Thank You: SS Like-Mind...Coach (12 years) / Hitting Instructor (6 years)
by Keegan Bumpous
(Olive Branch, Ms.)
This site is so refreshing. My true passion is coaching and instructing. I have been coaching for 12 years, and instructing for 6. I have many friends who coach at the college and professional level, and I constantly pick their brains. I new that to be the best coach I could be I had to acquire as much knowledge about the game as I could (hitting, pitching, defense, speed and agility, team philosophies, and situational baseball).
The last 5 years I have been coaching a very successful 18 and under team in the Memphis, Tn. area. My sole goal is to get kids into college baseball. I have coached about 150-160 kids who have received college baseball scholarships and 9 that have been drafted.
In my hitting lessons, recently, I have worked with kids 8 years old to high school, college, and a couple minor league guys. I know it sounds like bragging, but believe me, I'm not. I've never been much good at anything but baseball and kids. However, I am very proud of what "we" have been able to accomplish.
Now, I have read, looked at, turned inside and out every hitting philosophy under the sun. I thoroughly believe that baseball is about being consistent. Thus, to be a great hitter one must "square it up" or hit the ball solid often. I do believe that excessive torque often causes a hitter to "miss hit" the ball. The biggest flaw of hitting is "flying open" or "pulling off the ball". Hitters who do this often cut the bottom of the ball or roll over a ton of ground balls. 6-4-3 DP waiting to happen!
On the other hand, I do not believe in slapping singles all the time either. I believe a hitter needs to have a balanced, powerful position(lower body) from which to start the swing. In a swing, the body will rotate on its own. That's simply the scientific and athletic movement the body naturally makes to swing a bat.
All hitters are different. There are vastly differing body types, talent levels, and pure strength. As I stated before, each player must have a solid base (lower body). The core and/or lower body starts the swing. The base of the player will differ in width and depth depending on body type, strength, and comfort level. However, too wide is athletic and too narrow is nonathletic!
The main point of me writing this is about the point on which I do not waiver and neither do I think hitters should waiver. This point is the LINEAR HAND PATH! Besides the EYES the HANDS are the most important aspect in hitting. To be a consistent hitter, one who often "squares it up" or hits the ball solid often, the head of the bat must consistently strike the ball flush.
As I have read, you do the same at Swing Smarter Baseball, I often say "less is more" or "hit don't hack". I firmly believe that the act of swinging a bat should be "CONTROLLED VIOLENCE". A hitter who over swings or is out of control, often using excessive torque, is a hitter that gets himself out often!
I have developed this philosophy from seeing 1000's of at-bats while coaching, playing, instructing, talking about, analyzing swings and just overall watching baseball. It was very refreshing for me to see someone who believed in neither "Rotational" nor "Linear" but in "BOTH". Thank You. I will stay in touch.
Swing Smarter Response: you are a man of sweet prose ;) Thanks for the email conversations, glad I was able to meet a like-mind in hitting...I would love for you to donate some of the thoughts in your head from time to time for the Swing Smarter community, and I'm sure others would appreciate it too :) Take care and we'll definitely be in touch...thanks again bud.