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.”

Why Don’t We Copy the Best? - 8/27/2005  detail

Knowing I played for Ted Williams when he managed the Washington Senators, and later mentored under him for ten years, people ask why I would teach the mechanics he used. Their reasoning is Ted had “special” talents, the ONLY person who could hit that way. A visual analysis of Barry Bond's swing. Emulating the swing of baseball's elite hitters.

The Myth of Hitting Coaches - 8/7/2005  detail

Few of us know that major league baseball had no hitting coaches until 1975. This being the case, it begs the question: just how important can the position be if the industry went over 100 years without ever sensing the need for including them on coaching staffs? Do hitting coaches REALLY help hitters develop—or do they perform a minimalist function, at best? Or worse, would hitters be better off—dare I say it—WITHOUT them?

The Daunting Task of Change - 3/15/2004  detail

I was in a psychology lecture at the University of California (Berkeley) the first time I heard the phrase, “The mind—once expanded—never returns to its original size.” It intrigued me then as much as it does now. For this to occur, you’ve got to give it an opportunity. To become better—and smarter—than we presently are, we must be open to change.

Rear Elbow: Up? Or Down? - 1/9/2004  detail

Should a hitter’s rear elbow be up or down is a question that is "enjoying" more play today than it should. The answer is simple enough: it all depends on whether or not the hitter wants to stay "inside" the ball. The positioning of the rear elbow is not a "technique" issue; it’s all about a hitter’s "style." And because it’s a style issue, there is no black and white answer.

The “Perfect” Time For Rotational Hitting - 9/20/2003  detail

Believe me. I fully understand the implications of my endeavor. Few people I know want to be a "salmon swimming upstream." Including me. I knew I would raise some eyebrows, but someone needed to "get the ball rolling."

Choosing a Hitting Instructor - 9/3/2003  detail

I’ve always marveled at how parents and players pick hitting instructors. With so much at stake today, I find it remarkable that parents approach this important task like they would take a leisurely "Sunday stroll" in the park. Taking this approach can have severe repercussions to your son or daughter down the road.

Ted Williams - 8/5/2002  detail

As many of you know, I played for Ted williams for three years when he managed the Washington Senators, and later mentored under him for many years after retiring from baseball. Ted gave me his only known written Letter of Certification on hitting instruction; I am deeply honored to have earned it.

Two-Strike Execution - 2/2/2001  detail

The principal reason two-strike hitting is so difficult is because it is the ONLY time a hitter must guard against every pitch, every pitch speed, and every pitch location in the pitcher’s arsenal. It is for this reason that so many hitters fail with two strikes! If you’ve followed my hitting articles, you should already know that no player can "guard" both sides of the plate on any given pitch. The beauty is that he doesn’t have to—until he gets two strikes on him. Then "concessions" must be in order.

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