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                  Part One:  Load, Coil, and Stride

 

        Rotational hitting the way other Instructors teach.

 

These pages are set up for you to see what is being taught across America about Rotational Hitting and Linear Hitting. The intention here is to 'show and tell' what the predominant hitting gurus' teach, and how they explain and interpret slow-motion video clips. Most if not all coaches look at the swing and the mechanics just as I will describe below. I am not a very good writer at all, so bear with me as I walk you through the mechanics.  If you have any comments, please let me know.

The reason that I chose to show and explain what other coaches are teaching, is for the purpose of helping you to really understand what they are teaching or you are learning.  I have found that in order to correct what a person believes one must understand what they believe. Then be shown what is correct based on scientific facts.  That way they can make an informed decision on their own.

Everything in this section will describe in detail what mechanics and labels the gurus' place on the swing. Although some of the body parts may not match what is said here, nor the lines drawn, it is not my intention to mislead their theories in any way. Most theories don't even use lines to show the movements as I have for you. They usually just use big words and lots of explanations.

If the actual movement or words describing the movement does not match, it usually comes from a misunderstanding of what happens. This is what they believe to be true.  This is not what NaturalHitting.com teaches.

The description below incorporates many different theories and are not from one single theory.   Whether it is rotational hitting or linear hitting most believe that these phases of the swing occur.  Some gurus' will put different terminologies on the movements, but the look they are going for is the same.

 

 

You just might learn something new.....

 

 

Part One: Load Position

 

The first part of the hitting swing that most hitting instructors teach, is labeled as coil, or load position.  In teaching this position they describe, #1 getting the weight back, #2 turning the front shoulder, hip, and knee inward (inward turn), #3 moving the hands back, #4 picking the front foot off the ground, and #5 reaching forward called a stride.  This usually is taught as an all in one move.  The belief here is that once you get to the load position then the swing will begin.

Their belief is that there is no power generated to cause the swing during this phase. Only to get to this positions so that the player can begin to generate power for the swing. Don't take this wrong, it is a position that feels strong in the legs and arms. Some might even call this getting into a “Torque position”.  It does feel like you are ready to start swinging, but I am saying there has been no work happening to actually produce a swing yet.  That's what they show and teach.  Now let's see.....

 

  • Frame 1–24, Shift weight back and start leg lift. #1
  • Frame 15–24, Front shoulder and hip turn inward. #2
  • Frame 24–40, Move hands back. #3
  • Frame 15–40, Picking up front foot and stride to foot strike on the ball of foot. Toe closed at least 45°. #4 & #5
  • All happens by time he gets to foot strike.
  • Now he is in a Loaded position in Frame 40.
  • From the Load position frame 40 is when the swing starts.

 

 

 

What they teach. #1  To move the weight back or move back to gather your body back. Some teach get the weight back and keep it back when you stride. Some teach weight on the inside of back foot. #2  After or while the body or weight is going back,  turn the front shoulder and front hip toward the catcher or plate, and at the same time #3  move the hands back away from the pitcher. i.e.: cock the hands. 

The second part of the load is #4  To work and move the front leg. The front leg works to turn the front hip inward and push the weight back off the front foot. Then #5 strides or reaches out with the foot and land on the ball of foot.  Keep the weight back so you can rotate with the back leg, (Rotational Hitting). Keep the weight back by striding on ice, (Linear Hitting). 

You will also hear coaches teach “stay back”, “keep your hands back.”, “don't lung”, and many other sayings. All these types of sayings are trying to correct an overall problem that most players have.  That problem is swinging the bat with their arms.  Make sense, right? I am holding a bat with my arms so I must work my arms to swing it. Which translates to the player that he/she should be working their arms from the very start of the move.  It seems logical, but makes a very weak swing.

In Alex Rodriquez's swing you will see that he does the same things as Vladimir just a little different. In frame 1 he has already moved his weight back.  Also Arod starts in his stance much shorter than Vladimir and has a much shorter stride.

 

 

  • Frame 1, Weight is already back. #1
  • Frame 1–9, Front shoulder and hip turn inward. Inward turn or Coil. #2
  • Frame 5–14, Move hands back. Cock the Hands #3
  • Frame 2–14, Pick foot off ground, and stride to foot strike.  Toe closed at contact. #4 & #5
  • Frame 14 at load position.

 

 

Remember that the teaching of "Load Position" is to go to foot strike.  Once you arrive you must have the weight back, hands back, and now after you get there you are ready to begin your swing.

 

Now Mr. Albert Pujols does the same things as the other two guys, it's just harder to pick up the movement.  Follow the list and study for yourself.

 

  • Frame 1–11, Weight is being shifted back to back foot. Little movement happens, mostly internally. #1
  • Frame 10–24, Front shoulder and hip turn inward, Inward Turn #2
  • Frame 25–28, Hands move back. Maybe? #3
  • Frame 11–17, Front foot lifts off ground and returns to barely touch on tip of toe. Stride #4
  • Frame 26–28, Front foot goes to ball of the foot.  Stay Back.  #5
  • Frame 28, Now at Load position.

 

 

Before I get into showing the true movement of the Major League swing I need to bring this subject up about “Load or Coiled Position”.  It is believed as one of the biggest parts in preparing to swing a bat.  It's taught all over the country in some form or another. 

 

What most gurus' teach as getting to the 'loaded position' is really made up of three separate movements.  All three movements are about swinging the bat.  One is just as important as the other.  Where most believe that they are not working to swing the bat during 'load', I contend that by time the ML hitters get to foot strike half of the work has already taken place to create the swing.  You just don't see the work because you can't see the muscles inside.  Just because you don't see the movement of the body performing the swing, does not mean that it is not muscularly working to swing.

You can see that the ball has traveled 1/3 to 1/2 of the distance to the plate by time the front foot touches.  That does not leave much time, less than .1 seconds to react to the ball.  The reason that ML hitters land at foot strike with the ball in the air, is that they are already doing the work that it take to swing the bat. Most gurus' and player that work on the “Load position”, work to complete the stride or foot strike before the ball is ever released.  Amateur players have to land before release, so they have time to start working their type of rotational mechanics or linear mechanics, and also start working their arms to swing.  You will really begin to understand this better as you continue on this journey to the

"The Natural Approach" of the swing in the coming chapters.

 

 

Now here are some other Hall of Fame players that you can see for yourself.  You might think these are 'old school' hitters but remember they played in bigger parks, heavier bats, and softer baseballs.  Oh, by the way, Ted Williams nor anybody associated with him has ever taught an average hitter to become a Major League elite hitter.

 

 

                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                            Ted Williams  

 

 

  • Frame 1–5. Weight shifts back. #1
  • Frame 1–7, Shoulder and hip turn in.#2
  • Frame 3–10, Hands move back.#3
  • Frame 5–6, Front foot off the ground.#4
  • Frame 6-10, Front foot goes to touch.#5
  • Frame 10, Now at Load position.

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Willie Mays

  • Frame 1, Starts with front foot off the ground.
  • Frame 1–4, Striding and hands back.
  • Frame 4, Now at Load position.

                                                                                                      

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                              

                                                                                                        Babe Ruth

  • Frame 1–10. Weight shifts back. #1
  • Frame 8–16, Shoulder and hip turn in. #3
  • Frame 14–21, Hands move back. #2
  • Frame 19, Front foot off the ground. #4
  • Frame19-23, Front foot goes to touch.#5
  • Frame 23, Now at Load position.

 

 

 

 

Now that you have studied these clips and agree or disagree with the terminology or the exact start of the movements that where discussed, let's move on.

 

 

Please   Continue......Popular Hitting Mechanics...Part Two

 

I am taking any and all constructive comments regarding this site because I want it to be the best resource for teaching about hitting.

If you have anything to offer don't hesitate to send me an email:

sean@naturalhitting.com

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