How to Increase Bat Speed - Linear Drills vs Rotational Drills
In this article, Batspeed.com uses video analysis to show that rotational drills increase bat speed more than linear drills. Linear drills promote an (A to B) hand path while rotational drills promotes a circular hand path to increase bat speed. A circular hand path induces a "Pendulum Effect" that produces angular acceleration of the bat. As we explain our Instructional DVD, The Final Arc 2, this is one of the important reasons why the Rotational Swing Model is far superior to the Linear Model.
The smooth powerful swing of the game's top hitters is the product of "rotational mechanics." Their swing generates greater bat speed much earlier in the swing. Describing rotational mechanics will require a new set of terms, like: "Rotation around a stationary axis," "A circular hand-path (CHP)," and "Applying torque from initiation to contact." - Note: We will address 'torque' in the swing in a following article.
However, for decades nearly all batting instructions, whether taught by coaches or described in books and videotapes, were based on a "Linear Swing Model." By linear, I refer to the concept that bat speed is derived from a batter's forward weight shift and extension of the hands. Linear coaches use cues like: "The shortest distance between two points is a straight line," "Drive your hands A to B" and "Throw your hands (or knob) at the ball."
As the video below shows, none of the linear cues mentioned above will help a batter maximize their bat speed. To maximize bat speed, the rotation of the body must propel the hands in a circular path. A CHP will induce the "Pendulum Effect" that accelerates the bat-head around the swing plane. This is a key component of a "Rotational Swing Model."
An overhead view of the hand-path of the best hitters clearly shows they do not extend their hands in a linear (A to B) path. Below is an overhead view of Pete Rose's swing. His hand-path is representative of what you find with all the best hitters.
Conclusion: Practicing drills from a linear model will not allow you to maximize your bat speed. To reach your full potential at the plate, you must practice the concepts of a Rotational Swing Model.