The Beauty of Simplicity - 3/1/2013  detail

Ted Williams repeatedly told me that a good hitting instructor has "got to make it simple."

Use Illegal Bats, Go To Prison? - 10/1/2012  detail

The above headline from the most recent publication of the "Collegiate Baseball" newspaper underscores my concern from previous Newsletters. Doctored BBCor bats are--and have increasingly become--a bad state of affairs and could have serious consequences for you or your youngster as he continues playing amateur baseball.

Trend-Setting Innovation Part IV - 5/1/2011  detail

In the previous three installments of this ongoing essay, I have reviewed a number of trend-setting innovations that I introduced which provoked anxiety and angst in the hitting community (as it existed in the 1980s and 1990s). Their reaction was not so much the content of the information, but more about the untimliness of its introduction. As in good hitting, timing goes a long way in the acceptance of new ideas.

Trend-Setting Innovation Part III - 4/1/2011  detail

The last time I saw Ted Williams was at the U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego in 1999. Ted was in town for a couple of days to promote the San Diego Hall of Champions run by our mutual friend, Bob Breitbard.

Trend-Setting Innovation Redux - 3/1/2011  detail

An email came through to me right before sending out this newsletter. While it comes from one our our highly-regarded Epstein Certified instructors, it is nonetheless representative of many we receive:

Trend-Setting Innovation - 2/1/2011  detail

Jake and I recently spoke at the annual convention of the Italian Baseball Federation. We shared our thoughts about hitting and instruction with the Italian baseball and softball congregants as well as other clinicians, including Mike Quade (Chicago Cubs manager) and Rick Eckstein (Washington Nationals' hitting coach).

New Bats Mandated By High Schools and Colleges for 2011 - 10/1/2010  detail

Are YOU ready?

Reaping the Benefits of a Contrarian View - 7/1/2010  detail

A number of years ago, someone wrote me a short email with a solitary quote by Jonathan Swift:

Dynamic Balance - 10/1/2009  detail

Dynamic balance and good batting technique should artistically coalesce, providing the infrastructure for the successful hitter. We casually talk to hitters about "being balanced" and then simply take for granted that they can do it on their own.

Increasing the Hitter's "Dead Red" Zone - 11/3/2007  detail

"Hitting is 50% from the neck up" is a commonly-heard hitting maxim that has permeated baseball instruction since its inception. However, hitters who come to our facility for instruction in Denver, both amateur and professional alike, who have no "clue" when they go to the plate, continually amaze me. If "mental hitting" represents so much of the hitting equation, why, then, do we forsake teaching these fundamental mental concepts while spending countless hours attempting to tweak the smallest and most trivial nuances of a hitter's technique?

Throw Your Hands At The Ball? - 2/12/2007  detail

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. But, I have the toughest time trying to understand how a hitter can be taught to stay “inside” the ball—and to also “throw his hands at the ball”—both at the same time.

What All Hitters Need To Know About Wood Bats - 12/7/2006  detail

Transitioning from aluminum bats to wood bats has presented problems for hitters over the years. I regularly receive questions about this; too many, in fact, for me to ignore. Many come from parents whose son had a sub-par hitting performance at a "show case" in front of college coaches and baseball scouts. Faced with using wood bats, few players hit well. In my experience, there are two crystal-clear causes for this.

Defining the Linear and Rotational Hitting Techniques for Fastpitch Softball - 11/11/2006  detail

Whether mine or Ted Williams' observations about rotational or linear hitting had merit or not, to me, is NOT the issue. The real question, in my mind, is when should one or the other be taught? In other words, both techniques are diametrically opposed and have different applications for different types of hitters. Be it softball or baseball.

What's All The Fuss About? - 5/4/2006  detail

I am often told I started the "fuss" about hitting when I spoke at the American Baseball Coaches Association annual meeting in Nashville in 2001. By simply asking, "Do we teach what we really see?" and showing graphic video clips of hitters on the huge convention hall screens, the entire audience of 4,000 coaches became abuzz, wide-eyed, and baffled. "Could he be right?" was repeated over and over again throughout the weekend. The popular belief that "linear" hitting was the only way to hit, hit a "stone wall." Advancing words, phrases, and cues such as "torque," "style versus technique," "slotting the rear elbow," "matching the plane of the swing to the plane of the pitch," rotation, and "staying back" precipitated a virtual firestorm of productive discussion. We’ve come a long way since then; but not "long" enough. It’s time to eliminate the ensuing confusion.

The Productive Swing - 11/16/2005  detail

“Come on, Joey! You’re uppercutting the ball! Jeez! That’s the worst thing you can do!” The coach obviously wasn’t very happy with what he was seeing. Unfortunately for Joey and his career, the coach only knew what he had heard repeated by others. You know, “conventional wisdom.”

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