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Friday, October 1, 2010

The Basics of Rotational Hitting

The Basics of Rotational Hitting
By guest author: Hunter Sendefer

Most of us that played baseball or softball as children were taught how to play like children do. We were generally taught linear hitting and/or extension hitting. This leaves the swing the majors use out of the equation. Very rarely as children are we taught how to swing like the pros, with the use of rotational hitting.

When we are talking about linear hitting, this is mostly just used to make contact with the ball, and pray that it makes it into the infield. This is usually only effective until the 4th or 5th grade, or until point infielders can pretty much make all the plays. Nowadays, there are very few players that use anything like linear hitting, since the turf has changed so much since the 80's.

Extensional hitting is what the majority of children are taught, and it involves learning how to make a V at the contact point. For the most part it has been misinterpreted to mean something else, so it is not as effective as intended.

Rotational hitting, on the other hand, whether in the field or with the help of a batting trainer, means using the whole body to power the swing- specifically the core muscles, not only the arms, wrists and hands. The main concept behind a rotational swing, is that the ball is struck firm and hard, since it is much more difficult to make a play on a ball that is moving with lightning speed.

For the greatest part, major league players are rotational hitters. Even for the few that use a different method as well, there best plays are generally made with rotational hitting. In this type of hitting, the hips move first and lead the hands and shoulders, and the hands rotate with the back shoulder and create the Power L Position at the point of contact, and the arms go into the Power V position only after the point of contact.

Rotational hitting can also be applied in fast pitch softball. This is due to the fact that each swing is essentially the same, even though there can be tremendous size differences in the hitters. Since rotational hitting allows you to use core muscles for strength, it is the best, and is almost always used in the highest levels of baseball and fast pitch softball as well.

To make rotational hitting work for you, whether you are in the field, or practicing with a batting trainer, there are some things that have to be in place. Every hitter has to get into an athletic stance before they hit the ball. This means that feet are apart, knees are bent, and the butt is sticking out slightly. This is to make certain that you can make contact with the ball. Connection occurs when a hitter's hands rotate with the back shoulder through the point of contact. Their hands and arms only extend after the point of contact. With a good hitter, their back elbow and back knee will be in the power L position, and bent around 90 degrees.

To get really good at rotational hitting, it is a smart idea to try out your swing with the assistance of a batting trainer before bringing it into your game, so that you can get a feel for the swing.

Hunter Sendefer is a former player and current youth baseball coach who consistently coaches his teams to the winners column including an active 26 game winning streak. He frequently contributes to where you can sign up for free baseball batting videos and hitting tips or learn about the revolutionary new Insider Bat batting trainer.

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