What do great baseball swings and noodles have in common?

What do great and powerful baseball swings and noodles have in common?

When you cook macaroni and cheese, in order for the meal to turn out great you must follow the correct order.

Boil the water, then throw in the noodles, then once the noodles are cooked you drain the hot water. Only after this is done, do you put all of the ingredients together in the pot at one time (the cheese, butter, noodles and milk).  Stir them all together, and PRESTO!  You have yourself macaroni and cheese!

I’m ashamed to admit the first time I tried to cook macaroni and cheese I didn’t read the instructions.  For all of you that think its not possible to mess up this dish…well…Try doing what I did my first time.  I read the box enough to see what ingredients I needed.  Then proceeded to throw all the ingredients in the pot at once before I even began boiling the water…I’m not sure what you call what came out of that pot 8 minutes later, but I know it wasn’t anything resembling mac and cheese.

Like mac and cheese, a for great baseball swing to generate a substantial amount of power, everything must happen in the right sequence, and with the right mechanics.  Mac and cheese has the same ingredients.

For those of you that say, “but I look at Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Hanley Ramirez, and the other great hitters of the game…and they all look so different from one another.”

You are confusing the style of these hitters with what they are actually doing.  Style is where your hands start, its how high you kick your leg.  Whether you start with an open stance or closed stance.  Style is a reflection of the human in us all.  Of how we are all individuals.

If you are cooking food, style is the type noodle that you choose.  One person may cook macaroni and cheese, while another may choose to cook spaghetti.  Regardless of the type of noodle or even the ingredients that you are going to put in, you must still use the same core principles:  boil the water first, throw in the noodle of choice, etc…

If you spend time and analyze the videos and pictures of these hitters, what you will find is that although their styles may differ, they all generate their powerful swings by using the same core hitting principles.

If you are a parent, don’t let your kid grow up to mirror what happened to my career.  Teach him (or find someone that can) the core principles of hitting.

During my baseball career (including four years at the collegiate level), when my swing was going right I had warning track power.  I hit a staggering one collegiate home run in the four years I played.  (To be honest, when I think back at the mechanics of my swing its surprising I did even that.)

Needless to say, there is not much room in the major leagues (or even minor leagues) for a slow 6 foot 1, 190 pound kid who can only hit one home run in four years with a metal bat.  I was big and strong enough (Ryan Braun is 6 foot 1 and 200 pounds) especially when you consider that I was using a metal bat.

What my swing didn’t have was the correct order.  I lead with my hands when I should have been leading with my hips.  I bent my front side when it should have locked (the list of errors in my swing goes on and on but you get the point.)

I unfortunately now live with a slight bit of regret about my career.  If only I knew then what I know now…If only I knew how to cook noodles back then!

If you are a player, you don’t have to live with the same regret that I do.  You don’t have to walk down the same path that I did.  On the same token, to all you parents and coaches out there.  No one can guarantee where your kids baseball careers where lead them.

But I can guarantee without the knowledge of the core principles, they better be able to run like the wind, or throw the ball 90 mph.  The only thing that you can do, is give your kids the best information and tools available, and hope for the best.  If you give them this information, then whether they get cut from the freshman baseball team, or make it all the way to college and beyond, and least they won’t have to live with the regret that I’ll never know how good I could have been.

Baseball from the Ground Up is a special website that helps grow players and coaches into the very best that they can be.  Check out our baseball school and learn great information that will help you teach kids baseball.

Finally, for those of you that don’t know, Baseball from the ground up is having its hitting seminar January 19th, 2010.

Visit our Saint Louis baseball clinics page for how to get contact us and get in to the seminar.  The seminar is incredibly informative and answers a great deal of your hitting questions.  Some of the questions are it answers:  When do your hands actually enter into the swing?  Where do you hit an inside pitch?  What about an outside pitch?

The more I see the results of Coach Nicollerat’s hitting program, the more I have come to appreciate the powerful swings that it creates.

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