Rotational Hitting Mechanics



Linear Mechanics -Vs- Rotational Mechanics

Nearly all batting mechanics, whether taught by coaches or described in books and videotapes, are based on "linear mechanics." By linear, I refer to the concept that bat speed is derived from the batters forward weight shift and extension of his hands. Batters are instructed to direct their energies in a fairly straight line back in the direction of the pitcher. Liner mechanics has promoted terms like: "Step into the ball," "Transfer your weight from back to front," "Keep your shoulder in there," "Pop your hips at contact," "Throw the hands or heel of the bat at the ball," and so on.

Compelling evidence shows that those players who have become the truly great hitters like Barry and Sammy or Williams and Ruth did not use "linear mechanics" to achieve their greatness. The smooth powerful swing of these top quality hitters is the product of "rotational mechanics." Their swing generates greater bat speed much earlier in the swing. Describing rotational mechanics will require a new set of terms, like: "Rotation around a stationary axis," "A circular hand-path," and "Applying torque from initiation to contact."


Introduction to Baseball and Softball Hitting Mechanics

There are probably as many mental images of the baseball and softball swing as there are coaches who teach hitting mechanics. While differences in style may exist, one key point proves true - all great power hitters use similar rotational mechanics and weaker hitters do not. Therefore, we thought it would be helpful to break the rotational batting mechanics swing down into its frame-by-frame parts in order to demonstrate each segment of the swing and the essential mechanics.

In order to realize why the rotational swing mechanics generate great power and bat speed, we must first have a clear understanding of the principles (or forces) that produce the bat's acceleration. Once we understand these forces, then we can show the swing mechanics that most efficiently (and effectively) produce these forces. Start reviewing the frame-by-frame mechanics.







Screen Captures

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Frame-By-Frame Analysis

The swing mechanics exhibited by the batter we have chosen for analysis contains batting principles found in the swings of all great hitters. The swing is broken down into three phases. Phase one, "Pre-Launch Mechanics," contains five frames (A,B,C,D,E) and depicts the batter's movements from the stance to the launch position. Phase two is five frames (1,2,3,4,5) that cover the batter's mechanics from swing initiation to contact. Phase three (X,Y,Z) consist of the batter's follow through movements after contact.

There is a brief description with each frame of the swing, but for those who would like an in-depth analysis of the mechanics and batting principles exhibited, we provide links to selected posts from Jack Mankin's Discussion Board archives that pertain to that phase of the swing. To return the Swing Mechanics page, hit your back button.






windup01Frame #A -- Pre-Launch Mechanics

Batting Stance
The batter has taken an athletic stance in the box, similar to the ready position of a tennis player or soccer goalie. A slightly crouched position with the weight carried mainly on the balls of the feet and fairly evenly distributed on the legs.

There is no absolute rule as to where a batter should hold his hands or bat in the stance. In this picture, the batter has his hands 10 to 12 inches away from the back-shoulder. However, Barry Bonds' style would have the hands lower and more forward in the stance. On the other hand, A-Rod holds the hands fairly high above the shoulder.

"Style vs Absolute" Rules of Good Hitting
Why we Chose the Front View for Swing Mechanics