Steve Englishbey Swing Theory Analysis
I've been hearing about Steve Englishbey for a decade now. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if I know his stuff, I'd have about 12 more dollars in my pocket right now (which would actually make a significant difference to my day unfortunately). But frankly, I never cared to look into his stuff because I was too busy with my own work on the swing. Now that I'm finished and have figured out the baseball swing though, I took the time to get to know him a little and understand what he teaches. I gotta say, I'm impressed. Here's a guy that finally did his video homework. He understands that the main difference between the great ("elite" as he calls them) hitters and everyone else, is that the elite hitters allow the bat barrel to release because they don't push the hands outward toward the ball.
What I'm saying is that he has the positioning right and he understands that the main difference lies in the very start of the forward swing. The other thing that I'm impressed with is how he distills the key to the swing down to one phrase - "hold on to the damn bat and turn." A true student of the swing will eventually come to the realization that the swing movement must be eventually made into a single, simple concept. After all, it's a one second movement. There isn't enough room in the movement for more than one swing thought.
Where he veers off and loses me is when he talks about the importance of tilt. This is a popular concept right now in swing instruction, but it's just a red herring. The amount of tilt you have in your swing is inconsequential. Many will compare it to deadlifting, and how deadlifters have tilt in their hips at the top of the movement. So what? Hitting is not deadlifting.
Another area in which he is off in his theory is in how he teaches the swing. It's one thing to understand the difference in the great hitters and a whole different thing to know how to teach it. The former took me five years of obsessively studying video. The ladder took me fifteen years of ruining my hip and needing hip replacement to discover; The real value is in understanding how to get someone to achieve a great swing.
His teachings will lead to you holding the arms in a tight contact position in order to get the barrel to whip into the zone. Most hitters WILL hit better doing this. But it's not the optimal way.
As you can see in the thumbnail of this video, he is whipping the barrel out into the zone by holding his arms in a bent and close-to-the-body position. But doing this will teach you to tighten and restrain your arms from extending. While on video it will make your contact positioning tighter, it's sort of an artificial way to do it and is not ideal.
Check out Steve Englishbey explaining his theory of the swing here: