Back to Back Issues Page
Coach Andy's Hitting E-zine, Issue #020-- Rotational Hitting Questions
May 02, 2005

Rotational vs Linear

In this issue you'll find

1. The difference between Rotational Hitting and a Linear Swing

2. I need your help on my upcoming video

3. Great buys on baseball equipment

Answers to Rotational Hitting Questions

Last newsletter I introduced you to my simplified approach to teaching rotational hitting.

This month I have fully expanded it and created a web page that explains what we went over last month, (with some differences) but it also has a signup to get 7 e-mails explaining it further. You'll love the pictures I've used to illustrate some of the points when you get the e-mails. Go to this page for the fuller explanation and the free e-mails.

I had many questions about this, but one coach covered many questions that you might have and the answers I gave tell a lot about the two styles of hitting.

Coach Sewell writes:

"Hi Coach, Thank you for the wonderful insights and interest and support of the game, especially for the developing players and coaches. Your method is a positive step toward growing and improving the sports world especially softball. Rising tides...

My question to you is one of clarification and semantics. Please comment on the use of such terms as "rotational", "short/compact", "baseball", "softball", and alike as they pertain to swinging the bat and hitting the ball.

Please include examples of proponents ("names") of the "different" camps?

I think this would help those of us especially who are trying to understand what are the differences (if there are in fact physical differences).

Thanks, Mitchell Sewell Bedminster, NJ

Here's my answer:

Thanks for writing.

I agree with you that there would be a lot of folks who would like to understand the fundamental differences between swing types. So much so, that I'm making a video on this very subject. Right now the terms that seem to polarize the hitting community are "rotational" and "linear". Both styles can be used for either sport, but generally rotational is for baseball and up until recently linear was for softball. Both advocate a short/compact swing.

In softball circles, UCLA, Arizona (as was TeamUSA), and ULL have all gone to rotational from their original linear roots.

In my last conversation with University of Cal (Kim Maher, hitting coach) and University of Tennessee (Ralph Weekly, 1996 & 2000 Olympic Teams Hitting Coach), they are still linear, as are the most winningest coaches in ASA history with over 25 national titles between the 3 coaches.

So without going into all that it will take to cover in a 1 - 2 hour video, if done correctly, either swing can take you to a very high level, it comes down to more of a coaching philosophy. The short game is more linear by nature and the long ball is normally associated with rotational.

You see that even in baseball. The Ichiro's, Carew's, Gwynn's were more of your typical linear hitters, where the Sosa's, Bonds', etc. are considered more rotational. Although the case can be made that there are exceptions. Even Tony Gywnn, when he wanted power and more towards the end of his career when he pulled the ball more, was influenced by Ted Williams showing him how to turn his hips in a more rotational fashion. And the typical rotational hitter will use a linear swing when fooled or thrown on the outside of the plate.

So maybe it's best to master both and use the right swing in the right situation.

And all done in .4 seconds :)

It's hard enough to master one of these swings, but they are different enough that's why I say to choose one and fully master that swing rather than getting only 50 -60% of either or both.

Coach Andy

A return and clarifying question.


Thanks for the prompt response.

I found my message in my email drafts. I was working on the question last year when I became aware of you and more intensely interested in softball hitting. My daughter was in her first year of 12U travel/tourney ball.

I think I am understanding and possibly making an analogy/connection to tennis which I also coach.

The linear style would be more "old school" pre-80's tennis at least where the hitting was more long and arm.

Today the "modern style" tennis game is definitely rotational using esp. the lower body and trunk.

Linear/small ball softball would be techniques in fastpitch such as slapping and pushing the hit through holes past fielders as opposed to a "slow pitch" boom ball, yes? Am I catching the general idea?

And with the younger athlete what is the primary goal for the developing "interested/serious" fastpitch hitter?

This year I have been asked to coach a 12U team in an ASA league (more serious than "rec.")

Thanks, Mitchell

My Response to that


I think you've got it and I think you've helped other people understand it better, too by allowing your questions and answers to be printed.

For the competitive kids, I think you're going to need to make a decision based on what we've gone over here.

There is a lot of momentum in certain areas to really implement rotational.

I think if you create a whole team on that approach you'll have lots of success when the kids are hitting and you'll experience a dry spell when they aren't.

On the other hand, the small ball approach can only score a run at a time (as a rule).

It might be good to have some of each. Quick left handed linear slappers followed by powerful rotational hitters.

Coach Andy

I Need Your Questions

As I mentioned, this month I am shooting a video about how to teach both the linear and rotational style of hitting and the advantages and disadvantages of each style.

I could really use a lot of you coming up with questions that would help you understand each of these. If you or anyone you know is trying to understand baseball or softball hitting send them to this page

I've set where you can submit these questions. I will try to answer you right away. I will certainly make sure that everything is covered in the video.

Watch this newsletter for when it will be released.

Great buys on baseball equipment

I have a student that I've worked with for the past couple of years who's gone over to the dark side - he's playing water polo instead of baseball. :)

What that means to you is there's a great opportunity to buy up his and his dad's equipment (his dad had bought a full set of catcher's equipment, due to the fact we had got him pitching so hard that it was starting to hurt him). There are batting helmets, 2 bat bags, 3 bats, an instructo-swing, and many other items.

If you want me to send you the list and the prices (they're all better than you can get elsewhere), shoot me an e-mail.

Welcome to you who are new to my hitting e-zine. I'm working on changing 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. It didn't happen this month, but I'm trying 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

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.

Back to Back Issues Page