Baseball Swing RSS

The feel that Babe Ruth felt through the swing I think was like no other hitter ever - the slot position he felt, the early entry of the barrel into the zone, it was all so beautiful. It's popular to say Ruth couldn't produce in today's game. That's comical to me. Ruth would probably dominate even more than he did. Because now he wouldn't be competing with hitters who also came from the sandlots.  Instead, he'd be competing against guys with swings developed from swinging plastic as a kid, and hitting off of pitching machines a few times a week. ...

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Getting the barrel out into the zone early on is extremely important.  The above drill is great for teaching kids how to do it without making them think too much and ending up with a clunky, machine-like swing.  I love drills that get the player to figure it out on there own, and that's what this one does. If you're coaching players, just give them the rules of the drill - the ball has to be moved back toward the catcher about ten inches - then they have to hit the ball up the middle.  Try to get them to hit the...

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By the time they reach high school, barely any hitters still have the bat-tip action in their swing.  The bat-tip is a natural movement that develops when kids want to hit the ball hard.  It's a good sign that a hitter has his head in the right place.  Unfortunately, this action is typically coached out of hitters.  Coaches call it a "hitch" and say it's wasted movement.    The big problem there is you are changing a movement that developed from an aggressive mentality at the plate.  If you change the movement, you begin to change the mentality.  A coach...

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The first part of the baseball swing should be slow.  You are just starting to rotate open but it isn't quick.  This is how slotting happens.  If you fire open quickly, gravity can't drop your hands and flatten your bat.  It's this slow first part that allows the proper slotting action to happen.   One of the more puzzling swing changes of the last decade was Jose Bautista's.  He said that all he did was start everything earlier, which basically means he gave himself more time to be slower in this first part of the swing.  And by being slower he...

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Sifting For the Great Swings The purpose of this blog is not to be mean.  It's to shed light on a big problem in swing instruction right now - the arbitrary choosing of mechanical models.  If he's a good hitter, people reason, then his mechanics must be worth emulating.  People need to learn how to separate the great from the good.  You can't just choose any "good hitter" and declare that his swing mechanics are ideal because he is good, or has had a few very good years.  You have to pick players who are great and great over a...

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