Now, what about that level swing? As I said, you have always heard that the ideal swing is level or down…But if you get the ball into the air with power, you have the gift to produce the most important hit in baseball–the home run. More important is that you hit consistently with authority. For those purposes I advocate a slight upswing. And there is another good reason for this–the biggest reason: Say the average pitcher is 6 foot 2. He’s standing on a mound 10 inches high. He pitching overhand or three-quarter arm. He releases the ball right at ear level. Your strike zone is, roughly, from 22 inches to 4 feet 8. Most pitchers will come in below the waist, because the low pitch is tougher to hit. The flight of the ball is down, about 5 degrees. A slight upswing–again, led by the hips coming around and up–puts the bat flush in line with the path of the ball for a longer period of time.””[Ted Williams, The Science of Hitting, p. 62]

(Check out additional baseball information on hitting: What is Rotational Hitting?, Linear and rotational hitting)

How many kids today who take hitting instruction look like they can plane the pitch?

manny rotatinal

Most youth players don’t look like Manny or Arod.

Notice the surprisingly similiar positions that both Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez are when they are about to make contact with the ball.

Despite starting in different places, they both use the same rotational hitting principles as they progress through their swing.

To the naked eye, Manny and Arod appear to have very different swings because they start in different places.  Players see professional hitters hit, but when it comes to executing a similiar swing the majority of hitters end up looking quite a bit different than Manny and Arod do.

Most kids tend to look more like the pictures below Manny and Arod.

Why is there such a difference between what the professional hitters do and the youth hitters? Let’s take a look at what some youth hitters have been taught!

Common Teaching Points Over the Years

  • Keep back elbow up
  • Don’t dip your back shoulder – keep your shoulders level
  • Swing down on ball
  • Keep the bat head above the ball.

This site will help you understand that the major league hitters don’t do the things that have been taught to the youth hitter.

We have all been guilty of teaching what we were taught and not doing much homework. Technology today has allowed us to really take a look at what professional hitters do. It is not that what we have taught is totally wrong, but until now we have been teaching only half truths.

A powerfull baseball swing is a dynamic process, and a hitter’s body is only able to maximize the force that he hits a baseball with if every part of the body is working in the correct order.  Some of the errors we have been teaching tend to mix up the correct order

See more information on hitting:

What is Rotational Hitting?

Linear and Rotational Hitting

Want more information, click on the links below to listen to excerpts from a previous hitting clinic:

Hitting Clinic

Thoughts on Hitting and Coaches

Hitters and Types of Bats

Thoughts on Rotational Hitting

Some Hitting Questions

 

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