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Coach Andy's Hitting E-zine, #27 - Hands back - attack
March 17, 2006

Hitting Tips for the new season

Isn't it great? Baseball is being played. The World Baseball Classic lets us see high quality play early. Our Little Leagues are already starting games.

It's the most wonderful time of the year (now through the fall!).

Sorry for the lack of writing. I hate it when things like a job get in the way of telling you the hitting tips that will help you and your kids how to be better at baseball or softball. :)

On to the tips

I. The difference between rotational and linear hitting

Just when you thought it was tough figuring out the differences between a linear swing and a rotational swing (and the benefits &/or disadvantages of one over the other), there comes more things to confuse you.

There are people starting to reverse the terminologies. I heard one former college player just tell me that they never got to learn the linear swing like UCLA teaches - "Huh?"

Even the UCLA coach says she teaches both at the same time - "Huh?".

What she means is that part of the wing starts in a straight line (linear), then the rotational element comes into play.

Even a little league coach said to me "I'm not teaching this new linear stuff".

With all of the confusion, I'm more convinced than ever that the video I created, "Rotational vs. Linear, Which Swing Helps You Hit Best" is what you need to understand these differences and get the information to help you and your players to get a better swing.

As many of you are aware and have told me, you want the video, but are waiting for the DVD version.

Originally I was told they would have it ready in January, but it's now mid-March and it doesn't appear that it will be ready any time soon. They have a whole library of tapes they're converting.

The problem is - you need this information now!

So here's what I can do for you now.

Here are 3 options. Follow this link to see the great bonuses or discounts for you.

Relax to Hit Better

II. How to Avoid Nervousness

I have a story to tell you about my own son that may help you or your hitters.

As you can imagine, my son knows the proper swing. In fact, when he does it right, he really does have a sweet swing.

But he has a problem. He gets nervous and he freezes up. When that happens, what he does in practice doesn't look anywhere near what he does in the game.

No matter what level of play, players can get nervous and not deliver their best swings (or may not swing at all). These tips that I gave him should help you and your hitters in hitting when this happens.

You need to relax to hit well, but if you're nervous you tense up so what you should do (and you can time this when the pitcher comes to the set position as you're starting to focus on the release point where the ball will come out) is exhale fully. That's right, breathing out at this moment and letting all of the air out of our lungs relaxes the muscles.

Try it right now yourself. Try to tense up all your muscles, right where you are as you're reading this. Now exhale slowly and fully. Did you notice your shoulders dropped a lot of tension, your jaws, even your arms, hands and back? It works.

Hands Back - Attack

III. Replacing the negative self talk with something else

The next part you want to do in hitting is to give your mind something to think about that's better than "I hope I get a hit" or "Don't strike out".

I like to think my 6 - 7 step approach to hitting is as simple as it gets, but Tony Gywnn simplifies it to 2 steps, "hands back, bottom hand through". So what I did was shorten that down even further to "Hands back, Attack". Hey it rhymes, easy to remember and we don't clog up the brain with too much but we do fill it with positive images and not negative ones.

Here's how it works together, Exhale as the pitcher sets, the Hands go Back as the pitcher's hand goes back in their delivery, then you attack the ball after release. That's it.

Some of you might recognize this as the "Va" step in our rotational hitting or if you're a linear hitter this would be during the "Big Toe" stage.

In fact you may want to change the self talk from "Hands back - attack" to just "Va-Voom" or like many of the major leaguers use, "See the ball - hit the ball".

If you're a baseball player or slo-pitch power hitter or fastpitch player who wants to see what the thoughts are on rotational hitting (in case you missed it, or you need to review) go to

How to make a batting order

IV. Building a lineup for your team

I've built a whole page describing some of the best ways to do this if you're a coach or just interested in how coaches do this.

You can go here to view all of my thoughts and some thoughts based on statistical analysis of what batters do in what position in the order and how that translates into runs.

This reminds me to tell you that you can get a jump on everyone else about the world of hitting by signing up for the RSS feeds and announcements at my website.

If you notice on a number of the pages there are links to "My Yahoo" or "My MSN" or "My Google" or "RSS/XML", these allow you to learn as soon as I create a page or change an exiting one rather than waiting for the newsletter to announce it (or possibly miss it completely, if I fail to mention changes to the website).

As always if you have any questions you can write to me via e-mail.
For other hitting learning, 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.

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