What Does Staying Balanced In The Swing Really Mean?

Joshua Rodrigues
4 min readMar 25, 2018
No One Is Going To Say That Hoskins Isn’t Balanced

Today guys we are going to be looking at Balance in the Swing. What is Balance? How can we achieve this? Why is Balance important? Why is it so misunderstood? How can we help hitters to better understand the idea of balance?

What balance in the swing isn’t.

I don’t think that this is what should be expected when we talk balance.

For a lot of coaches out there the idea of balance comes with the thought that players should not shift, move, or loss any footing in the ground. This is the crux of what I am trying to get away from when it comes to the idea of staying balanced in the swing.

We as a coaching community now understand that in order to make sure that our hitters are able to face some of the most stressful velocities that have ever challenged hitters that we need to realize that swing mechanics, and idea have evolved. So our idea of balance needs to shift with this.

Why is Balance important?

Balance is important to the swing for the fact that you want to allow hitters to be athletes in the box. Every single athlete who is either a soccer player, or a basketball player is balanced as they play their sport. The fact that these players are balanced throughout their movements is important for not only this discussion but for future discussions in the swing. Notice the athlete below grabbing a rebound. Even in his jump body mostly in a straight line, and balanced.

Another example of this balance is going to be the picture of the skier below. He goes from cutting in one direction to cutting in the next. The whole time while holding his balance. MOVING from position to position. This is key. Holding some athletic balance while MOVING.

Why is it so misunderstood?

I think for the most part when coaches, parents, and players think of balance they think of a scale. They envision a player always keeping their balance perfectly centered throughout the entire swing. Although players may move around, coaches still think of players as being PERFECTLY CENTERED THE WHOLE TIME. As we will find this happens but differently than we have ever seen.

Most coaches think of balance all the way to the left. Standing LEFT Running RIGHT

Below you are going to find a video of Hoskins. You should notice that even though there is many things going on in the swing. You will notice that he keeps his dynamic balance. I am using this term from Bob Keyes. I love it because I think that being athletically balanced has a much greater upside than just simply keeping our feet on the ground.

Hoskins although he moves, kicks, and swings never is unstable, or uncoordinated in his swing.

Having you swing so that you are able to stay athletic while you are moving is going to be a key factor as we head forward in this article. You are going to see that many players, and coaches look at the smoothness of Robinson Cano’s swing. One of the main factors is how graceful he is when he swings. He is a perfect example for our discussion on balance in the swing.

Cano Having A Rhythmic Balance In His Swing

Cano loads all different body parts in his swing, tips that bat, strides toward the baseball, and to me is still considered a prime candidate for our discussion on balance. Having an athletic balance in your swing is going to let you move in an athletic, but controlled manner. This is the key, if you are going to be out of control with your movements in the batters box, or you are quick or herky jerky then you will have problems in my opinion of staying balanced.

Being Athletically Balanced can be summed into the following factors:

  1. Slow controlled movements in the box. No matter how big of small of a leg kick, load, or movements you have. If you can not move slowly, and be relaxed in the box while doing so you will at some point rush and become unbalanced in the box.
  2. Center Of Mass…Centered. Good picture of it from the side on Cano, but you should notice that Cano’s head, spine, and pelvis all align into a straight line throughout the swing. This is huge because if you tip, fall, or bend this will cause issues with being athletic in the box. Imagine Cano swinging with his head tilted toward the catcher. Below are two good shots of Cano, and Sadhuro Oh showing off different loads, but in my estimation being balanced.
Head, Torso, Pelvis
Head, Torso, Pelvis Thought different from Cano the same principals apply.

Let's move on to players who have bigger movements.

The idea behind being athletically balanced means that although you may move a lot over the time you are swinging, you maintain the ability to move athletically. Guys like Bellinger allow for that in their swings. Although Bellinger has a bigger linear move toward the pitcher again a great example of staying balanced throughout. The torso doesn’t get ahead of the hips, and the head, and spine stay in line.

Great shot here of Clemente who is literally jumping toward the baseball. Although he jumps toward the baseball, you should notice that his head, spine, and pelvis stay mostly in a straight line. Although he is literally leaving his feet once he lands from this it looks like he is ready to move out of the box. Dare I say athletically. Balanced, he is not going to fall over, he is not going to tip in a different direction.

How can we help hitters to better understand the idea of balance?

Although players way want to stay with what they think is perfect balance in the swing. We need to realize that we can make movements in the swing and be balanced dynamically. Hitters can not be static, and dynamic balance is how a player will be able to shift from one position to the next.