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Playadlc
04-12-2008, 10:28 PM
I am a new assistant coach at a local high school here in Indiana. I have been having a hard time breaking some of the hitting problems I see with some of our kids.

The main problem I am seeing with our players at the plate right now is that they were all taught a linear type swing. Everything is all hands (not using the body) with a very downward swing plane. While this swing can work at times, I don't believe it is the optimal way to hit. I am a big believer in a rotational style swing. Leading with the hips, using the entire body and swinging in a circular plane (armpit to armpit), like a pendulum.

Now I am relatively new to the rotational type swing and I am still learning. I was not taught to hit this way when I was in high school or college, so I just simply had to study this stuff on my own.

What are some coaching cues, drills, anything that will help them understand the rotational type swing better? I feel like I understand the swing, but I am not presenting in the most optimal way. Basically I am trying to create a system, and I am not sure really where to start.

I know this is kind of off the wall, but any advice on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

captainmorgan07
04-12-2008, 11:09 PM
This worked for me my senior year in high school try having the whole rotation broken down into steps.

Step 1: Make sure their taking the correct step forward with their front foot, at the same time moving their hands back.

Step 2: Rotate the hips which starts to bring the bat foward.

Step 3: The swing and making sure the front leg does not collapse and emphasize a 2handed follow thru.

I myself was not taught this rotational type of swing until my senior year of high school. Our coach before basically taught us minimal about hitting. When the new coach staff came in they had us all stand on one side of the gym with cardboard home plates infront of us. We would all go thru each step as the coach called it out. He started out slow but would eventually would get faster.
After we did this for a few days he put us one by one inront of the group and side tossed wiffle balls to us. He would then brake down our swings and explain to us what we did wrong.
Some people do not pick up on the rotational type of swing as quick as other. Really stress hitting the ball up the middle to the right side.

RANDY IN INDY
04-13-2008, 10:00 AM
I think you have to have an idea of how things work with the swing. I think you have to remember that it is not necessarily how you do it, but if, when, and what order you do it that's important. If there was only one way to swing the bat, all major league players would look exactly the same. You have to control your center of gravity from start to finish. (Dynamic balance) I think you move weight from the inside ball of the back foot to the inside ball of the front foot while trying to keep your head over your center of gravity. That might be the most important position in all of baseball because if balanced, the hitter is ready to produce a sequential rotation that accelerates the bat through the zone.(It's virtually the same position that a pitcher is in when his front foot lands and his sequential rotation begins ending with the fingers and the throwing of the baseball) It's all about balance and creating bat speed through the sequential rotation. What you are basically doing is creating kinetic energy from the ground up and sequentially transferring that energy from the feet, to the legs and hips, to the upper torso and finally to the hands and the bat. You have to do this in the perfect sequential order to produce maximum velocity. The faster the body rotates, the faster the bat is going to travel through the hitting zone. The bat is fired through the zone from a firm back side to and against a firm front side with the front leg snapping straight just before contact. Bat lag is the final link in the rotation sequence. Feet first, hands last. The bat lags behind and is delivered by all the body, to and through the baseball. The bat is the very last link to rotate. Kind of similar to a "whip" action. The bat comes from behind the hitter and gathers speed because of the proper rotation of the lower body. It is all about timing and creating maximum velocity in all the moving parts.

I really believe that knowing how the body works in sequence from feet to hands is very important in understanding the true force and efficiency of hitting. The optimum transfer of energy only can take place when the previous segment is moving at its peak velocity.

smoke6
04-13-2008, 08:32 PM
http://mikeepsteinhitting.com/

I have met and talked to Mike on several occasions at coaching clinics. I don't know if you want to spend any $$$, but Mike's the real deal.

He teaches rotational hitting and will give you 1,000 reasons linear hitting is crap.

MasonBuzz3
04-13-2008, 10:20 PM
i agree with the above about linear style being crap. I don't know if your school has the capability to do so, but using video is huge at the baseball academy i instruct at. We teach the swing in the step method similar to the first response, but using video makes it easier on the kids to grasp where their swing is.

Degenerate39
04-14-2008, 03:18 PM
I saw this quote by Joey Votto just now about Brook Jacoby. I thought this might help you out in the long run with getting the players better at hitting.


“He always has some little thing for me. One thing about Brook is that he is not overbearing about it. I’ve had hitting coaches who throw a lot at you at once, and sometimes that doesn’t do a hitter good. Brook has a little something every day that I can use in that night’s game.”

Also there's some videos on youtube that are short instructional videos that could help. I'd give these a watch if I were you and it won't take 10 minutes of your time.

Good luck to you and your players this season, BTW.

jimbo
04-14-2008, 04:12 PM
We would all go thru each step as the coach called it out. He started out slow but would eventually would get faster.


This reminds me a lot of a training tool that my high school coach used. It was called form hitting.

Stance, inward turn, stride, whip. We would start out with the coach calling out these four steps of a fundamentally sound swing, very slow at first and progressively getting faster. It would begin with stance......relax. Stance.......relax. Stance......inward turn......relax, and so forth.

When I was first introduced to it I thought it was pretty corny, but it ended up helping me a lot as I was a pretty bad hitter before I started high school ball. By the time I had ended up HS career, I was pretty decent at the plate.

My coach also really empasized the mental approach to hitting, especially visualizing. I also thought this sounded crazy at first, but I ended up utilizing it a lot and it really helped with my confidence. I'd visualize my swing everytime I stepped into the batter's box, while also visualizing the pitch and where I wanted to hit it.

Heath
04-14-2008, 04:50 PM
I heard that this Tom Emanski guy is pretty good. Back-to-back-to-back AAU titles. It's endorsed by Fred McGriff, you know.

Spitball
04-14-2008, 09:02 PM
I would be careful when advocating a new hitting technique. It might not help some players. I would suggest tweaking before trying to overhaul. You might likely find some players will take to the rotational, some won't, and some might find a more acceptable performance with a blend.

As I'm sure you are aware, hitting and pitching take a tremendous number of repetitions to create rote muscle memory. Their current muscle memory has been molded over many years of play. Effectively changing a hitter's mechanics can be a tough task. They are reacting in a short span of time to a pitched ball.

How does a batter react to a pitched ball? How does he process all the information that needs to be processed in a fraction of a second? He relies on subconscience conditioning. Tweaking that conditioning with a new technique will require you to make evaluations based on observations. Some might not have the talent to perform the task of hitting with much change to their lifelong conditioning.

The linear mechanics versus rotational mechanics has been around for a few years. Mike Epstein and a few others are making some money with videos, camps, etc. while advocating the rotational method, and opponents say the linear method was part of Abner Doubleday's blueprint. Personally, I don't like to totally "flip" a player. I'd work with elements that fit your rotational beliefs and see what you can work in there effectively.

Just a word of warning, many of your boys at the high school level will have "know-it-all" fathers who have worked years with their sons. Some will be accepting of change, but many will be severe pains in the a$$. Many regard their sons' abilities as products of their DNA, as well as their hard work and knowledge. Grrr...don't get me started.

Playadlc
04-29-2008, 01:10 PM
Thought I might give an update...

Last night our school had one of it's biggest wins in school history, beating Providence (one of the best 2A schools in the state, we are only 1A), 7-6 in extra innings.

We (Christian Academy of IN), trailed 6-3 heading to the top half of the 7th and scored three times to send it to extra innings. In the 8th, a kid for us who has never played, but had showed signs of improving at the plate, came up and delivered the game-winning hit, a line shot to left field, giving us a 7-6 win. It was one of the most exciting high school baseball games I have ever witnessed.

This coaching stuff is a lot of fun.

http://www.newsandtribune.com/highschoolsports/local_story_119225319.html?keyword=topstory

smoke6
04-29-2008, 02:09 PM
Thought I might give an update...

Last night our school had one of it's biggest wins in school history, beating Providence (one of the best 2A schools in the state, we are only 1A), 7-6 in extra innings.

We (Christian Academy of IN), trailed 6-3 heading to the top half of the 7th and scored three times to send it to extra innings. In the 8th, a kid for us who has never played, but had showed signs of improving at the plate, came up and delivered the game-winning hit, a line shot to left field, giving us a 7-6 win. It was one of the most exciting high school baseball games I have ever witnessed.

This coaching stuff is a lot of fun.

http://www.newsandtribune.com/highschoolsports/local_story_119225319.html?keyword=topstory

Congrats!:beerme:

TeamSelig
04-29-2008, 05:04 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UqbfaUehJc&feature=related

Team Clark
04-30-2008, 10:35 AM
Thought I might give an update...

Last night our school had one of it's biggest wins in school history, beating Providence (one of the best 2A schools in the state, we are only 1A), 7-6 in extra innings.

We (Christian Academy of IN), trailed 6-3 heading to the top half of the 7th and scored three times to send it to extra innings. In the 8th, a kid for us who has never played, but had showed signs of improving at the plate, came up and delivered the game-winning hit, a line shot to left field, giving us a 7-6 win. It was one of the most exciting high school baseball games I have ever witnessed.

This coaching stuff is a lot of fun.

http://www.newsandtribune.com/highschoolsports/local_story_119225319.html?keyword=topstory

I know a thing or two about coaching. If you need any help hit me up.