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Re: Strikeouts

Posted by: Captain Obvious () on Thu Nov 26 10:55:58 2009

> 6 months ago I switched from a linear swing to a rotational one. The results are very noticable and I started hitting with alot more power. The swing is consistant and mechanically sound with THT CHP and BHT. However, in games my timing is off and I am ahead of everything. My strikeouts have increased and I often kill the ball foul. Homeruns and doubles are turning into strikes! Has anyone else experienced/heard of this problem? I think it may just be from the increase in batspeed, but Its hard to train your eyes to react differently in live situations. any help is appreciated

Do you constantly jam yourself? Hit balls off the end of the bat? This is because your are turning, not extending.
You have more power because you have more torque, no doubt. You just can't hit because you've made your swing longer and complex. Changing speeds will eat you up. Think like a pitcher: Who would you rather face? the guy who has your swing now, or the one prior. I'll take the long and strong guy all day, and watch him pull balls foulf and roll into dp's.

Trust your hands, let the ball get deeper, stop trying to rotate on the ball. I agree that rotational physics are at play, but you should still think linearly. Game atbats are a far cry from a physics lab. In the game you must marry your personal strengths (are you fast, how big are you, how old are you?), physics, and ability to make contact. You can have all the torque in the world, but as you're discovering, it amounts to squat if you can't make good contact off of a real pitcher that changes speed and location.

Take a straight path to contact. Subtract all of your loading and exaggereated attempts to "get power." Focus on your hands. On backspin and accelerating through contact with balance. Don't make hitting, or any other activity in baseball too complex. You're a player, so play. Let the instructors analyze. If you analyze every cut in every atbat, then you'll be paralyzed. Ron Polk (Mississippi State) had a great expression: Red Light vs. Green Light. When you work on your mechanics, be in a Red Light/ Analytical mode. When you hit live, be in a Green Light / Free Mind mode. Just go A to B, hit to a feel, and let it go.

Also, you don't have time to take 15 tousand cuts. You need to be effective today. This is the problem when you make mechanical adjustments that A) Don't feel natural (am I right? Did you force these mechanics?), B) Don't adress timing or your specific strengths as a hitter (how many out of 10 in BP do you hit out the yard? If it's less than 3, than stop trying! I bet you're pulling everything, rolling over like crazy, and suspect on off-speed. Stop making Shortstops Gold Glovers and get inside some balls.), and C) are In Season.

Think Linearly, react linearly, and the mechanics will be rotational with a purpose. You don't play slow pitch softball? You need less time abused by your swing not more torque, take a shorter path to the ball, and subtract some excess movements before you launch your hands (like "loading," "turning," and other Hips centerred thoughts).

Free Drill:
Use a short bat (no more than 25 inches long) and put it in your bottom hand only. Stand wide and firm up the legs. Don't load, don't try to "get power," and don't even turn your shoulders or hips (no squashing the bug here. Just launch the bottom hand and the knob inside the ball (that should be tossed 0 to 6 inches from your left toes towards the plate, not over the plate...this will lead to casting, jamming yourself, and hitting off the end of the bat). No casting over the plate! You should backspin balls back at the mound.

Now go hit live bp as normal and keep your top hand from taking over to contact. Backspin everything.

Look. You may never be a 40 homerun guy in the Bigs. You also may never be an astronaut or the President. Trust and have confidence in who you are. Power and velocity is sexy, but doesn't win games or make the player. Stop trying to generate power, work on how you impact the ball. Batting Practice heroes are a dime a dozen, you want to be a hitter...it means you can't sacrifice time (during your swing) for a return of power. Not everybody can be a Ryan Howard (hit 50 homeruns and strikeout 200 times every year). They just strikeout without the homeruns...we call those guys "Team Killers."


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