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 What they say is not what it looks like.   The work that is done in the swing is internal and cannot be seen.

                           Part Two:  The Swing

     Rotational hitting the way other Instructors teach. 

 

The second part is where most gurus' really separate what they believe.  This section is going to incorporate all types of theories such as Rotational and Linear hitting. Most believe that after the stride or at foot strike, is when the swing really begins. Meaning that there has not been any work going on up to the point of 'Load' to actually create the swing itself.

 

Everything in this section will be based on what other coaches and their theories teach on the second part of the swing. I will try to describe in detail what mechanics and labels they 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.

 

The descriptions and lines drawn are what “they say and what they show”, not NaturalHitting.com way.

 

I will incorporate many different theories. For the two prominent theories of Rotational and Linear I will use a blue letter to link to each theory. Example:  R   or    L

 

In this Part two there are a lot of things happening, so I will break down this phase into two sections.

 

First section will discuss the mechanics of the legs, hips, and rotation along with weight shift. The second section will discuss the mechanics of the arms.

 

After this page I hope to show what is really happening in these great swings and bring to you a better understanding of how these major league hitters are producing the movements that you see.

 

 

Section One: Legs and body

 

See if the facts the gurus' talk about actually match the movement that you see.  Study each fact and see for yourself.

You be the judge if the body part matches each fact. 

 

First what Rotational Hitting gurus' teach.

 

  • Frame 41–47, The back leg rotates violently to turn the leg and hips.(grind on ground) R
  • Frame 48–52, Weight stays on the back ball of foot. (squash bug) R
  • Frame 50–52, Weight comes off the back foot at contact. Only some teach this. R
  • Frame 41-52, Back hip turns around front hip or axis of body. (Hips are looked at the area right at the belt line of the pants or just below a few inches.) R
  • Frame 41–46, Hips turn out from under shoulders to create a Torque of the upper body. Torque to swing.  R
  • Frame 41–52, The back leg shifts the weight by pushing and turning. R
  • Frame 48–52, The front leg straightens and becomes rigid or strong. R
  • At the point of contact most believe that they get here, by working the back leg, hip, also the shoulders arms, and hands.  R
  • Frame 52, At the point of contact we need to be in a power V, stiff front leg, hips turned 90°. Back leg turned on the ball of foot. Tilt back away from front foot. R
  • Rotation around the axis.  R
  • Head stays still.  R
  • Hit against the front leg.  R

 

Now watch the same swing and let's talk the way Linear Hitting gurus' teach.

 

 

  • Frame 41–47, The back leg, knee, foot, hip, pushes off the ground. Push forward. (leg must straighten if this happens) L
  • Frame 50–52, Weight comes off the back foot at contact. L
  • Frame 41-52, Don't teach hips but do teach turning on the ball. L
  • Frame 41–52, The back leg moves or shifts the weight by pushing and turning. L
  • Frame 48–52, The front leg straightens and becomes rigid or strong. L
  • Landing on ice first then shift weight forward L
  • Hit on top of front leg.  L
  • Hit against the front leg.  L
  • And many others.

 

Pujols using Rotational and Linear ideas.  See if what the gurus' say match what you see.

 

  • Frame 29–39, Turning or rotating back foot, knee, and hip. R
  • Frame 29–39, Grind on back foot to create a rotation, weight must stay on back foot, squish the bug. R
  • Frame 29–39, Push and turn off back leg. R & L
  • Frame 29–39, Shift weight to front foot. R & L
  • Frame 29–39, Front heel goes down as back heel comes up. R & L
  • Frame 29–33, hips turn out from under the shoulders and cause a torque position. Shoulders are held back to create this effect. R
  • Frame 34–39, Front leg straightens and is rigid, leg must work to straighten itself.      R & L
  • Frame 39, Rotation around the axis, or center of body. R
  • Frame 33–39, Midsection, abdomen, or core as some people call it rotates. R & L
  • Frame 39, Tilt of front leg and trunk at contact, lean back, or tilt back in the swing. R
  • Frame 39, Belt buckle turned toward pitcher. R & L

 

 

Pujols using Rotational and Linear ideas.  See if what the gurus' say match what you see.

 

 

  • Frame 14–19, Turning back foot, knee, hip. R
  • Frame 14–18, Grinding back foot to create a rotation. R
  • Frame 14–18, Squash the bug. R
  • Frame 14–18, Push and turn off back leg. R & L
  • Frame 14–19, Front heel goes down as back heel comes up. R & L
  • Frame 14–19, Front leg straightens and is rigid. R & L
  • Frame 19, Rotation around the axis, or center of body. R
  • Frame14-19, Midsection, abdomen, or core as some people call it rotates. R & L
  • Frame 19, Tilt of front leg and trunk at contact. R
  • Frame 19, Belt buckle turned toward pitcher. R & LM
  • Many more points one could contend.

You have now carefully watched the videos above and tried really hard to see if the movement actually matched each teaching point they teach.  If you are like me, I have a hard time matching any of the movements up with the teachings.  Be patient a New Approach is coming soon.

 

 

In Rotational Hitting theories there lies a train of thought for the lower body.  Power comes from the lower body (legs and hips).  The idea is to get the weight on the back foot. Drive the back knee, back ball of foot, and back hip, in a violent explosive turn.  Some teach weight stays on back foot(squash the bug), will others say it's okay for the weight to leave it. As the turn of the back side happens you need to firm up the front side or leg.  The leg will be bent at first touch down. As the rotation and weight is shifted to the front leg, the leg then needs to straighten. Some teach to straighten and drive backwards in order to help create the tilt.  Others describe this rotational hitting as heel up and heel down. Meaning back heel is down and front heel is up at the point of 'load'.  At 'load position' lift back heel and at the same time lower front heel and during this rotate the back leg.

 

In Linear hitting theories there is a train of thought.  Power comes from shifting weight back, then forward.  The misconception of this theory has really been blown out of proportion.  Charlie Lau Sr. started this back in the late 70's and early 80's.  I studied this theory during my playing days as a teenager.  It is really about making an aggressive move forward to get the weight shifted all the way to the front foot.  He never indicated to keep moving forward once the weight got to the front foot.  He was the first to term, 'rigid front side'.  All though Lau did not teach hips and rotation, but more about getting the weight shifted forward to the rigid front leg.  It was his belief that the rotation would happen automatically (page 112 of “The Art of Hitting .300” revised).  That is true for some, but not for the majority.

 

 

 

Section Two: Arms and Shoulders

 

Now in this area there are a lot of ideas of what happens and how the work is done with the arms and shoulders.  Here are many ideas that are taught by the gurus'.  The ideas may or may not match the actual look of the videos.  Not my doing, but this is what they say and how they show it to explain their beliefs of the movement and work.

 

 

This is an inside pitch, remember this fact when watching.

 

  • Frame 41–48, Swing down to the ball.
  • Frame 41–49, Bring back elbow down to side of ribcage. R & L
  • Frame 41–48, Pull hands in to stay inside the ball. R & L
  • Frame 41-51, Pull knob of bat to ball. L
  • Throw the hands to the ball. L
  • Frame 49-51, Take front elbow up toward the sky. R
  • Front shoulder lifts, back shoulder drops. R
  • Frame 49-52, With bottom hand pull back and at the same time, push the top hand forward.(row the boat oar) Bat speed
  • Frame 41-58, Hands stay in a circular arc. R

 

 

 

 

This is an inside pitch, remember this fact when watching.

 

  • Frame 39–43, Swing down to the ball.
  • Frame 41–49, Bring back elbow down to side of ribcage. R & L
  • Frame 39–42, Pull hands in to stay inside the ball. R
  • Frame 36-43, Pull knob to ball L
  • Throw the hands to the ball. L
  • Frame 43-45, Take front elbow up toward the sky. R
  • Frame 44-45, With bottom hand pull back and at the same time push the top hand forward.(row the boat oar) Bat speed
  • Hands stay in a circular arc. Bat speed

 

 

 

 

This is an inside pitch, remember this fact when watching.

 

  • Frame 14–18, Swing down to the ball.
  • Frame 14–19, Back elbow drops to side. R&L
  • Frame 14–20, Hands inside the ball.       R & L
  • Frame 14–20, Pull knob to ball. L
  • Frame 19–21, Front elbow up to the sky. Back elbow down. R
  • Frame 16–21, Front shoulder goes up, back shoulder drops.
  • Frame 20-21, Pull backwards on bottom hand as top hand pushes forward.(row the boat oar) Bat speed
  • Throw the hands to the ball. L
  • Palm up, Palm down. R & L
  • Hands stay in circular arc. Bat speed

 

Manny Ramirez on an outside and low pitch just to give a different look.

 

In Rotational Hitting theories there lies a train of thought for the arms. First hands must go back away from the body (cock the hands, happens in the “Load Position”). Second the back elbow at shoulder height, and then drop the back elbow into a slot or by the ribcage. Keep hands in close to the body. Right before contact the front elbow moves up and points to the sky.  The power of the swing comes mainly from the back arm.  Now for the shoulders.  Some teach level; some teach front shoulder up and back elbow down.  Some teach stay in a circle with the hands. Some teach swing down for back spin.  Some teach a slight upper cut. Wrists snap a point of contact. Some teach right at the point of contact to pull the bottom hand back and top hand to push the bat head out faster. Some even teach wrist rollover. Most are trying to accomplish a short quick explosive swing, no matter how they teach.  So many ideas on what to do, but there is only one true way.  That way will be discuss in "The Natural Approach" sections.

In Linear hitting theories there lies a train of thought for the arms like these. Bottom hand and front arm are the most important. Front arm pulls the hands through. Pull the knob of the bat to the ball. Go out to the ball for contact. Top hand has palm up and bottom hand has palm down, this really goes to both theories. Follow through is really important to them.  Release top hand after contact, and finish high.  Most people perceive this as a long swing.  There are others explanations, but you get the point.

 

Now that you have reviewed the facts above, you may or may not agree with everything that was shown.  The intention here was to show and tell what the predominant hitting gurus' explain and interpret for you when they explain a slow-motion video clip. Even when they say what is happening during the movement does not truly come out in the illustrations.

As you continue to the next section you will see that the explanation becomes clearer and matches the movements that you see in slow-motion.

Please Continue....The Natural  Approach  Part One

The Truth of what happens in the swing.

 

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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