Building Championship Hitters - Step 1
If you can understand how your hitters move than you have won ½ of the coaching battle!
Every year we start out our season the exact same way by taking a simple video tape of our hitters hitting a ball off a tee sometime in the offseason. Typically in baseball we would do this during 4 on 1 workouts in November or December and with our fall softball season, we typically do this in May or June.
The reason for the video is twofold.
1st - This is the 1st submission to our hitters’ video swing library that we will create throughout the course of the season. By creating a video library, we can track swing changes over time and if we are diligent enough with the videotaping, we can pinpoint the time frame that a swing change occurred and correct the change if it happens to be a negative.
We have previously shared these swings on the Zepp App and this past season we began uploading the swings to a team sharepoint that all players and coaches had access too. With this media infatuated generation, hitters LOVE to be able to see their swings after their ABs and practice sessions and it is an invaluable tool to utilize from a teaching standpoint.
2nd and frankly, more importantly, the simple video tape is used by the coaching staff to identify one key piece of information about or hitters…….
HOW DOES OUR HITTER UTILIZE THEIR LOWER ½ TO DELIVER ENERGY TO THE BALL?
This is the 1st question our coaching staff asks ourselves about our hitters each year and this simple question helps to formulate the backbone for our hitting program and helps to tailor our instruction to each hitter. Each video is analyzed to determine if the athlete is utilizing a linear (weight shift) energy delivery, or a more rotational energy delivery.
Please click the link in red to view a video that gives a more detailed explanation of the differences as we view them: SWING DELIVERY MECHANICS
The answer to the question of energy delivery can make or break the development arc of a player’s swing while he or she is under the charge of your instruction and in some cases, that “uncoachable” player that cannot seem to make the change being asked of them might actually not be able to use the advice being given to him or her because the advice is not meant for their type of swing.
Many of the old hitting adages in the baseball world are not universal and much of the advice floating around batting cages do not translate to both energy deliveries. There is literally a separate hitting vocabulary for each type of swing
Here are a few simple examples of each distinct language:
LINEAR / WEIGHT SHIFT
Get off backside
Back hip to ball
Stiff front side
Hands to the ball *
Turn the belly button
Get on Plane
Scap Load *
*Actually upper body processes that can work with either lower body load but are typically affiliated with one or another.
So as you communicate with your hitter’s this coming season try to figure out whether or not the language you are speaking is the same language that their swing understands and see if it is possible to more effectively communicate to help your hitters develop.
About the author: Coach Turco is a 6 time state champion hitting coach who coaches a nationally recognized high school program in Marietta, Ga. Coach Turco publishes the blog “State Championship Hitting” and posts work samples on twitter @championhitter