Swinging Down, Really?
The following is a post I received on my blog and thought I should add my reply to the PT Blog. My comments are in red.
you say “you don’t teach down thru the ball because great hitters don’t do it”- Absolutely, 100% correct. The best players in the game, at all levels, don’t swing down on the ball. They level out behind the ball and the swing is moving up, not down. If you want to be a “power hitter” home run hitter, big hitter, i agree hit heart of ball and swing up, I have never in my life ran across a team, player, or coach that wasn’t trying to increase their power production, especially a player. but what if you want to have a high on base percentage and score high amount of runs (object of game), (Exactly, and equally important, the two most important statistics in the game are obp% & slg% ie… Money Ball) wouldn’t you hit top half of ball thus if you miss you hit the middle of it (So, you believe that teaching players to hit the top of the ball so that if they miss they may actually hit the middle of the ball and get a great hit??? I don’t want my players relying on a mis-hit to really drive the ball, I would rather just teaching them how to remove the cover of the ball with their bat and if they miss the middle, they miss the middle. Furthermore, the problem with swinging down and the notion that swinging down is going to produce a higher obp%. is wrong. We teach our players to get behind the ball and we do this because it increases the amount of time that the bat is in the plane of the ball, thus increasing a players ability to put the ball in play, thus increasing obp%. )
and if you do it top half your hitting a shot that will probably find a hole in the infield and if not and defense fields it they have to catch, throw and catch again? (Hitting the ball on the ground works when players are young, but becomes increasingly problematic the older they get. Players don’t come to me and say, “gee coach, I really want to hit the ball on the ground more and get more singles. No, they come to me because they have little power and are inconsistent at that plate, OBP% & SLG%” It is their coaches philosophical approach to the game that is driving these comments, not the players. Teach your players how to get behind the ball and great things will start happening, I have seen it a thousand times, and it makes a world of difference.)
I am seeing this change in how girls are being taught to hit and it looks like a baseball swing (That is because it is a baseball swing, same game, same swing) and a majority of them are not good at it, which is sad to see a powerful strong girl pop up and swing and miss…seems like a waste of an at bat or a hitter to me.. If a player has good rotational mechanics and understands what they are doing at the plate, they will be very good hitters. If they don’t, they won’t.
When I first started working with Jesse, she was swinging down and had very little offensive impact.
Garcia also earned First Team All-NWC honors after putting together an exceptional year in her first season as a regular starter for the Boxers. Garcia finished second for the Boxers with and eight in the NWC with a .380 batting average with 38 hits, 10 home runs and 39 RBIs. She finished tied for 13th in Division III with 10 home runs, tied for 48th nationally with 0.26 home runs per game and 78th with one RBI per game. She also finished fourth in the NWC and 74th nationally with a .770 slugging percentage. Garcia finished the year with 13 multi-hit games, including a 3 for 3 effort against Linfield on Apr. 25, and hit a grand slam against Hastings on Mar. 13.
“Jessie had an amazing year,” Hill said. “Her growth and development over the past two years will always serve as a reminder to future players the importance of perseverance and persistence in achieving success.”
I have been meaning to email you, but I’ve been so busy with finishing up my last semester and graduation! I just wanted to thank you for everything you have done for not only myself, but our entire team. We are hitting the ball harder and farther as a team and its been an amazing process from when we started working with you. I cannot believe how well this system has worked for me. Tim made a comment during the senior presentations between our last games, that he will not only remember me for hitting home runs, but for hitting home runs that average about 270 ft. That made me pretty happy. 🙂 The only sad part is that I wish I had more time, because you know how much of a threat I would be if I had two more years?!? I also wish I could have taken down Chelsea in the home run race. 😛 This is truly an amazing technique and I was SO happy to have learned it. You are really an amazing person and I wish you all the best.