Top Hand is the Speed Hand, and the Front Side is Soft

by Mike
(Louisville, KY)

Amazing how many guys that play this game at the high levels and have been successful hitters have absolutely no clue how they do it.

The hands and arms don't provide any power at all, they simply transmit the power generated by the torso and body weight and guide the barrel to the ball.

The top hand is the speed hand if that is what they are talking about and all great hitters have a soft front side. I would also bet that Tony LaRussa doesn't know squat about breaking down hitting!

Swing Smarter Response:
You are right on Mike! As Jim Lefebvre puts it, Centrifugal Force, like twirling a rock on a string and letting it go in a certain direction (hand holding the string being the legs and hips; string being your arms & hands; and the rock is the baseball).

Also, as Jaime Cevallos puts it in his Positional Hitting philosophy, the arms and hands provide the "whip" from power generated in the legs and hips.

Most definitely God gifted Big Leaguers with the skill to play the game beautifully, but I call it "Ignorance on Fire."

My older cousin, who runs his own successful Dental practice, also put it plainly to me over a decade ago, "Your teachers are the ones who've failed." Looking back on that statement, even though at the time I thought it was sort of pompous, there's more to learn more failing big once than in 100 wins.

I would rather learn from someone who's struggled and had to self-instruct, than someone who's drifted through the system unblemished.

I would love to hear from the Swing Smarter community on this... :)

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Sep 20, 2017
idiots NEW
by: Anonymous

you are all idiots! Not surprised you're not professional hitting coaches!

Feb 28, 2011
Bent front elbow and knee
by: Joey from

@Baysball27: Right on brother! I like the front elbow with a slight bend idea, similar to a dancer pulling her arms in to spin around her axis faster.

If you're familiar with Jaime Cevallos's "cushion" position, he talks about a bent front knee and as we transition the swing into the Slot, then we'll see that bent front knee straighten causing the front hip (soft) to push backward bringing the back hip through.

I love the concept: the swing is a pushing and pulling of motion, action-reaction if you will. I like teaching 3 triggers: the hands in Cushion pushing the end of the bat towards the pitcher and over the head (see Miguel Carbrera) coiling of the hips in Cushion, and the bent front knee straightening in Slot to Impact.

Nice thoughts!

Feb 26, 2011
Soft Front Side
by: Baysball27

A couple of comments:

1) As mentioned on this site, power comes from the legs, core and torso ...the arms and hands are mostly, repeat, mostly along for the ride. Since most hitters try to hit with their upper body, repeating that the arms and hands are along for the ride is a key teach.

2) I have preached a soft front side for years, though many disagree. In my coaching, a soft front side is that the lead (front) elbow needs to start bent and remain bent until barrel begins to drop and the lean (front) knee needs be bent to activate hip rotation and be the firing mechanism for the swing.

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