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Re: Re: Re: When to change a swing?

Posted by: ronnie (rwynn@comsouth.net) on Tue Nov 9 09:27:07 2010

> > > I'm curious to find out at what point a slightly unorthodox batter should be forced to
> change his mechanics.
> > >
> > > I have a player who has always been at the top of the batting order -- since starting
> competitive baseball at 9. He's one of those kids that was a naturally good hitter. From 9
> years old until now (13) he has batted between .350 and .400 for the season against stiff
> competition. He has hit a few home runs over the years but is mainly a contact hitter who
> hits line drives in the gaps. He's also extremely fast -- which means he beats out a lot of
> balls that an average speed runner would be called out on. I would describe his batting
> motion as rotational with a slight stride -- but he hits on top of his front foot with a
> straight front leg (as opposed to hitting against his front foot, with a very high rear
> foot/calf lift. He settles back down on the rear foot at completion of the swing.
> > >
> > > My question: At what point does the pitching start to become so good that a player
> like this starts to see his stats drop? Is it Junior High, High School?, College?
> > >
> > > The second part of the question is related to the first. Should you try to change a
> player's swing early on, while they are still hitting very well -- or should you wait till the
> player notices he is starting to lose ground against better pitchers? Early on, it would seem
> to be difficult to convince them they should change if they are hitting well -- and later on,
> it would seem easier when things get tougher for the batter.
> > >
> > > Anyway, I would be interested in knowing what you think.
> > >
> > > Thanks,
> > > Sly
> >
> > Why do you think he is not swinging correctly. There is nothing wrong with a stride, is
> there?
> -----
> -----
> No, not at all in my opinion. I think the stride activates the body and prepares it for an
> athletic, fluid, powerful swing. To me, it serves a similar purpose as when a basketball
> player -- when asked to jump as high as possible, takes a small step forward before he
> elevates.
> As to why I think he is not swinging correctly (correctly may be a strong word) -- it has to
> do with his more upright position at contact (rather than the often preferred position
> where the batter has a slight backwards lean-- where a straight line can be drawn from
> lead foot up thru leg and extending up thru body). He seems to be up on his front foot
> rather than against it. In this more upright position, he creates a nice "L" with his back leg,
> but his rear foot sometimes comes off the ground several inches. I'm thinking if he gets
> the body lean right, the rear foot will drag forward or be slightly off the ground at contact.
> Sly

If his back leg comes off the ground then he is hitting against the lead side leg. If his bat matches the plane of the ball then the angle of tilt is correct. Only determine this with video - very few can see this with the naked eye. Rememeber AAron and Ruth tilted very little and used a long stride but both got their bats on plane with the ball. Be very careful trying to get tilt perfect, remember the key is in the hand path, called CHP. My son went 9 for 10 against top pitching the last 2 fall ball Showcases he played in with 3 Dbls, 2 HRs, 3 walks; his bat matched the plane of the pitch. Every Coach had wanted to change his hitting mechanics to get more of something, even into HS. When he started trying to tilt rather than hit he struggled - he has learned a lot from those Coaches. I was told by one Coach that he would not hit middle school pitching......in 7th grade he had 56 RBIs in 14 games. His 1st HS Coach told me that he had to get him ready to hit 90 MPH pitching and in the process ruined his swing mechanics but he had nice tilt. As soon as HS ended that year, he and I started BP again and I just reminded him about hand and elbow position.......he got his swing back hitting some 425+ feet by the second BP. Within 2 weeks he had hit some 450 feet. I assure you had I concentrated on tilt he would have continued to struggle. Tilt is good but not an absolute; the swing is in the hand path.
Best Wishes to your son!


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