Tempo In the Swing


For the body to effectively load energy, it has to do so at a slow pace.  One of the most common reasons that players get out of a proper swing sequence is that they simply go too fast in the load/stride process.

What we have to do to start a slow tempo in the load/stride process is to get into the back hip with good pressure through the whole back foot. When I get into my lower body load, that back foot pressure create ground reaction force off my back side. I want to maintain a good connection to the ground so when I lift my stride stride leg and begin to advance, the pressure is maintained. This should be a controlled movement. If that pressure is released, I will dump my energy into the front leg to soon, get forward of center, and immediately speed my body up. A key thought might be to think of it as cranking up the motor. By cranking up the motor, other body parts can begin to go.

I want to go slow and smooth all the way out into my front foot plant position. From that point the body can fire as I have already “cranked up the motor.” That’s when the fun stuff happens!

So everything that happens up to the foot foot plant is slow, smooth and under control. During this move forward, my goal is to increase the stretch through the lower back and eventually into the upper back using a scap load. This takes time and you can see why tempo is so important. So as the body is moving forward, I have a scap pullback resisting my lower body move that increases the stretch into the upper body.

Now, so that the lower and upper body are not loading at the same time, we increase our stretch and load as the body goes into its forward movement. A slow, controlled, forward advance allows the upper body time to create, or stretch, into a more efficient load which will make our swing sequence correct.

Players that have poor tempo often have one piece load and stride processes. This is like throwing a rubber band without stretching it first. You don’t get the maximum amount available to you. At that point all you are doing is spinning and most likely your wrists or arms get ahead of your core and become out of sequence. An effective tempo sets up the whole swing. It allows you to be in control and make pitch adjustment more easily.