The 11 Phases of Hitting

Thu Jul 12, 2018 by Don Slaught


When analyzing the hitting motion, it helps to look at 11 key positions throughout the swing.  By dividing the hit into these 11 distinct phases, it allows coaches and biomechanists to accurately compare movements of players at identical time periods or phases. Those 11 phases include:


  1. The Stance - the stance refers to the starting position of the hitter prior to any movement by the pitcher.

  2. The Negative Move - the negative move refers to the phase that starts when the hitter begins any movement away from the pitcher and ends once the hitter has reached the furthest point back prior to moving forward.

  3. The Positive Move - the positive move starts as the hitter moves towards the pitcher and ends at the toe touch or ready position. This is also where we see separation of the hands from the body. 

  4. Toe Touch/Ready Position - this refers to the point where the hitter can efficiently start their swing. Most hitters reach this point at the exact time their front foot's toe first touches the ground. Others get their front foot down early but still need to have a positive move to get to their Ready position.

  5. The First Move - the first move refers to the first 3 or 4 inches of hand movement forward in the swing.

  6. Heel Plant - when the front foot's heel gets firmly planted on the ground, it is called heel plant.  

  7. Connection - this is the position when the hands pass in front of the back shoulder.  

  8. Bat lag - bat lag is the point when the barrel of the bat enters the strike zone.

  9. Contact - contact occurs when the bat hits the ball.

  10. Extension - extension is the position where both arms get fully extended after contact. 

  11. The Finish - finish is when the bat stops rotating around the body. 

By breaking the hit up into 11 distinct segments, it also helps us quickly identify large variations in player's styles.