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Coach Andy's Hitting E-zine, #37 - Swing Level?
February 28, 2007

Should you swing level? or slightly up? or swing down on the ball?

It's already happening this season!

Kids that I've been coaching have been crushing the ball, but are ending up on teams that have coaches who tell these same hitters to swing differently than I've been coaching them.

So for you who are new to this newsletter (within the last year) and even the seasoned veterans :) should listen up as to what could happen to you or your hitters.

As you're aware from reading my website and newsletter there are 2 prevelant swing theories out in the market place.

(Follow me carefully on this.) Normally it won't matter what you choose as long as you learn whichever style you choose, practice it and master it. The reason it won't matter is because kids traditionally aren't really being taught anything and something is better than nothing.

While this is true, I have taught my son and almost all of my students the rotational swing (both boys and girls) to generate the power to get the ball into the outfield for extra bases. They are having great results, but as I mentioned above, they are running into linear thinking.

Here's a little quiz for you. How would you answer the question in the headline? If you said swinging down or level, you're invariably teaching with linear swing logic.

The logic that says if I just hit it on the ground, they will have to 1) field it cleanly, 2) throw it correctly, and 3) field it cleanly again to get the out -- 3 chances for error. Vs. hitting a flyball.

Well the logic behind the rotational swing is that there is a force that hits the ball harder by using you bigger muscles to coil and uncoil and that by swinging "slightly" up (as Ted Williams used to say), you'd be driving the ball in the gaps and some would go over the fence, for doubles, triples and home runs.

While the first logic is sound at the lower levels (10 and under) and therefore justified in choosing the linear swing model, most kids start scooping those up and throwing and catching them just fine thank you. So then you're left with, best case, a hard hit ball hit on the ground through an infield gap.

The linear model will tell you that the goal of a perfect swing will be to even out the swing so that you'll swing level and produce a line drive.

The flaw in that logic? They took a study of all the hits at the major league level and discovered that the best batter at hitting line drives would be hitting a line drive 11.1% of the time. That's the best of the very best.

What do you think the chances are of your little charges hitting line drives anywhere nearly as much as that?

Since most coaches will only teach one style or the other, it might be dependent on you to educate those coaches as to how your son or daughter hits and to not mess with what you've got going.

How do you do that?

It was for that very reason that I created the video "Rotational vs. Linear, Which Swing Helps You Hit Best?"

One was to educate many of you and others to the benefits of a swing you might not have heard of. The other was to give you a way to intelligently direct other coaches (specifically the ones trying to mess up your kids) as to the benefit of what you were working with them on.

So while many of you are comfortable with the choice you've made to the type of swing you've chosen from our free hitting lessons and therefore never thought about getting the video, there might be this new reason so that you'll have a resource to show the new coach, presented by a coach who has more years into coaching than only a handful of other coaches and almost assuredly more than that newly chartered assistant batting coach of your little baseball or softball leagues.

Here's where you can go to learn more about this video.

Opening Day

Can you feel the excitement in the air?

Spring Training Games start today and tomorrow and for my son's league and many others Saturday is Opening Day.

Kind of makes you feel like all's right with the world again. I love this quote - "There are 2 seasons in sport, Baseball and the Void." (I don't have who said it readily available.)

So it's baseball (or softball) season. Play Ball!!

If you want to get better at playing in your league, go watch a game of players that are better than you. If you're in Little League, go to a high school game. Envision yourself playing for your team one day. Or a college game or the spring training games that will be on TV.

Stay in touch throughout the season

I build my website in spurts, so at any given time I could be working on something that might be helpfult for you and your players, but you might not hear about it until the next newsletter or the newsletter is full and I don't mention it at all.

So don't forget to return to from time to time.

Or a better way is to sign up for the RSS feeds or MyYahoo, etc and that way if you check your RSS reader you'll see immediately when I've changed any pages or added new ones.

Here's an example, I've been working on a page about Sue Enquist, the great UCLA softball coach, who's produced 20 videos about how to play the game. I didn't get the page done in time, but it will be soon, before the next newsletter. So here's the page so far, for those who can't wait.

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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