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Re: Re: Rotational vs. Linear


Posted by: Coach9 () on Thu Oct 15 16:28:57 2009


> > Listen, I don't necessarily have an issue with the "rotational" hitting information posted on this website claiming how "linear" mechanics to hitting do not create the same type of bat speed. I will be honest it makes perfect sense to me if the goal of hitting was to create bat speed, and bat speed alone. Unfortunately, I believe there are very few "rotational" only hitters that have any kind of success at a high level. I really can't name any off the top of my head, but i'm sure there a couple freaks out there who are so talented it doesn't really matter. Why aren't there a ton of these "purely rotational guys out there?...because the the goal of hitting is not just to hit with "bat speed" If that was the case, there would be a heck of a lot of current beer league softball players playing in the big leagues right now! The fact of the matter is you have to have a combination of both to be successful, but guys that can't keep there hands inside the ball CAN NOT handle good pitching. Why? The main reason and probably most undercoached aspect of hitting at the young earlier levels is keeping your bat in the hitting zone as long as possible. "Bat speed" IS NOT the only component to hitting! Rotational hitters "circle" the ball which is great if they are perfectly on time because they usually hit with a lot of power, however they are inconsistent because if they are a little early they tend to pull a lot of balls foul, if they are a little late they get "fisted". There is very little room for error. Again, sometimes they are neither too early or late and really hit the ball with authority, but the fact of the matter is most of these guys top out at some point (most before the college level), and the ones that make it are unfortunately relegated to being "5 oclock hitters" or "BP all Americans. So like I said its both, but a successful baseball swing is Short to the Ball, Long through the ball which yes, might sacrifice some bat speed, but the benefit of actually being able to handle all pitches at the higher levels takes that necessary sacrifice. Please tell me what you think, and despite the tone of this post I am glad that people are talking about this kind of stuff. Theres a lot bad information out there.
>
> It is obvious that you do not understand rotational hitting and you think rotational hitting is just bat speed or hitting the long ball with a long swing. First of all, if you understood the concept or could recognize a rotational swing, you would see that almost all of the MLB players use the rotational technique. Examples that are easy to recognize are: Puljos, Pedroia, Utley, Bonds, Griffey, Holliday and many more. A batter will generate a very short swing with the rotational technique. Actually it will be shorter than the linear swing. The bat will be quick to the ball, on plane and have maximum bat speed when it hits the ball. In the rotational swing, you don't swing around the ball you just have a circular hand path. The hands are still well inside of the ball. In fact, with a rotational swing, if you do it correctly it is difficult to roll over on the ball. As for the bat in the hitting zone longer. The rotational swing places the bat on plane with the ball at the beginning of the swing and you can't get any better than that. Pre-launch torque puts the bat on plane and with the rotation of the body you hit the ball with the big muscles and stay connected through out the swing. I guess your idea of getting the bat on plane is being long through the ball. The ball is gone by the time you extend the bat and hands through the hitting area. If my bat is on plane with the ball from the start of the swing, then the bat will be through the ball when I hit it. Add bottom hand torque, or just to confuse you the hook in the hand path, and you will maximixe the power in the swing. All swings have weight shift and rotation the difference between the two, in my opinion, is hand path and the path of the bat head to the ball. It is also hitting with the big muscles. To tell a linear swinger to do nothing with their hands when they hit the ball and they will think you are crazy. Linear swingers are going from A to B, short to the ball, long through the ball, keep your shoulders level, don't turn your front foot out, extend through the ball and many other swing keys. Rotational hitting also has keys -- top hand torque, circular hand path, bottom hand torque, keep your front arm connected to your body, pull the bat around with your front shoulder, open you front foot, rotate around a stationary axis and keep your head still. At the high school level, I see many linear swings that have trouble hitting the ball when it is pitched at 85 mph. The power generated using linear techniques is much less than the rotational techniques. Sure if you hit the ball perfectly using the linear swing it will go a long way but it is difficult to have any consistency. The rotational swing, once you have mastered it, is really a very simple swing. I know it sounds very complicated when Jack explains it on his site but if you look at the video and clips of MLB players it is easy to see why this technique works so well. Up until two years ago I was all into linear hitting and taught the swing to many young players. Now I am sold on the rotational swing and can't tell you how much it has helped to improve the hitting of many high school players. I strongly believe that every high school player should look at the rotational swing and give it a test. Unfortunately, most high school coaches teach linear and that is the gospel. My son swings rotational. The high school coaches are yelling at him to swing through the ball, quick hands, stay inside, don't pull your head. He hits the ball with a rotational swing and they yell, "Thats what I am talking about" and he didn't do anything they said.


Ok, like i said earlier i think its great to talk about this stuff, but here is a part of the problem I have the topic of rotational v. linear in general, and maybe I spoke flipantly in my last post so i apologize. Human beings have an unbelievable knack for thinking, speaking and teaching in absolutes. Baseball coaches are no different. I have seen video on Pujols, Griffey etc. NOBODY is strictly linear or strictly rotational. A good baseball swing has both, and like anything if a swing is too linear (the hands are pulled ridiculously inside the ball like the video demo with a ton of lag in the bat head) yes there will be not much power generated. Likewise if it is too rotational (hands take too circular of a path and hands & bat rotate around the ball) obviously this is not good either. Part of the problem is I think the terms overlap and there is not a clear enough distinction in the coaching world between the two, so it makes for difficult conversation. Someone may say they teach "Linear" and someone may say they teach "rotational", but the fact of the matter is, any good hitting coach that teaches "linear" hitting should realize and understand that if you took a birds eye view of any good hitter, the hands dont go in a perfect line towards the pitcher from stance to finish, because your hands are connected to the rotation of your hips which naturally casts them rotationally out away from your body. Only slap hitters like an Ichiro or somebody would try to push there hands in a straight line (which is almost impossible, which is why he cheats by opening up and running our of the box). Of course the "rotational" hitting coaches cant deny that everybody pretty much hits with some circular hand path (IN A GAME, NOT SOME UNREALISTIC SLOWMOTION DEMONSTRATION). So with that being said, Most of the big leaguers I see, have a good mix of both! They have to have a mix becasue if they were too rotational they would have difficulty with offspeed pitches particularly the changeup, as well as fastballs in. If too linear then hitters are obviously in a weaker state physically as they approach contact. I suppose the best thing I could say is, in the quest to be "current" or "have the latest and greatest philosphy" everybody grabs on to something whether rotational, linear, extension power V(which is just flat out wrong by the way)but, we have to be careful not to OVERCOACH one aspect. Because lets be honest...there are some "fundamental truths" to hitting, but hitting is not black white. There are many different shades of gray. So what do I think: The swing should be LINEAR in terms of the longer the bat head is in the zone horizontally in a straight line towards the pitcher. The swing should be LINEAR in terms of the load and stride should oppose each other in opposite directions in a straight line towards the pitcher and backstop. The hand path is going to be ROTATIONAL or circular until the hands reach the "slot" depending upon where the location of the pitch. In talking about the bat not being in the hitting zone with Rotational mechanics i suppose I mispoke, i should have said guys who have to much of a circular path and 'cast" their hands (which I suppose is my fear of overcoaching what you guys call ROTATIONAL hand path portion of the swing). Honestly, I think its important to talk about hand path but like I said if you never said a word to a little kid and he swung a bat, would he be more likely to swing with a circlular hand path or pulling his hands uncomfortably and weakly inside to the ball? Probably the first one. So....... it almost seems like it is overkill to harp on somthing that a hitter is going to do naturally?. Like I said, you can go too far in the other direction as well, but we need to teach a balance of both, as needed on a player by player basis. If you preach to a long swing guy how he needs to have ROTATIONAL mechanics, you are reinforcing something bad in his swing....Likewise preaching the LINEAR swing to a guy who does nothing but inside outs the ball?! COME ON GUYS, you dont have to be a Guru to be a good hitting coach. Good coaches recognize that hitters are all different, and they need to be addressed subtly in different ways to get the most efficient swing out of their body! -----Am i a Rotational guy...NO. Am I a linear guy..NO. I am a guy (like you guys) who knows what a swing is supposed to look a like, and give "Cues" based on what that individual needs to hear!! I realize its sexier to say im linear, rotational, etc., but how not placing the hardest and most complicated thing in sports into some single category. It just causes arguments instead of constructive,common sense thinking (im as much to blame as anyone).


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