Vocabulary Term: Negative Move
Other terms to describe this move are “gather” (as stated in the video) or the “lower body load.”Usually the very first move a hitter makes to get the body started in motion. The move is typically made in the direction away from the pitcher.This move can include a small weight shift, leg lift, hip coil, toe tap and/or sinking action into the back leg. Move should begin around the time the pitcher’s hands break apart.
3 Negative Move Errors & Their Impact on Timing…
This movement at the beginning of the swing sequence influences all of the movements that happen later on in the swing. In order to be consistently on time with pitches, the negative move has to be free from these major errors.
- Drifting or Swaying Back – When the hitter’s weight shifts too far back on, or even past, their back foot. This will cause the hitter to have to race to get their stride foot down in time to hit the pitch. This rushed reaction often causes the hitter to either keep most of their weight back on their back leg, or lunge forward off their back side altogether. Both issues will make their timing very inconsistent, not to mention kill their chances of hitting for power.
- Too Early – When hitters are late with their timing, you’ll frequently hear someone tell them they need to start everything earlier. This thought of “starting earlier” may not work for some hitters. In fact, it may cause hitter to have even worse timing. If the hitter’s negative move starts too early they will be forced to either sway back and wait in a leaned back position, or they will have to pause their lower body at some point in the swing. Either issue will kill their rhythm and kill the momentum of their lower body, resulting in a weaker, upper body dominated swing that is often late to the ball.
- Too Late – This one may seem self-explanatory. You’d think that if a hitter’s negative move is late, they will be late on the pitch. Most of the time this is true, and it will be fairly obvious when a late start is causing a hitter to be late on the pitch. There can be times, however, that being late with the negative move can instead give the appearance of a hitter being early or out in front of the pitch. The reason this happens is that the body will naturally try to find a way to get to the ball faster if the lower body is not ready in time to swing. The hitter’s upper body will try to make up the difference and start reaching for the ball with the hands and arms. This will cause them to chase bad pitches, be out on their front side, and generally look like they are early on pitches, even though the issues really stem from being late with the negative move.