step-by-step drills that efficiently construct the batting swing from the ground up.
In the Building Rome Series of books, the construction of skills are in functional order, providing a “roadmap” to becoming a great hitter.
All baseball and fastpitch softball players can “climb the Roman Coliseum steps” to become a powerful and productive hitter.
Enjoy the quest!