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Coach Andy's Hitting E-zine, #43 - Batting Tips
August 24, 2007

Batting Tips

In this issue we'll talk about batting tips. I'm going to tell you a 1) Hitting Drill for rotational swingers and slo-pitch softball players, 2) How bats even get into the rotational vs. linear hitting debate, 3) motivate your kids by watching the little league world series, and 4) upcoming news for you.

One Handed Drill for your bottom hand

As I've been teaching the rotational swing, I've had a lot of success getting the concept of the "Weed Wacker" (see my website referenced at the bottom if you've forgotten what this is about), how the hips are doing the bulk of the work, by using this one drill.

You might need a lighter bat than your regular bat for this, but technically you should be able to do it with even that bat. But for this drill I have the kids I work with use a t-ball bat.

It involves gripping the bat at the knob with your bottom hand's thumb and forefinger only. Then as you move your hips and torso the right way you should be able to hit with almost as much power as hitting straight away, since the that's how the swing should be done anyway. So keep your head still and on the ball off a tee to start and maybe rock once or twice until you get it, then swing with a powerful rotation.

Keep working at this until you get it and especially keep working at it until you can hit the ball harder, then try your regular tee swing and see if you don't hit the ball better.

Is your bat Rotational or Linear?

When you think of batting tips or buying a bat, you may not have realized that bat manufacturers are more about the business of selling bats than they are about the business of helping you hit better.

What that means is if the hottest selling bat right now is end-loaded then that's what they'll sell. They don't care about the coaching theory around what an end-loaded bat does. It was the same a few years ago when they were trying to take out as much weight as possible, -10, -11.5, all the way to -13. Why don't you see those as much now? Because the current rage is having end-loaded bats.

End-loaded is great if you swing rotationally because as we showed in the drill above, if you can get the bat started with our hips, then the bat flies through the zone and a bat with weight at the end reinforces this.

So what if you like your linear swing and the only bat you can find is end-loaded? Do you buy that bat?

This situation recently came up with a new student of mine. She plays college ball but was struggling at the plate. To compound that, her coach was teaching her in ways she hadn't used on her high school travel teams. (I recognized what she was describing was the coach was teaching a traditional linear swing). To top that all off, her bat was one of the popular models of today and it was end-loaded.

Since she decided it would be best to learn what her coach was teaching than to go through the whole struggle of convincing her coach to let her swing a different way than the rest of the team, I had her work with an evenly weighted bat and after the perfect swing is embedded, she'll need to find a evenly weighted bat that feels comfortable in her hands.

Which reminds me of another tip on choosing a bat -- hold off buying one until you've developed a great swing, as the swing you start learning will be different than the good one and will make the bat feel different.

Make sure you know which swing is best for you and choose the right bat accordingly.

Here is the Little League World Series schedule

All Times are Eastern Time Zone.
Day Date Time Station Game / Opponents
Sat., Aug. 25 12:30 p.m. ABC International Championship Curacao vs. Japan
Sat., Aug. 25 3:30 p.m. ABC United States Championship Texas vs. Georgia
Sun., Aug. 26 Noon ESPN Consolation Game
Sun., Aug. 26 3:30 p.m. ABC Championship Game

Upcoming News

I have two new things for you. One I'm going to be adding interactivity to my website, so now the thousands of you can give feedback, add insights from your experiences, questions, and have others among you tell of your hitting and/or game experiences. Watch for that by looking for future e-mails and signing up for the RSS feeds.

And as I mentioned in my last in my last newsletter I've written a book entitled "How to Make All-Stars, tips and techniques to help you make the team". It's at the editors as we speak. If you're a publisher or you're chomping at the bit to get this, e-mail me. Otherwise, I'll be letting you know how you can get your copy as soon as I have the editing done.

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


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 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.

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