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Coach Andy's Hitting E-zine, #38 - Rotational Thoughts
March 27, 2007
Hi

More Rotational Thoughts

Here's the response to one reader's view on my answer about rotational thoughts that I had, compared to the linear swing.

Thanks Andy,

I think it's great you took the time to read and respond to this. It's too bad there isn't a clone of you out here coaching, but the next best thing is your DVD so I'll be ordering that today. Your advice makes perfect sense, and thanks again for responding.

-John

Here's his question and answer concerning these rotational thoughts that I had. He's asking about fastpitch softball, but my thoughts apply to baseball as well.

My daughter plays on a 12u select team and 1 year ago was an effective line drive linear hitter, but on her team they have been forcing her to learn rotational for over a year, and all I'm seeing is dribblers that never clear the infield. Now there is a complete lack of confidence in my daughter every time she takes the plate, and since shes been trying to force this swing for over a year, trying to go back to linear style hasn't worked at all and now her mind is tied up and she's pressing every game. I'm very skeptical of rotational hitting as a result and would love to hear any advice on what to do. The best hitters on my daughters team have completely abandoned rotational and not a single rotational hitter is hitting well. One of the kids is even using rotational in practice just to satisfy the coaches, but is using linear in the games. Is this problem common with rotational hitting being forced on the players, or is rotational not the problem, but improper teaching the problem? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,

John, the answer to your hitting question

Hi John,

Thanks for writing.

This is exactly what I told other coaches when I heard Sue Enquist talking about the rotational swing she was a proponent of.

The problem comes when someone hears "Rotational" is a great swing, then only gets partial information as to how to teach it. I too have observed teams that say they are "rotational", but are doing drills that are possibly okay, but there isn't anyone enforcing that they're doing them right, nor telling them how they corelate to what they're trying to do at the plate.

I've also have a little challenge with the softball coaches abandoning a fairly succesful swing for the promised "nirvana" of the rotational swing.

I've taught both styles to girls, and both acheive great results. But I'm a stickler on getting it right and making sure the kid has it right. Plus, I teach a lot of boys the rotational swing, so I'm really familiar with what I'm doing there.

It's so much easier to teach boys rotational, because they have the added advantage that their slightly upward swing will match the pitch plane that comes from the pitcher's hand to the catcher's glove. Plus with the infield being grass, there's a premium in hitting it to the outfield, whereas in softball with the dirt infields and 1st and 3rd in so tight, a sharp grounder can get through much more than in baseball.

I know the whole theory that the ball is slightly dropping in softball as it crosses the plate, even in fastpitch, and even on a riseball, due to gravity, but you have so much less time to match that pitch plane than you do in baseball, so unless you're an advanced teacher in hitting that way, you may not get the results promised.

Again, I've taught girls how to do it and they pound the ball, but I also know what I'm doing in teaching it.

But having said that, you can also have a coach that teaches the linear style poorly too.

My philosophy has always been, either style, taught and executed correctly, is better than the other style, regardless of its potential strengths, taught poorly, or a mish mash of approaches to hitting.

You may want to get my video and see if your coaches are teaching one or the other correctly (as both styles are featured) and if not, implement the one you want with the steps I show. http://www.theinternethittingcoach.com/hitting-video.html

Getting kids to swing the bat

Do you coach a team that the kids aren't swinging the bat?

I help with the hitters on my son's team and I developed a point system that the kids are really responding to.

See if it might work for your situation. You may want to tweek the points a little if you'd rather reward the linear swing mechanics (this example is more for rotational hitting).

-1 K, No swings, watched 3rd strike
0 K, Watched 3rd strike, some swings on other 2
1 K, but swung at 3rd strike
2 foul ball during the at bat
2 BB, with no swings
3 BB, with some swings in AB
4 BB, with fouls during AB
5 Any fair ball
6 Hard hit grounder
6 Line drive
6 Fly ball to the infield
7 Hit ball that goes to the outfield
8 Hard hit ball to the outfield
9 A hit ball that hits the fence
10 A hit ball that hits the fence on the fly
11 A hit ball that goes over the fence

Before you discard this tip, think about if you can say this about your team -- our team (a 10U Little League Minor A team) has gone 5 games without having 1 kid watching 3 strikes go by without swinging and everyone of the kids has already put the bat on the ball and hit it fair at least once during those 5 games. A great accomplishment for the whole team and especially the bottom of the order kids. Needless to say our team has climbed into first place.

If you notice, early on in the season the premium is to get the kids swinging the bats, so regardless of outcome, out, error, hit, it's all the same. We even had one of our bottom of the order kids hit into a double play, but he was so excited about getting 5 points, just as excited as our top of the order kids are with their first 9 point hits (we've had 3 different ones now).

Believe me, if you get the top through the bottom swinging the bats and have them start concentrating on getting it to the outfield, the hits (and runs) will come.

Power Hitting

I've just come across a new hitting DVD for baseball called Hitting for Power. It's produced by the same folks that made my video and is led by one of the minor league hitting coaches for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Tony Dello (he's at AA Memphis). http://www.theinternethittingcoach.com/hitting-for-power.html
Again, if you have any questions or comments you can write to me via e-mail.

To see other hitting tips in past newsletters, go to the past issues of my hitting newsletter page.


Welcome to you who are new to my hitting e-zine.

Thanks for reading and talk to you next time.

Coach Andy

6801 Dove St. Ventura, CA 93003

805-642-5827

Coach Andy Collins has been helping players achieve their goals in softball and baseball for over 30 years. He's an advisor to national teams and can help you be a better hitter. He offers free information on his website www.theInternetHittingCoach.com and through free e-mail hitting lessons and has just introduced a new hitting video discussing and demonstrating how to hit great with either the rotational or linear hitting methods. http://www.theinternethittingcoach.com/hitting-video.html

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