Separation (Part 3 of 5)

By Doug Bernier

During the separation stage of the baseball swing, you should feel as if you are in your most powerful stance before the violent assault happens on the baseball.

Separation (stage 3) is the portion of the baseball swing mechanics when we stride and separate the movement of our hands from our stride foot in order to create torque, in a strong balanced launch position.

Separation is essential for bat speed, and bat speed directly translates into power and distance. Separation also…

Starts at the completion of our load
Is finished after you stride, when your front foot makes contact with the ground.
It is during this phase that you will first see the ball out of the pitchers hand.
In this position you should feel as if you are waiting for the ball in the most powerful position you can be in before the violent assault happens on the baseball.

How we incorporate separation into the baseball swing:

Starting point.

This movement should start when the pitcher starts making his move towards home plate.

Hands.

At this point we want to have our hands back and in a strong position (from our load), usually around shoulder height.

Stride and Separate.

You will stride forward in a very controlled and soft movement, while using your shoulder and outside oblique to pull the top half of your body in the opposite direction.

Movement.

Our goal is to keep this movement slow and in control. This is important, because it will keep your head still so you can see the ball better.

Tension.

Once your front foot hits the ground and your hands remain back from where the load took them, this will create tension in your front oblique area.

This tension is like a stretched rubber band that will allow for a violent action toward the baseball. The more stretched tension you create, the more bat speed you can create.

Weight distribution.

At least 60% of your weight should be on your back leg
Your front toe is softly placed on the ground
With your heel on the same (front) foot in the air
Feet.

Your feet should be in line with each other out toward the pitcher. At this point of your swing, your stride should not be open or closed.

Bat.

Your hands are still back – at or above the height of your back shoulder – and your bat should be at a 45 degree angle.

Eyes.

This is where you pick up the ball as quickly as possible and determine what pitch is being thrown, and if you are going to swing.

Final thought on swing separation:

The separation portion of the swing allows your load to turn into momentum to help create as much bat speed as possible. The separation is probably the most difficult part of the swing to consistently repeat.

Next: Weight Shift

Doug Bernier, founder of Pro Baseball Insider.com, debuted in the Major Leagues in 2008 with the Colorado Rockies, and has played professional baseball for 13 years. Most recently, Doug signed with the Minnesota Twins in 2013, where he logged time at every infield position except 1st base in 33 Major League games. Currently Doug is with the Twins’ AAA team in Rochester, NY

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