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Fastpitch hitting -- Linear vs Rotational

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Fri Oct 26 23:58:02 2007

Hi All

The key difference between linear and rotational mechanics is what should power the hands to the contact zone. With linear mechanics, the shoulders remain closed and the muscles of the arms drive the elbows and hands at the ball. With rotational transfer mechanics, the arms do not extend the hands forward. The arms, elbows and hands remain back and are rotated in circular paths from the rotation of the shoulders.

In a recent post, Re: tee practice routine, SMiller describes drills that promotes the linear batting principles mentioned above. Below are excerpts from his post.

“Then step with the left foot (Positive Move), and when the hitter gets to heel lock, she will throw the back elbow at the inside of ball. (As coaches we have all said, “Throw your hands at the ball.” But we really want the hitter to throw her back elbow at the ball.) She should strike the inside portion of the softball with the bat.”

“The hitter will go through their negative and positive movements and then after heel lock they will lead the swing with their front elbow. This movement is very similar to throwing a frisbee. The hitter should strike the ball on the inside portion of the ball. If the hitter is hitting outside of the ball there is a good chance that they are leading with the front shoulder and not the elbow.”

Throwing the elbows and hands at the ball produces a more linear hand-path and is at odds with the rotational transfer principles this site promotes. We contend that in order to generate maximum bat speed and a productive swing plane, the hands must be rotated in a circular path. Taking the hands in a circular path (CHP) is what induces the bat-head to swing around (the “pendulum effect”).

First, I will show clips from our instructional dvd, “The Final Arc II”, that demonstrates the most efficient position the elbows should maintain in order to rotate the hands in a circular path.. Then, I will show clips of some of the best hitters at the WCWS and let the reader draw their own conclusions.

Hand and elbow to the ball

Drills from Final Arc 2

WCWS Hitters

Jack Mankin


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