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Discussion: The Stutter Step

Posted Discussion
April 18, 2013
Pull My Finger
68 posts
The Stutter Step

I have never used to the "Stutter Step" when hitting, but I see a lot of hitters that do. Most that I have talked to like to use the step to insure the ball will be at waist/chest level when they swing. I'm sure there are other reasons for the step. But does the step help increase bat speed? Do you use the step? How does it help you?

Any input is appreciated.

April 18, 2013
Clean Up
39 posts
I heard that some guys use the "stutter step" because they need something to do while waiting for the pitch to arrive.
April 18, 2013
crusher
Men's 70
380 posts
You use it if you are adjusting to a 3rd strike pitch...

Else, you are playing girls fast pitch softball.

Have a good year. Or just setup and look for your pitch and crush it.......

Crusher
April 18, 2013
4x4
Men's 65
590 posts
Walking the box...some are very successful with it and can crush the ball....a couple of guys I spoke with were avid active tennis players and they liked it because it helped them place/gap a ball like they are use to. One young guy can go 375-400 consistantly to pretty much all fields. In Thailand they call it the Chiang Mai Shuffle.

I've experimented with it in BP. Sometimes feels good - most times feels awkward - but I can't dance either. I'm ususally at the front of the plate so walking up/starting from the back of the box didn't feel right

I think it's something you have to dedicate yourself to and have patient team mates playing tourney ball because you are not going to be consistant hitter for your team until you get it down. It does seen logical that you could pick up some pop as you are actively moving toward the ball. I know I had a few wow swings when it went right.

It's easier off a tee. But unless you are a tennis player or Happy Gilmore it will take a LOT of work.
April 19, 2013
ChiPrimeMarty
Men's 55
65 posts
Guys who grew up in Chicago playing 16 inch softball are more likely to walk the batters box. There used to be no arc limit, and with the big old wooden bats it helped to start out farther back and step forward into optimal position to put everything you had into the swing.
April 19, 2013
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2585 posts
I used it successfully Tuesday night in our league. Just as Crusher said, third strike, the ball probably would have hit the outside front corner.
April 19, 2013
?
75 posts
"Walking The Box" is a term I don't think I ever heard before. It seems to be very popular with guys from Chicago and New York.
Also guys I have seen using the "walk the box" style of hitting use it for every pitch, not just only for the third strike.






April 19, 2013
CRUSADERVB
Men's 65
272 posts
YO 4X4 PETER, YOU'RE RIGHT ABOUT ''YOU CAN'T DANCE''. I REMEMBER LAST YEAR IN RENO WHEN I WAS TRYING TO TEACH YOU THE ''CHICAGO SHUFFLE''.......YOU SUCKED.
April 19, 2013
Snot Nose Kid
38 posts

I have watched videos of a lot of the big name "boomers" of slow pitch softball. Names like Hall, Crine, Helmer and others. And I have not seen any of them using the "Shuffle" of "walk the box" or whatever it called. Sure, these are big, strong guys, but for the most part it doesn't seem this style of hitting is used by most softball hitters.
April 19, 2013
4x4
Men's 65
590 posts
Yeah Yeah Yeah Big R.....LOL . . . . let's see one two three one two three - where in the heck did four come from? With me it's not dancing with the stars - it's Dancing With The Scars !
April 20, 2013
4x4
Men's 65
590 posts
You know - I MAY have to be back to the US at about the same time as RR. If so I might just hook up & head out and get the chance to see everyone there. I've got bats/gear stored in the rig so may get some BP in. Now - talking to the wife maybe we'll stay for a couple of months and RV it (I'm thinking of tourney locations but she doesn't know that) and play some ball too. Have to see how it goes. But 2 months 24/7 still won't straighten out the dance moves.....
April 21, 2013
Az Iz
30 posts

I have tried hitting a ball off a tee using the "stutter step" style. Since I'm not a "stepper" I was trying to see what advantages, if any, in obtaining higher bat speed. While I admit this is not very scientific, there were some differences that I noticed. First, I noticed that using the "step", hitting the ball consistently was not very good due to the fact I'm not used to making so much movement. I noticed that my eye to ball angle changes a lot as I moved toward the ball. With that much angle change I can understand getting used to it requires lots of practice to be able to make solid contact more often than not. Also I did notice some gain in average distance on the balls that were hit well, but not so much as to change my current hitting style.

Maybe somebody that is used to "stepping" could try hitting off a tee using both styles and give some conclusions.
April 21, 2013
garyheifner
331 posts
I used the step-2 step-shuffle (what ever you want to call it) for too many years to remember. It is like a golfers waggle before bringing the club back. I have heard some claim it can add 10 to 15 feet to a deep ball. I do know you won't walk much. It helps place a pitched ball in your desired window more often than with a static stance. It is very easy to adjust your approach to the ball and go opposite field. There have been tournaments that my timing felt off and I went with the static stance for a while. It can be hard to do if the batters box is deep, full of dust/loose dirt and uneven. I find the batters box is usually very good in the ring tournaments as compared to qualifiers.

Some shuffle into the ball without the back foot passing behind the front foot during the steps. Some like to have the back foot pass behind the front before the next or final step.

There are a bunch of Chicago area 12" and 16" players who are simply great hitters using the technique. There is so much hitting advice out there, it boggles the mind. Find your comfort zone and go for it.
April 22, 2013
Donny C
54 posts
I have used this (2-4 step) for many years; started it when they had unlimited arc. I found it easier to stand back in the box in case ball came deep if it came in shorter I could step up to it and make it a good pitch. I still use this and gives me the waist high pitch I like. One can go opposite field also with this by just stepping up in that direction. Works well for me. Donny C
April 22, 2013
glovedad
26 posts
I also use it to go opposite field. It seems to help get me in better position. One of the problems with is is that I start the steps before I know how good a pitch I am getting. Sometimes I have already made up my mind to go opposite field and go after a bad pitch. I do find it helps get my body in a better position to go to right field. Lots of swings in the batting cages is what helped most.
April 24, 2013
4x4
Men's 65
590 posts
The more I think of it - it seems the shuffle or stutter step is really supseptible to pitchers that can make the ball move - either curve (which some can for 12" or more) drop (ditto) or knuckle - worse with headwind and a pitcher that knows how to seam it accordingly. If you start to move you commit - if you've decided to swing you're toast.

It may be more of a situational hitting strategy than a constant if facing upper level pitchering. If you got a guy pitching that's just trying to hit different parts of the zone/plate not varying his pitches/distance/height/delivery/ball speed/trajectery/cadence/spin/attitude - then the shuffle might tend to be more successful.

There is a difference in classifications. And this is one area of them.

April 24, 2013
Donny C
54 posts
Once a pitch leaves the pitchers hand all one needs to do is watch it to see what it is doing. The ball comes in so slow I do not think curves, knuckle balls really work very well in slow pitch. They work great in fast pitch. I pitch and a good hitter is going to hit the ball, I can only try to make him hit my pitch which hopefully is not the one he wants to swing at. The pitcher does not have an edge the way the game is played now. Perhaps the new rule will help this year that enables a pitcher to throw from anywhere within the circle which is bigger this year. Donny C
April 29, 2013
PlanoPlayer
Men's 55
70 posts
I "walk the box" and learned to do so as a result of playing unlimited arc ball in Chicago. For those of you that have never played unlimited arc, I can tell you there were pitchers that could put the ball 25-30 feet or more in the air and drop it just off the point of the back of home plate. Very difficult to be effective against a great unlimited arc pitcher and there were many more ground balls in that format than now.

Anyway, although I still "walk the box" as I feel it helps me get my momentum moving forward for more power, and it helps my accuracy when hitting line drives, and probably most important for me, it helps me make contact with the ball in front of the plate, I am beginning to wonder if it is the best thing to do. When I see the big hitters in USSSA conference softball hit or the big power hitters in senior tournament ball, none of them "walk the box" and when I hear them talk about hitting and they comment about someone that "walks the box" they all say that they do not like that much movement in the swing and I am figuring who would know better than them? I guess for me, I have been doing it for so long, that I have made it work for me.
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