HIP Stick Details

HIP StickThe HIP Stick is a training device for batters in softball and baseball to improve their pitch selection discipline by helping them learn how to judge the horizontal plane of the strike zone by providing feedback about the pitch location. It helps a batter distinguish between good pitches to swing at, and pitches that are borderline or out of the strike zone to let go. HIP is an acronym for Horizontal Indicator of the Pitch. The HIP Stick is designed to help batters judge the horizontal plane of the strike zone when they have a count with less than two strikes. It is 41 inches long, 1.375 inches square, and is made of wood, plastic, or a combination of wood and plastic. It is colored green, yellow, and red, with the green area centered on the Stick and 17 inches wide. The yellow areas are 4 inches wide and extend from the green edge on each side. The red areas are 8 inches wide and extent from the yellow edge on each side to the end of the Stick. The HIP Stick can be placed in various positions on the ground near home plate while a batter is practicing hitting and is used to determine if a pitch crosses through the horizontal plane of the strike zone. When placed on the ground the green area of the Stick must be made parallel to, and in alignment with, the front edge of home plate. When the HIP Stick is placed in front of home plate the pitch location can be viewed by the batter him or herself during the pitch selection decision making process for primary self feedback, and/or by the pitcher or another person standing in front of the batter for secondary feedback about the horizontal location of the pitch. When the Stick is placed behind home plate the pitch location can be viewed by someone behind the batter for secondary feedback about the horizontal location of the pitch after the batter has made his or her own decision about the pitch location. If most of the ball passes over the green area of the HIP Stick the pitch is in the strike zone (horizontally) and the batter should always swing at this pitch if it is also within the vertical plane of the strike zone. If most of the ball, or the entire ball passes over a yellow area of the HIP Stick the pitch is in the strike zone (horizontally) but the batter should not swing at this pitch unless he or she has a count with two strikes because this is a pitcher’s pitch. If any part of the ball, or the entire ball, passes over a red area of the Stick, or outside of a red area of the Stick, the pitch is out of the strike zone (horizontally) and the batter should not swing at this pitch.

The HIP Stick also comes in a two strike version. It is called the HIP Stick v2. The HIP Stick v2 is a training device for batters in softball and baseball to improve their pitch selection discipline by helping them learn how to judge the horizontal plane of the strike zone when they have a count with two strikes. The HIP Stick v2 is identical to the HIP Stick in every way (material, size, physical dimensions) except the colored areas are sized differently. It is made of wood, plastic, or a combination of wood and plastic. The HIP Stick v2 is 41 inches long and 1.375 x 1.375 inches square.  Like the HIP Stick, the HIP Stick v2 is colored green, yellow, and red, with the green area centered and measuring 25 inches wide. The yellow areas are 4 inches wide and extend from the green edge on each side. The red areas are 4 inches wide and extent from the yellow edge on each side to the end of the Stick.  The HIP Stick v2 can be placed in various positions on the ground near home plate while a batter is practicing hitting and is used to determine if a pitch crosses through the horizontal part of the strike zone. When placed on the ground the green area of the Stick must be made parallel to, and in alignment with, the front edge of home plate. When the Stick is placed in front of home plate the pitch location can be viewed by the batter him or herself during the pitch selection decision making process for primary self feedback, and/or by the pitcher or another person standing in front of the batter for secondary feedback about the horizontal location of the pitch. When the Stick is placed behind home plate the pitch location can be viewed by someone behind the batter for secondary feedback about the horizontal location of the pitch after the batter has made his or her own decision about the pitch location. With the HIP Stick v2, if the entire ball passes over the green area of the Stick the pitch is in the strike zone (horizontally) and the batter should always swing at this pitch if it is also within the vertical plane of the strike zone. If any part of the ball, or the entire ball, passes over a yellow area of the Stick the pitch is technically out of the  strike zone (horizontally) but the batter may have to swing at this pitch with two strikes depending on the umpire’s strike zone.   If any part of the ball, or the entire ball, passes over a red area of the Stick, or outside of the red area of the Stick, the pitch is out of the strike zone (horizontally) and the batter should not swing at this pitch.

The HIP Stick also comes in a pitcher’s version. It is called the HIP Stick vP. The HIP Stick vP is a training device for pitchers in softball and baseball to improve their pitch location command by helping them visualize the desired pitch location target areas by color. The HIP Stick vP is identical to the HIP Stick in every way (material, size, physical dimensions) except the colored areas are arranged and sized differently. It is made of wood, plastic, or a combination of wood and plastic. The HIP Stick vP is 41 inches long and 1.375 x 1.375 inches square. The HIP Stick vP is colored green, yellow, and red, with a red area centered on the Stick that measures 8 inches wide. Two green areas extent 8.5 inches on each side from the edge of the red. The yellow areas are 4 inches wide and extend from the green edge on each side. Red areas also extend 4 inches wide from the yellow edge on each side to the end of the Stick. The HIP Stick vP should be placed on the ground in front of home plate while a pitcher is practicing pitching to a catcher and is used by the pitcher for pitch location targets and by the catcher as a location set up guide. When placed on the ground the green area of the Stick must be made parallel to, and in alignment with, the front edge of home plate. With the HIP Stick vP, if the entire ball passes over a green area of the Stick the pitch is a strike by rule (horizontally) and a well located pitch by the pitcher. If any part of the ball, or the entire ball, passes over a yellow area of the Stick the pitch is not a strike by rule, but it is a well located pitch (horizontally) by the pitcher when he or she is ahead in the count. If any part of the ball, or the entire ball, passes over the red centered area of the Stick (in the strike zone), or any part of the ball passes over or outside of the red outside areas of the Stick (out of the strike zone), the pitch is a poorly located pitch (horizontally) by the pitcher.

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