How Hitters Successfully Hit With Their Foot Down Early

Mon Feb 18, 2019 by Caleb Longley


We all have seen amateur hitters who get their foot down early have little to no success against amateur pitching. However, we have also seen guys like Paul Goldschmidt, Albert Pujols, Nelson Cruz, Daniel Murphy, and David Wright, have success with their foot down early in the MLB. What is the common difference between these two groups of hitters’ swings? The positive move.



What is the positive move?



The positive move is the movement towards the pitcher where we see the separation of the hands from the players back hip. This movement creates a rubber band like effect of energy ready to be released into the ball and is responsible for bringing you to a stable base.





How can we teach the positive move?



The best way to teach it is to have the player feel this move. There are several different ways to accomplish this but a rule of thumb is the player should feel this in their glute, hamstring, and heel of their back foot and not in their quad, knee, and ball of the foot. Once getting a feel for the positive move the timing of it is very crucial. Depending on how big the positive move is and the opposing pitcher the positive move should take place around the release of the ball from the pitcher's hand.  




Should I have my players hit with their foot down?


For drill purposes, the foot down early drill can be very effective for players that do or do not stride when working on feeling the forward move.   


That said, there is not one specific style for any one player, but rather a more efficient way for that player to hit. The most efficient way for any player is based on how that player moves.


The purpose of the OnBaseU screen is to evaluate whether or not movement patterns in baseball or softball are inhibited by physical limitations.  For example, internal rotation of the lead hip is one of the physical capabilities that helps an athlete make an aggressive hip turn and transfer weight to the lead side.  If an athlete has a limitation in lead hip IR, the absence of a positive move may be governed by a physical issue, not a technical issue. 


OnBaseU believes that there are infinite ways to swing because there are every player has a unique set of physical capabilities and the OBU screen is the perfect tool for understanding what a player is capable of.

If you're interested in learning more about OnBaseU, check out our website for a seminar near you:

Caleb Longley - Private trainer, specializing in rotational athletes. Rotation and velocity specialist for Quarterback Takeover. Currently training Dwayne Haskins Jr. for the 2019 NFL Draft. Founder / former owner of High Intent Training where he created and oversaw arm care, injury prevention, weight training and velocity programs for various professional and collegiate athletes as well as developed a long-term athletic development curriculum for youth athletes. Former D1 All-Conference baseball player at East Tennessee State University.