Measure Approach Distance

Adjust Swing for Compact vs Aggressive

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

measure approach distance

Aggressive Stride and Forward Body Movement (Approach)

There is a wide variation in the degree of forward head and torso movement (toward the pitcher) during the stride and 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:

Measure Launch Angle in Your Cage

How to Measure Attack Angle

Measure and Track Ball Exit Speed

Measure and Track Bat Speed

Measure and Track Time to Contact

Establish a Hitters Assessment Process


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