Planing the Pitch
In the perfect swing, a hitter should be swinging slightly upwards. This is called “planing the pitch.”
Hips Lead Hands (Turn the Belly Button towards the pitcher)
As the hips pop and begin to rotate toward the pitcher, the upper body moves very little.
Separation occurs between the top half and the bottom half of the body.
This separation is called torque and is the source of power in a baseball swing.
We use the word power, turn your belly button towards the pitcher as this seems to be a simpler concept for the younger hitters to understand . If the hitter can keep their hands back (still) while the belly button rotates, they will in turn create separation and torque.
Hands inside the baseball
Keeping the hands inside the ball means that the elbow gets to a spot near the ribs as the hitter gets into the approach or short 3 position.
At this point, as the hands begin to move they move in a circular path rotating with the upper body.
Many youth hitters throw their hands out to the ball, but this causes their hands to work against the upper body and not with it.
When done correctly, the hitter who keeps his hands inside the ball will be able to keep more balls fair, and he will have a short compact swing.
Now let’s take a look at some of the key rotational hitting mechanics of the most powerful swings in baseball over the years. Notice how these guys use rotational hitting mechanics. It’s important to talk about these three terms when teaching rotational hitting:
- Long Three or Contact
- The Finish
Torque generates the power behind hitter’s swings as the “hips lead the hands.”
- Hitter’s bottom half is going to pitcher
- Hitter’s top half of the body stays back
- Back foot does not squish the bug–when back foot does rotate around it rotates as a result of other actions–not the cause and therefore should not be taught. On high pitches the back foot will actually come off the ground!
- This is known as torque
- Torque is responsible for rotation of upper body which happens just after these frames
- Torque is a very important component of a powerful swing
Long Three or Contact in a perfect swing has these characteristics:
- Back elbow in
- Shoulders dipped
- Bat head below hands
- Back knee hinged
- Front leg locked
- Front elbow up
When a hitter finishes their swing, there are several key features to look for: