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Coach Andy's Hitting E-zine, Issue #019-- Rotational Hitting
March 21, 2005
Rotational Hitting Made EasyIn this issue you'll find
1. Breaking down Rotational Hitting to make it easy to understand
2. Why learn Rotational Hitting
3. The steps to a rotational swing
4. Opening Day thoughts
5. Other Resources to Understand Hitting
Breaking down the steps easier hittingCongratulations!
You are part of the first people to see and learn from my new copyrighted work on hitting.
For those who have been a part of this newsletter for over a year, you may remember that in Dec of 2003 I told you of a hitting style that was going to cause a storm in the softball side, because the national championship coach was advocating hitting a softball should emulate hitting a baseball.
See the article in the archive Since that time I have encouraged Sue Enquist to help make the steps simple, easy to understand, and easy to duplicate.
In addition to talking to and working with Sue on this, I bought Mike Epstein's videos, books and DVD's (www.mikeepsteinhitting.com). I've studied Jack Mankin's BatSpeed.com, and I've talked on the phone with Scott Sarginson and Steve Englishby and had e-mail dialogs with Tom Guerry and Mark Hanson (hitting moderators for hitting-mechanics.org).
What I did with them was kept encouraging them to help me come up with something that was as simple as
my 7 steps for successful hitting.
"If you don't have it easy to understand, easy to duplicate and easy for coaches and have check points it won't get taught right and you'll end up with about 50% of a good swing." Is what I was telling them.
If you remember my recommendation from back in 2003, it was choose one style, master it, and stick with it. 90 - 95% mastering one style is better than 50-70% of the "other" way.
So what I have for you today is my best learning so far as to an easily duplicatable style of learning and teaching begining hitters or people new to rotational hitting how to execute this swing.
Why learn Rotational HittingThis swing is useful for baseball especially. Many of the principles of what I'm going to show you here work for slo-pitch softball as well. And as we're seeing a number of the top programs in fastpitch softball, including UCLA and Arizona, who's coached by Olympic coach, Mike Candrea, going to this swing, it might be good to learn for fastpitch softball.
It comes from studying the best hitters in MLB with video analysis tools and determining the steps they take. This same analysis was used on many top hitters in women's softball as well and the conclusion has been that these hitters almost matched exactly the elements in the MLB swing.
The steps to a rotational swingThe stance doesn't change from what we've advocated all along, so step 1 is still - Jump in the Box -
The grip has been determined to not be as much a factor, except in how you finish to the ball, so we'll leave that until later.
The stride seems to be different in different individuals. The extreme example is Jeff Bagwell with his super wide stance actually strides backwards. Alex Rodriguez lifts his foot and puts it back down. A number of batters stride a little bit, going on to their toe and some take no stride, but whatever you choose here starts the explosive action that really gets the swing in gear. That's why I call it --
Drop the B-o-m-b!
One way or another, you will end up with your heel touching down which starts the next motion which I call --
It's a funny name that most of the grown ups will understand, but may be lost on the kids. As your heel is touching down it drives the lead hip to pull the back side forward. (see how this differs from the twisting on the rear foot to turn the hips, this motion is lead by the heel hitting down and driving a hip motion with your pelvis that Elvis would be proud of. This in turn creates a platform to tilt your body and apply what I call --
spin the Weed-Wacker.
If you think of a Weed-Wacker, the middle spins with a lot of force and a thin nylon cord (analogy for the bat) comes along for the ride, at a 90 degree angle to the core, in such a powerful way that it can do it's powerful work. This is where the power comes from and actually another side benefit is that since the hips lead the hands the bat is on plane with the ball longer, thus allowing more chances to hit the ball. So you are swinging in a slight up plane that will send the ball into the outfield more often for line drives and texas leaguers.
As the bat whips around you'll see the rear elbow come close to the body like the elbow is connected to the hip as it rides around the rotation until it contacts the ball with the hands --
Palm up, Palm down
Bottom or pulling hand will be on top of the bat with the palm facing down and the top hand (or the hand you bat with, i.e. right hand for right handed batters) will end up with the palm facing up. So the grip doesn't matter as I mentioned before as long as you end up with this strong grip to finish.
So that's different enough from the other style to not mix them up.
Pick one and work on perfecting it. Hopefully I made it easier to understand for you.
Opening Day ThoughtsThere's nothing like opening day. My son just had their opening day for Little League and the majors are just weeks away. I know they say that spring starts this Sunday, but for me there should be a national holiday that marks the true start of spring, opening day!
Maybe it has to do with one of my ancestral cousins on my mother's side was the first president to throw out the first pitch on an opening day, back in 1910. My mom was a Taft.
Other ResourcesAn item from the past that I really like and I've mentioned before is the writings from Babe Ruth, written around 1928, where he described his beliefs about hitting, pitching and playing the game itself. It's a great read and you can learn a lot. To see about this Babe Ruth info, go here.
Another resource to understand a different style of hitting is a recording I did with Phil Bruder. Phil just won another national title this year coaching his daughter's 14 under team to the ASA national championship.
Phil will tell you that his swing is not rotational and he definitely doesn't advocate a palm up, palm down approach to the ball, but he might have been the first to understand how important is was to swing hard for girls and in so doing he had the kids rotating very similar to what I call the Weed Wacker.
In fact one of his former students was on this years Olympic team and is used as a model of the rotational swing for women, so he has a lot to listen to when he talks about hitting.
This recording is one hour of him talking about his approach to hitting and the simple training exercises he has all of his students implement. I interview him and try to clarify for the listener what is obvious to him, but may not be obvious to the listener.
We sold out of our first run of these CD's and now have a freshly made second set.
So go here before these are gone.
I also had a couple of links for people who were interested in websites. To see how I built my website and how it helps me write this newsletter and increase traffic there's
this link for Sitesell.
I really wanted to have video to demonstrate the rotational swing for you, but that will have to be for another time, but I do have a resource that I just signed up for that will help deliver video clips to your website or e-mails and they have an introductory trial for only $1.
In fact, on Wednesday, March 23rd at 5:30pm PST (8:30pm EST), you may become 1 of 953 individuals to get private access to a history-making teleseminar on where you'll learn how to easily add streaming video to your emails and Websites ... even if you have little or zero technical knowledge.
You're just $1 away from easily adding streaming video to your emails and sites.
Welcome to you who are new to my hitting e-zine. I need to change the format of this newsletter because it takes so long to write so much and I feel like some of you are storing these but never reading them, so if you don't mind I'm going to write more often with only 1 tip at a time.
Thanks again for all of you who read this newsletter. If you find it of value, could you please pass it on to someone you can think of right now?
Talk to you next time.
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.
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