The Down & Through Baseball Hitting Mechanics Method

ATTENTION!!  Some of the hitting mechanics article links on this page are outdated (I've labeled the ones as such)...I DO NOT subscribe to the true-blue-Down-and-Through swing philosophy anymore.  For more cutting edge hitting technique information, please visit The Truth About Explosive Rotational Power.  Thank you so much for reading :)

Mix a little D&T into your hitting mechanics and you will create an explosion! Okay not literally...D&T, AKA DYNAMITE, not to be confused with the small red sticks with a wick on the end, but the Down and Through responsible for putting backspin on the ball...letting the baseball work for you, NOT the other way around.

The hitting mechanics we're going to talk about today are not for the beginner, even though the concept will seem easy, they're far more advanced than you think. If you don't master the three sections of unbeatable articles preceding this one, then you're building a house without a foundation.

This D&T article will include:

  1. Reveal the DYNAMITE, Down and Through, method of hitting,
  2. Break down what each hand is responsible for, and
  3. How to develop the most important element involving physics, backspin.

Are you ready for the fireworks?! Let's get started...

Unlike the last 3 hitting mechanics sections, this one stresses the upper half. Swing Smarter's motto is:

  • Short to it, and
  • Long through it.

Do you want to know the best way to increase bat speed and maximize your leverage and power? Taking our hand path efficiently to the incoming ball, then extending through the baseball is only half the battle. What we do with our fitness training and nutrition is the other half.

If interested, then search the word "training" through the "Site Search" tab on the navigation bar for more information on the latter. Knob Down to the Baseball

Okay, let's get back to the first key concept...short to it.

The best way to fine tune our baseball hitting mechanics to be short is take the knob of the bat DOWN to the pitched baseball. This guides our hands inside the ball and keeps us away from bad habits like casting.

Keeping it simple...

I like to have my kids do top/bottom hand drills off the tee or in soft toss...there are two keys they have to keep in mind as they do each hand. The only key both hands have in common is the knob DOWN to the ball concept. Why knob DOWN?

Knob up

If the knob begins to come UP the barrel starts to drop, and doing this before the barrel gets into the zone is swing suicide.

Try this, grip a bat like you would swing at a pitch, slowly bring the bat down to the hitting zone with the knob DOWN, note where the barrel is the whole, do the same thing, but instead, bring the knob UP to the ball and note where the barrel goes.

The Bottom Hand - Short To It!
Knob Down wtih the Bottom Hand Knob DOWN hitting mechanics are great for being short to it. Focus with me on the bottom hand...remember, the first key is knob DOWN to the ball, key number 2 for the bottom hand is to keep the front elbow DOWN too.

Do another experiment, do a slow swing while taking your bottom hand elbow UP, what happens to the barrel? It drops right? We want to keep the barrel UP until it enters the hitting zone. In order to do that we take the knob and elbow DOWN to the incoming pitch with the bottom hand.

Please note: we aren't chopping at the ball, knob DOWN means to the incoming pitched baseball NOT down to the plate. If you do that, then you won't set yourself up for the "T" part of DYNAMITE hitting mechanics, hitting THROUGH the baseball.

Now, let's get long through it with the top hand...

The Top Hand - Long Through It!
A Martial Artist breaks numerous bricks or boards NOT by hitting the surface, but by fixating on a point 3-4 feet past the surface, and hitting through it. If they don't do this, then a broken body part is sure to follow.

3 Baseballs Drill

The point is, we want to swing through the contact point, most likely over the front of the plate somewhere, then you imagine three baseball spaced 1-2 inches from each other past the contact point...take the barrel through all three baseballs.

Rod Delmonico explained this perfectly in his book "Hit and Run Baseball." Just like the Martial Artist focusing energies past her contact point, so should the hitter.

To review, the bottom hand keys are:

  • Knob DOWN,
  • Elbow DOWN.

The top hand keys are:

  • Knob DOWN,
  • Push through 3 baseballs.
Swing Through 3 Baseballs

Correct DYNAMITE hitting mechanics leave the top hand palm up until the hands get to about the front of left hip in the swing. If you roll over too soon, you won't get that backspin, which is so vital to a body type not so gifted as some.

The bottom hand's job is like a rudder on the boat, steering the bat short to the ball, then the top hand takes over when the hands get to around the belly button, whereby they act as the thrusters on a rocket ship, pushing the barrel through the 3 baseballs.

It's hard to impress anyone with the bottom hand, its role is fluidity and's counterpart, the top hand, gets the Oooo's and Ahhhh's. The hitter's whole front side is finesse and leverage, and the backside provides the push and power.

Follow Through Palm Up

When the two mesh, backspin physics explain that backspin produces an invisible force, called a Magna Force, put on the baseball that propels the ball upwards and beyond.

When you go see Major Leaguers taking batting practice before a game starts, it looks like they just throw their hands at the ball and it takes off, effortlessly. They swing smarter by putting the Magna Force to work for them.

The bottom line?

You don't have to be 6 foot 4 inches and weigh 225 pounds to hit home runs. As long as you've mastered the first three articles and will work at this one, then you have the 20% of knowledge that will make you successful. The rest of the site will help with the right drills and skills to make these good habits hard as stainless steel.

Please check out Part 2: Sure Fire Hitting Instruction Strategy to Troubleshoot any Problem!

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