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Making You Think in a Different Way

Newton ask us to "squish the bug."  Not if we are to apply maximum force on the ball.  As coaches and players most of us coach what we see or in the physical.  But, even this can be tricky, because what we see and what we think we see are often two different things.

If you are, at least, not using video then there is no way to accurately assess the "mechanic" of an individual's swing.  For the purpose of our discussion here, I'd like to stay focused on particular topics of the swing.  By no means is this a detailed work on the constructs of hitting.  Rather, no hitter will ever look like another and it would be a mistake on my part to make a player bat the way I envision a hitter should look. 

As championed by Professional Hitting Instructor, Perry Husband, there are three areas we focus on in the swing.  The load, the push, and the extension of the arms.  Perry's work is truly outstanding.  His dedication to "getting it right" is not only brilliant in insight, but also brilliant in a results-oriented game.  Below is a brief on these three areas.  For an in depth look, please visit Coach Husband at

-Inside leverage on the back foot
-Do not take the back knee on top or behind the back foot.  Keep weight to the inside of the back foot.  If the knee goes beyond the back foot, then a hitter will not be able to push correctly and will, in all liklihood, pivot out and around the ball as a first move.
-Do Separate hands and front foot upon entering the load
-Keep head centered/balanced over body
-Trigger/Load when BB pitcher shows his hip or back pocket (Do Not Rush), FP pitcher breaks her hand as she enters the windmill
-Lead arm is approaching a locked position.  This is a huge topic of discussion.  Rubber band analogy.

*Myth buster - the idea that the weight should be on the back foot at the beginning of the swing.  This will force you to stay off the ball, be off balance, and create a loss of power.  Not only that, but the body will have to get to center before it can begin the swing.  This means if you hold your weight on the back foot then you will be slow to the ball.  In this instance the hitter will probably pull harder with the front hip causing the backside to collapse and tilt and make the bat go up.
-Stride is Controlled and Late
-Front foot closed to slightly open on landing (Not pointing to pitcher  before swing)
-Landing on inside of big toe
-Front leg stiffens during swing and locks out.
-Head is still and follows ball.  It’s O.K. if your head is moving forward on the same path as the ball

SWING - Lower Body
-Strong first motion forward to keep hips closed
-Strong first motion, back foot pulls forward and comes up on the toe
*Myth Buster - DO NOT SQUASH THE BUG - “Squashing the bug” allows squatting and spinning in place
-Strong push off inside of back foot then hips take over -(push to gain on FB)
- Linear Move to the Rotational Move
-As Coach Husband says …”the trick is to have equal amounts of push (Backfoot) and pull (Front Hip.)

SWING - Upper Body
-Hands will find the ball if head is on ball
-Lead hand inside “Tunnel” to the pitcher, this will allow the shoulders to adjust for the depth of the pitch.  The “tunnel” is the top of the strike zone to the middle of the chest.  Rule of thumb is to keep bottom hand on the bat in the tunnel.  This allows the general body lines to stay through the ball and not in a downward line on a low pitch or an upward body line on a high pitch.
-Top hand throws barrel of the bat to the ball
-Top hand palm up/bottom hand palm down at impact
-Arms are extended (Hitters “V”) at impact
-Hips and Hands at the ball at the same time = Timing
-Finish around the shoulder or slightly above for line drive, higher for loft
-Top hand release is the RESULT of good lead arm extension, not a part of the swing
--Apply FORCE in the DIRECTION of the ACTION
-Finishes can be different.  Two hands at or above the shoulder with the bat in a somewhat down position.  Or top hand release toward the level of the pitch and its location. Or top hand release after lead arm extension and finishing on front shoulder.
The Physical Bat
The Ultimate Edge
@ GoodSports
So what does Sir Isaac Newton have to do with baseball?  Not much, unless you ask Babe Ruth, Albert Pujols, and Junior Griffey, to name a few.  I think they'd tell you Sir Isaac is nothing short of being the first hitting instructor of all time.  So advanced was his thinking that the game wasn't even born for another three or four centuries. 

Yet it was Newton who challenged us to understand how an applied force works best and how the laws of physics are applied to batting a baseball.  (For a detailed explanation go to Sonny Parker's sight.)  Needless to say, at no time did