Are You A Part of the Rotational Hitting Have's OR Linear Have Not's?
One of my favorite books on rotational hitting is The Making Of A Hitter, by Jim Lefebvre. He put this picture of Hank Aaron in the launch phase of the swing in the book, similar to the one pictured here, and you can see the beautiful rear hip absorption so important in maximizing the rotational part of hitting.
I can't believe how much controversy there's been over the baseball swing...hitting is either rotational or linear, but NOT both, is what I hear.
That's ludicrous!! Why can't it be both? A hybrid, if you will.
Yes, there are pull hitters such as Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, and the late Ted Williams that teams tend to put an extreme shift on when they're up to bat. The argument is, these players are successful with a seemingly pure rotational style of hitting, so why can't I teach that to my young ballplayers?
Well, because of probability that's why. Not all hitters are made the same, AND most players will never be 1/1,000,000 as good as the poorest of Major Leaguers, so all the other mortal ballplayers need to get down to earth and address the rotational swing realistically.
What we don't see is how these greats transfer power from their rotational lower half into their linear upper half!
On this note...
There's a style of hitting made famous by Charlie Lau and George Brett bookmarked "linear," in his book The Art Of Hitting .300. I read it, and it's an interesting book, not how I like to hit or teach hitting, but I can respect it because it works for some people.
I believe the majority of ballplayers need to sit somewhere in the middle of linear hitting and rotational, I like to call it ROTATIONEAR. The hips supply the rotational power, and the hands transfer potential energy into a linear or centrifugal motion.
In The Making Of a Hitter, Jim Lefebvre, talks about
- Centripetal, and
- Centrifugal Force
Centripetal Force is when you tie a string to a small rock and twirl it around and round...the rock exerts force toward the finger swinging it...
On the other hand, Centrifugal Force is imagining that same rock, but this time letting go of it in mid swing, and the energy is exerted AWAY from the finger.
So, as this science jargon translates to rotational hitting, purely rotational hitting is like the rock on a non-stop twirling string. The hybrid system, a ROTATIONEAR swing transfers the rotational energy of the hips to a linear path with the hands, resulting in a centrifugal force put on the ball creating D&T DYNAMITE backspin (talked about in the Vital Hitting Tips tab on the nav bar above).
Jim Lefebvre does a better job, I think, than yours truly in explaining it, but it was an eye opener for me at the time.
Don't get me wrong, I'm NOT saying:
- Charlie Lau's style of hitting is wrong, or that
- Ted Williams, Barry Bonds, and Jason Giambi suck.
Depending on the type of hitter and role to the team, ballplayers can pick and choose any style or model to hit with, it really makes no difference. If you can hit .400 standing on your head, then nobody is going to change you, at least until you start slumping of course, and you will.
And, here comes the BIG But,
The majority of hitters out there will NOT do very well with purely rotational hitting, or linear for that matter.
The reason why??
There's too many weak-spots for pitchers to exploit. We'll get into these more in the hitting philosophy article link at the bottom of the Power Hitting tab page.
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