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Coach Andy's Internet Hitting E-zine, Issue #009-- Hitting Techniques
March 29, 2004
Answers to your Questions on Hitting TechniquesI get lots of questions from you about hitting techniques, how to do things correctly, what's my opinion of something, and to clarify some of what I'm teaching. So today I'd like to share with you some of the answers I've given to individuals, but they may have been some of the same questions you were wondering, or by listening to an answer there may be insights you hadn't even have thought about.
We've gone over different hitting styles in many of the past newsletters. If you're new to the newsletter you may want to review some of those discussions as well. Click on this link to take you there.
Rotational Swing for Baseball or Softball?Question number 1: I am NOT a fan of the rotational hitting method. I would also like to hear your take on the comparison between the two styles of hitting. I would also like to know if it is to my advantage to learn it, in the case of a player coming to me, is already into the rotational style. Should I learn rotational hitting to be able to assist her, or should I try and change her hitting style to my preference?
Answer number 1: If rotational hitting didn't have such a big advocate as Sue Enquist, head coach of UCLA, there would only be baseball coaches trying to convert softballers over to it.
All of the top hitting coaches in ASA, NCAA, and team USA (aka Olympic team) teach the short stroke method I advocate.
So I went right to the source herself and asked her to show me what she was doing and try to convince me of its benefits. She did show me and I was able to duplicate it. I really like it for baseball and have started switching the boys I have over to it. I was teaching them the short stroke method. It generates lots of bat speed and allows for a heavier bat to be used. Since physics says something like d=mv(squared) and you're increasing both v & m, it is a good thing. The reason I like it for baseball is that it puts the bat plane on line with the incoming pitch plane.
It doesn't put you on the pitch plane for fastpitch though. It also doesn't seem to allow as much control of the bat, but that's assuming that kids at 14U have lots of bat control.
Also many of the reasons Coach Enquist went with this swing and away from "squishing the bug" style weren't valid with the way I teach the proper mechanics of the swing. So I'm saying that I'm not converted yet. I have many hitters that crush the ball just fine the way we've been doing it the last many years.
But to your question about a kid who's already on the one track or not, that makes it trickier. Since I have now taught a number of kids the rotational swing, I could do it for a girl, if she were already a good hitter this way. I think if I wasn't comfortable with it, I'd just tell the parents that if they wanted to come to you here's what you'd teach and they could make the choice to come to you (and make the changes) or not. In essence, this is what I did when boys started coming to me, I told them I was going to teach them what I knew and was comfortable with, but I also told them that there were other theories out there, if they wanted to go to someone else. Some chose to stay. It's just been since about October of this last year that I've taken 1 boy over to rotational and now I have a couple more.
Keeping your hands inQuestion 2: Coach, one of my girls is pushing her hands out away from her body instead of coming downward in the "Karate Chop" direction. To review the step this coach is talking about click here. Or review Day 5 of your e-mail hitting lessons from me. If you haven't signed up for your Free 7 day hitting lessons click here. She straightens and locks in the lower arm and swings as though she is a robot. When we are practicing off the tee or soft toss drills she throws her hands through the hitting zone but when batting against the machine or live pitching she pushes her hands away and straightens then locks her lower elbow. What drill or drills do you suggest to eliminate this problem.
Answer 2: What I do for this is 2 things. One is have them hold the bat in such a way as to have the lower hand's thumb off the bat pointing toward their chest (the rest of their fingers and their hands are in their regular position). Then have them move their hands in the correct Karate Chop position (if you'd like to have your team members get their own 7 day's of hitting lessons via e-mail have them send a blank e-mail to hitting-techniques@theInternetHittingCoach.com). This should have their thumb drawing a line across their chest. The second drill is called the Bam-Bam drill. It requires a partner (maybe a coach as the partner or someone who hits correctly). The partner is going to stand perpendicular to the batter (who doesn't have a bat) with the partner's two hands up in the proper areas of where the batter's elbow should end up and the other in the contact area. The batter will move their hands down the plane until their elbow contacts the partner's top hand - BAM - then fire their hands out to the contact spot - BAM. Hope this helps. If any of this isn't clear, shoot me another e-mail.
How's your Batting Average?I get a lot of questions about how to figure a batting average. I have one of the most complete answers on the Internet posted here.
More Hitting TechniquesAnother question I get is if I have any videos or books. The closest thing I have so far is the interview I did with one of the nation's top hitting coaches, Phil Bruder.
Tell me what else you want to knowAre there any other questions you'd like to know or to talk about? Please e-mail me, I'd love to hear from you. Maybe we'll answer them next time. We can talk about when you'd ever want to switch a batter to hitting left handed or how to choose the right bat to use. Click here to write to me
Welcome to the new subscribers, over 100 of you joined this month!!
I want to help as many kids (adults) as I can. If you could help me by passing this newsletter on to your teammates or anyone you know that could use the help we're offering here, please forward this to them. Thanks in advance. Or if you'd like to post any of my information on your website, just e-mail me for permission and I'll be glad to get it to you in a format that will fit your site.
Talk to you next time.
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