Does Getting On-Plane Really Matter In the Baseball Swing?
Ted Williams wrote about the concept of swinging with a slight uppercut to your swing in 1970. It didn't really help anyone then and it won't help anyone now.
This trend of "new school" hitting coaches touting the importance of swinging up more stems from the advent of launch angle monitors in baseball. Here is one such example of what I'm talking about, but there are endless examples of this on the internet. Regardless of where it comes from, IT WON'T HELP YOU HIT BETTER.
What matters when it comes to consistency in baseball is a system working in the swings of great hitters called "the moving fulcrum." I call it the moving fulcrum because your hands - the fulcrum point - moves farther forward as the barrel is travelling through the zone. This means that the bat is squarer for a longer period of time.
The "new school" swing coaches will have you believe that by just swinging up more, your barrel will be in the zone for a longer period of time. Ok. Maybe it is. But who cares? Because if the bat is in the zone but it's not square enough to hit a fair ball, then why does it matter that it's in the zone?
The hardest thing to do in baseball is SQUARE the bat up to the ball. This means, "make contact with the ball with the bat perpendicular to the flight of the ball." This is the main thing the pitcher is trying to avoid, and the main thing you are trying to do. Most of the time that you swing and miss, you missed not because you weren't on plane with the flight of the ball. You missed because you didn't square the bat up. Think of a pinball machine - THE BALL IS ALWAYS ON THE SAME PLANE AS THE LEVER in a pinball machine. The trick is to swing the lever at the right time.
The moving fulcrum is a system in the swings of the greatest hitters. It's a system that you can get to work in your swing as well. To me, it's the most important system working for a great hitter and the main reason why they have an uncanny ability to square the barrel to the ball time and time again.