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 Some of the hitting mechanics article links on this page are outdated (I've labeled the ones as such)...I DO NOT subscribe to the true-blue-Down-and-Through swing philosophy anymore.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:
- Reveal the DYNAMITE, Down and Through, method of hitting,
- Break down what each hand is responsible for, and
- 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.
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?
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 time...now, do the same thing, but
instead, bring the knob UP to the ball and note where the barrel
The Bottom Hand - Short To It!
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.
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:
The top hand keys are:
- Knob DOWN,
- Push 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 finesse...it'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.
When the two mesh, backspin results...baseball 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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