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Re: Re: Re: Back foot turn

Posted by: StevenV (steven@ars-inc.com) on Mon Jul 10 13:01:03 2006


I received this email in response to a question I had regarding teaching my son rotational hitting. Do you have any comments or thoughts regarding his hitting philosophy? It appears he is advocating a downward arc (he calls it hacking) of the ball, what are you thoughts towards upward swing versus downward arc?

I am curious as to your thoughts...



> > Original post with typos corrected.>i love your enthusiasm,buddy but you are wasting your time. a 7 yo just simply does not have the mental capacity to understand what hitting a baseball is all about. i get the feeling you feel there is something you can do or say that is going get your son to the bigs...just ain't so!!!
> in my personal experience & journey to become a big league ballplayer, i saw a least 6 players who to this day i just don't believe they never got to mlb. one was killed in vietnam & another died over there without ever catching a bullet...he turned into a junkie.
> the truth is there are so many factors & confluence of events that must all mesh in order for a man to get to mlb... one of which is politics. politics are huge in mlb. so many players get to a certain level & no matter what they never advance. another factor is coaching. this is probably the greatest threat to your son. coaches are like voodoo doctors. they harbor & promulgate fear & ignorance. they lie. they play favorites. they crush kids with their mouth. and they don't believe anyone can tell your son what to do better than they can.
> all you have to do is check out the birthdates of every player in mlb. there are probably 6 position players aged 22... les than that are 21; & there are no 20 yearolds. this means that despite the best coaching in the world, there are very few 21 yo's & NO 20 yo's who get it well enough to be qualified to play mlb. that means either the coaches are incompetent or the players don't have enough intelligence & maturity to understand. probably a little of both.
> needless to say a 7 yo has no shot & is so far away from where you want him to go that you just have to say let it go. just let him have fun. he might turn into a great basketball player despite your dreams & plans.
> 18 yo's that i have spent time with don't have the maturity or intelligence to figure it out...compound it with moron coaches all sticking their 2 cents in his ear because they can...it's just too much information to comprehend. only time can help you understand, & then one day... wow!
> don't get too wound up on actually trying to get your 7 yo to mlb
> this year.. it ain't happening. don't get too wound up on him being the best hitter among the 7 yo's, either. the guy you know who makes it was not the best hitter in little league, high school, american legion, or college. but at some point in time he understands & gets over the hump when all the others hit a wall. that guy finally got someone smart to listen to.
> your journey has such a long way to go....you are just starting out.
> the best advice i can give you is to don't listen to anyone & don't let anyone coach your boy. do it your self. serious coaching of your son should probably no starts until he's about 16. start with a closed stance, front foot even with the plate, feet NO MORE than shoulder width. GET up on the plate, get UP on the plate!!!! hands up as high & as far back as comfortably possible. this allows your bat to have a downward arc even on strikes up & in. a stance with low hands or hands visible from the mound means your batspeed is slowed to the point you will never catch up to up/in, because you have no downward arc. you also roll the dice on going out for the season on every pitch!! ask sammy sosa among others: when your hands are out there & a pitch goes by your nose & you duck your face out of the way, but forget your hands are still in the way of the ball & get struck on your hand, breaking your fingers or bones in the back of your hand. happens every day. if your hand are behind your shoulder, you will NEVER get hit in the hands. the pitcher must be able to see both numbers on your back; you must be twisted around WITH YOUR FRONT SHOULDER HIDING YOUR HANDS!! slight crouch, so as to be able to push off your back & get your body weight in motion towards the ball. keep your hands back & comfortably close to your body; arms extended will slow your bat down. short step... then begin to torque your lower body first with your hands powering through after the hips have opened.pretend you have a double bladed axe & you are chopping down a tree. don't swing the bat; hack, explode!!!! don't get caught in the monkey see monkey do routine of mlb hitters, who start with a wide stance & a short step..they might as well be sitting on a barstool for all the energy & force they are imparting into their swing from their legs, which is little or none. your leg is 3 times stronger than your arm... use your legs in your swing!!! mlb hitters (i use the term loosely) want to cock the bat past the perpendicular, pointing at the shortstop or the left field stands. thus the bat goes backwards before it goes forward toward the ball,in the hope of greater speed & more power. well that's great except what happens is although they develop more bat speed & power, unfortunately it takes too long to get there. you can't be "buggywhipping" once the pitch is on its way. i liken it to your being a violinist in an 85 piece orchestra. the conductor starts downward with the baton---YOU GOTTA BE THERE!! you can't be late! late late late!!! missed completely, fouled straight back, popped up. they do that more than any thing. but what they are looking for is to get a pitch down & in... this is the only pitch that they can catch up to, as it is in the one place that such a long swing can get to. lots of players are making a very good living looking for down/in. but that don't make it good or right. the average player has 500 AB, hits .260. that's 104 swings where he reaches base safely, however ever players sees an average of 4 pitches per AB... A TOTAL OF 2000 PITCHES!!! when i talk to a hitter, i don't wan't to talk to him about the one time in 4 that he succeeds; i want to talk to him about the 3 time out of 4 that he fails. he may get 104 hits, BUT HE SWINGS & MISSES OR FOULS OFF APPROXIMATELY 800 PITCHES!!! those are the ones i'm interested in; that is where there is ample room for improvement.
> concerning your boy's problem with the bat: during batting practice get some vet wrap & wrap his power hand to the bat. this will make him understand that he must swing with his right side-- hip & arm/hand are providing most of the power. thus he will not be dropping his power hand off the bat on contact, like i see $5 million/year players doing. when your power hand drops off the bat upon contact, this means you stopped providing power with that hand before it came off the bat... thus you're slowing your bat speed, thus losing power, & probably missing or fouling off the ball instead of making contact. i see this on pitches off the corner where hitters let go of the bat with their power hand & reach with the off hand in hopes of putting the bat on the ball, this is sheer stupidity. #1 DON'T BE HACKING AT SLOP!!!! there are 2 parts to being a GOOD MLB HITTER, & BOTH ARE OF EQUAL VALUE: PHYSICAL & MENTAL. A GOOD STANCE & SWING ARE NO MORE IMPORTANT THAN UNDERSTANDING THAT YOU MUST IDENTIFY A GOOD PITCH TO HIT. YOU MUST LEARN TO SWING AT STRIKES ONLY!!! only then will you be a great mlb hitter. if that pitch your hacking at was a strike & you dropped your power hand off the bat & reached for the ptich, then you were too far from the plate to start out with. understand that most hitters have to learn to eliminate all the many wrong things they are doing before they can do anything right. it's a battle royal
> good luck!!!


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