The Two Most Important Parts of the P4P Swing
"Keep your hands inside the ball!" How many hitters' swings have been ruined by this teaching? It's really the basis for the entire paradigm under which kids are taught to swing today, and for the past 60 years. It's not like the sandlot days. Now we put kids through a system and churn out cookie cutter swings like a factory, and yet nobody checked to make sure the swings we are teaching are actually working better. From my vantage point, they are not.
This is more than just a cry to teach our kids a better swing. If what I'm saying is true - that swing instruction nowadays does more damage than good, then this would have huge implications for the evolution of baseball. Think about it. If kids in America are getting taught an inferior swing from the time they start playing baseball, just think of the opportunity that is out there right now. If we instead understand the swing correctly, if we come to a general agreement of what the best pound for pound swing looks like, then just imagine the revolution in hitting that will take place.
All the reasons for why we haven't seen a .400 hitter in almost a century are just excuses really. And I've heard them all. One of those reasons postulated by a renounced scientist in the 1980s argued that we haven't seen a .400 hitter because, get this, hitters are getting better. And then, of course, there's the pitching has gotten better arguement and the hitting-is-so-much-harder-now argument. Neither argument has evidence to back it. In fact, I believe that the arguments for why hitting was harder a hundred years ago much more compelling.
We must humble ourselves enough to recognize that we've been teaching the swing wrong. That's the first step. Then, we all have to get to work and look at the video. Study the best pound for pound hitters. We should consider ourselves fortunate that we have video of these old timers. How awesome that we can study the swings of Babe Ruth and Rogers Hornsby!
Study their positions. Study their movements. See for yourself what the best pound for pound swing is. Notice the patterns that emerge. I assure you that if you spent 20 years doing that, you'll likely come to the same conclusions that I have - that baseball swing instruction has taken a wrong turn a long time ago and we still haven't corrected course. That the best pound for pound swing is in fact nothing like the swing that is taught on a mass scale in today's baseball culture.
What I am bringing to light isn't just a baseball swing instruction issue. It's a problem in sports instruction in general. Modern day instruction in sports tends to make movements more clunky and veers athletes away from having more power and consistency. My mission is to shed light on this problem. I see a future where we spend a majority of practice time honing in on these hyper-valuable one second movements in sports and work to get them near perfect. Once our focus shifts toward that end, our practice time will be made much more efficient. The competition for ever more perfect movements will be in full swing and there will be a worldwide revolution in the way all sports approach training.