Slow The Game Down To Become A Great Hitter
I want to thank everyone for taking the time to read my blogs about hitting and pitching. I really appreciate the emails, calls and comments asking for more information. Many baseball and fastpitch softball players have come in interested to learn how to swing with their body rather than their arms. The results have been amazing. Students that couldn't hit the ball out of the infield are now hitting homeruns with high batting averages. Parents keep telling us how much more power their kids have and how they are hitting so many more line drives. My students say one of the things they have noticed, as they started swinging with their body the game has seemed like it is slower and they see the ball so much better. They are becoming confident because they are now hitting the ball hard consistently even off the best pitchers that they use to dread hitting against.
I have also been hearing from a few people saying that you have to swing with your arms and use your hands or wrists (fast hands) to make the bat go faster. You have to rotate to bring the bat around then use your wrists or top hand to snap through the ball. Most people think this is how you swing because that is what they have always heard. These teachings are what makes hitting a baseball or fastpitch softball consistently much more difficult than it needs to be. It makes the game faster, the opposite of what you want.
You can see when players are in slumps they swing fast, look very jerky and they don't see the ball as well. The game now becomes so fast to the hitter that they feel they have to swing faster to keep up with it. This causes them to swing at more bad pitches, hit the ball weaker and makes their timing worse.
When a hitter is hitting their best they are using their body, the correct way, to generate tremendous force and transferring it into the bat and through the ball. This is a completely different swing than using your arms or hands, it looks so effortless and is so powerful. They see the ball much better and the bat is in the hitting zone up to three times longer. Since the bat is going faster to the hitting zone they can watch the pitch a little longer before starting their swing. This is what slows down the game for a hitter.
Josh Hamilton for example had a fantastic first two months of the season in 2012 when he hit .368 with 21 HRs and 57 RBIs. He suddenly went into a terrible slump for two months in June and July hitting just .202 with 8 home runs and 27 RBIs. Why was he so productive the first two months, then the next two months he was less than half as productive. He went into the slump because he started swinging harder with his arms and fast hands instead of his body and the game became much faster. He hit 4 homeruns in one game and on ESPN they showed all 4 of them in slow motion. The former players kept saying he accomplished this because he had the fastest hands in baseball. I could see during all four swings he wasn't using his hands at all they were just going out with the bat. He was using his body and that was slowing down the game making hitting very easy for him.
He then started swinging faster and immediately went into his two month slump. During the slump his bat was doing almost the opposite through the hitting zone, coming in slower and being pulled right or out of the hitting zone way too fast. He wasn't letting his hands go out with the bat he was now using his hands to make the bat go faster. The problem was it was going faster out of the hitting zone. He used so much effort with very little power. He was swinging at so many bad pitches because he was starting his swing earlier to catch up with the ball.
He finally came out of the slump in August hitting .310 with 7 HRs and 28 RBIs. Why was he in the slump for so long? Because everything he was told to try made him still swing mainly with his arms and the game stayed too fast. He stayed in the slump until Hamilton said "he stopped listening to everybody and made the game slow again". It is that simple. He simply went away from swinging with his arms and back to using his 6 foot 4 inch 240 lb body to hit the ball harder much more consistently. Using his body and not arms or fast hands, allowed his bat to be faster to the hitting zone so he could wait longer before starting his swing and be more selective at the plate. The bat can now be in the hitting zone up to four feet which allows him to hit many more line drives consistently. He again looked effortless and so powerful when he swings with his body. The game again slowed down to Hamilton and it is much easier for him to hit at the high level he is capable of.
It is amazing how one of the best athletes and hitters in baseball can have MVP numbers with so much power and production the first two months just because he made the game slower by swinging mainly with his body. When he started swinging more with his arms, the next two months, the game became faster and he became a below average hitter. There was a major decrease in his production to less than half only because he stopped using his body and started using his arms to swing the bat. If only he had someone that could help him feel and know the difference between the two swings. He then could feel the difference right away and have the knowledge how to fix it, even for the next at bat, not after two months when he finally quit listening to everyone telling him to swing faster.
Almost every hitter (99%) that comes in to hit in our batting cages mainly swing with their arms because of what they are taught. They hit more weak grounders and pop ups than they should and maybe have only four hard hit balls out of 16 pitches. They swing so hard and the ball seems to float off the bat so soft.
We show hitters how they can hit at an elite level just by using their body a much better way. The difference is amazing when you see students hit the ball hard 14 or more times out of 16 pitches. They look so effortless and the ball seems to jump off the bat. When they hit this way the game seems slower and makes it so much easier for them to hit at the high level they are capable of.
Come in and see how we can help you slow the game down and hit at your highest level. For more information or questions call Mike Sedberry 304-722-6393.