by Larry Cicchiello
(White Plains, New York)

I managed a 12 year old team and 7 out of my 12 hitters were “loading up” back toward the catcher when the pitch was already on its way. Baseball parents and coaches should watch for this very common bad habit that many young players have. Easy fix but must be addressed immediately!

Loading Up Earlier

by: Larry Cicchiello

Yes, I think the only cure if a hitter is “loading up” too late is to load up earlier. I prefer that a hitter load when the pitcher raises his throwing arm. But if you advise to load up when you can see the pitcher’s butt, that’s fine also. The main thing is that too many young hitters load up TOO late.

I don’t like loading up too early either BUT it’s much better than loading up too late where you will have little or no chance to hit the ball. Loading up too early puts the hitter in a little bit of a “pause” mode.

If you load when the pitcher raises his throwing arm, then stride when he is releasing and then swing if desired, you will have 3 separate movements that are done in rapid succession and have good momentum into the pitch. (The key is that they are quick but you must attempt to do them in a smooth manner.)

There are some that even teach to load and stride at the same time. Like I mentioned, I do not like this “pause” mode that’s created when you do this.

Apr 13, 2012
Fixing the loading up problem
by: Coach Henze

Hey Larry

So, in your opinion, what is the easiest fix for loading up too late? Simply telling the batter to load up earlier?

I have always told my players to load when the pitcher’s leg kick starts. So, I simply tell my hitters to load when the pitcher shows his butt cheek. They remember that!