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Re: Fastpitch - Linear vs Rotational

Posted by: Tompl13 (tompl13@aol.com) on Sat Apr 3 10:19:54 2010

> Hi All
> Below is an e-mail I received and my reply I thought may be of interest to pass along.
> ##
> comments: I am confused on what is the best style of hitting for girls fastpicth softball. I have played baseball my entire life and consider myself to be a student of hitting. I started reading up on hitting when my daughter started playing softball and I realized she as a slow bat or is lacking bat speed. I have tried many types of drills. Finally I have taken her to a hitting instructor who teaches more of a liner style hitting approach and to the ball type style, after a year of lessons I still don't see enough bad speed and when she makes contact there is no reaction off the bat. What should I do ? very confused. All coaches have different theories and batting styles. I need to find a style that gets my daughter in the line up. Signed Frustrated.
> Hi XXX
> I can well understand your frustration. It gets very confusing to parents and players when bombarded with conflicting views on hitting principles and mechanics. Then there is the question of whether or not the mechanics used in the baseball swing would be productive in fastpitch hitting. However, whether a coach is working with a fastpitch, softball or a baseball hitter, he has the choice between two very different teaching concepts -- linear or rotational principles.
> One of the key differences between the linear approach and the rotational principles taught here at Batspeed.com is the role the shoulders play in the swing. With linear principles, the shoulders stay fairly static (or linear to the pitcher) as the arms drive the hands across the body in a linear path toward the contact zone. Linear coaches also stress the point that most of the energy that powers the swing comes from the rotation of the hips.
> This presents a fallacy for linear principles. -- It is important to note that the linkage (arms, wrists and hands) to the bat is connected at the shoulders - not the hips. It is bio-mechanically impossible for the energy of hip rotation to be transferred upward to the bat while the shoulders remain static. This also explains why linear coaches have to spend so much of their time teaching mechanics that get the "hips to lead the hands."
> When the arms are used to drive the hands across the body while the shoulders remain static, there is little incentive for the hips to rotate. Therefore, it must be stressed and taught. This is not the case with the rotational principles we teach here. With the rotational principles we teach, I rarely have to mention 'hip rotation.' We teach our student to keep their hands and lead-arm back and allow the rotation of the shoulders to rotate the hands into a circular path.
> I find that by stressing the importance of shoulder rotation (right from initiation), the students hips will automatically rotate ahead of the hands to aid in driving a powerful shoulder rotation. I sometimes place a pad between the chest and lead-arm to insure shoulder rotation is initiated to accelerate the hands. If the batter drives the hands ahead of rotation, the pad will drop.
> XXX, from your e-mail, I think you can understand the frustration and demoralization my students feel while being "corrected" by a linear coach. I would suggest you study frame-by-frame videos of both the best fastpitch and baseball hitters and judge for yourself whether they exhibit linear or rotational principles. -- In that regard, I will place a link below (with video) to a post from the Archives that show rotational mechanics are used by the best fastpitch and baseball hitters.
> Fastpitch and Baseball Swings
> Jack Mankin

I started teaching my daughter Jacks principals at the age of 12.She has gone from being a base hitter,to a high average,power hitter.At the Age of 15 she now always leads her select team in BA,HRS,Sluggin etc.She is leading her High School team as a Sophmore with over 1100 slugging percentage.The big thing people always say is that her swing is to long and not quick enough to the ball.She has changed the minds of many people over the last 3 years.The biggest thing i think most traditional fastpitch folks dont understand is that bat speed is bat speed.They are teaching quick to the ball,but not with the part of the bat you are making contact with.I cannot say enoug about Jacks philosiphies and program.And would encourage any dads of young fastpitch players to buy this and start their girls off right.My daughter plays on a 18u Gold team and always hits 3rd in the lineup as a 15year old.Do daughters a favore and start them on this program,it will pay off.


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