Launch Position Overview

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Ever heard the term “load” or “launch position”?

It gets referred to ALL THE TIME when hitting mechanics are being discussed.

BUUUUTTTTT….do we actually know exactly what this “launch position” is?

Or at what precise moment it is occurring in the swing process?

I rarely hear or see this ubiquitous term get clearly defined. So that is what we are going to begin to do in this article.

It is very important, and we will talk about why that is. But first lets get an idea of what we are really talking about.

Clearly Defining WHEN Launch Position Occurs

The “launch position,” is defined as the 3-dimensional geometric shape of the body (including position of the bat) at the moment the front toe touches the ground.

McGuire going from stance to launch position.

In elite level hitters, this will directly correlate to the moment right before the hands fire forward and the instant before the heel starts to go down to heel plant (on a fastball).

In a perfect world, all of these things would happen together. We would call that being perfectly synchronized on a fastball.

Front toe touch is our main reference point when analyzing a swing.

Having a consistent reference point then allows us to use comparative analysis to identify the common mechanics of big leaguers.

Once we have identified the launch position and can identify it as a reference point, we can study the body positioning and quantify where our body should be in space at this moment.

Two very important questions you should be asking:

  1. Why do we define this geometric shape as the “launch position?”
  2. Why is studying this launch position important?

It all comes down to sample size. If we take a considerably large sample size of some of the greatest hitters throughout history, you will notice some very telling things.

  1. There is very often great variation in their stance.
  2. For the one instant when their front toe touches the ground…the overwhelming majority of elite hitters are in a very similar position.
  3. Since nearly all of these high level hitters reach this geometric shape at this precise moment, athletes should try to learn and implement it if they hope to reach their potential.

There are many more reasons (especially once we begin to learn and understand the holy grail…  swing plane) for why this position is important, but the fact that all of these guys who have made it to the top of the pyramid (who never knew each other, didn’t necessarily have the same hitting coach, came from all different parts of the world) all just happen to end up in a almost identical position for this one moment before a 100 mph swing…argues that it is an important position to mimic.

Giambi going from stance to launch

Right handed hitters at launch position

Left handed hitters at launch position

The Super 7

Having studied thousands of clips from every different angle, we have identified which elements are the most consistent among major league hitters and therefore the most important to emulate.

We can start to go down the wormhole pretty quickly and get into some very nuanced details as it relates to this body geometry.

So, in an effort to keep this fairly simple, we are going to show you more detail on 7 of the main elements that we see in a major league launch position.

Click on the links below to learn more about that specific element / angle:

  1. Bat Angle
  2. Shoulder tilt/counter rotation
  3. Spine Angle
  4. Back Forearm
  5. Front Arm
  6. Hand Position
  7. Lower Half

We will be putting together an in depth look at each one of these elements in this all important launch position.

To read the first one: Click Here

You can also check out these recent posts: