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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Baseball Swing Mechanics - The Rotational Swing

Baseball Swing Mechanics - The Rotational Swing

By Todd Thomas

Rotational hitting...What is it?

My simple answer is that it is simply the big league swing. Prior to 2000, no one even knew what rotational hitting was. Now there are experts on every street corner. The facts are that Mike Epstein in his diligent study of the art of hitting isolated the core movements of the game's greatest hitters and defined their baseball swing mechanics in a term he coined Rotational Hitting.

You can call it what you want. Call it the rotational swing. Call it a hybrid swing. Call it weight shift hitting. There are many "names" now that other people have come up with, but I call it the big league swing. After all, that's what it is. Rotational hitting as Mike Epstein defined it encompasses and engulfs ALL of those other names that some are calling it. It IS the big league swing and that's what Mike Epstein Hitting teaches.

The bottom line is that there are really only TWO methods of hitting. A hitter is either Linear or he/she is Rotational with their swing mechanics. Now both techniques have elements of the other in them. Linear has some rotational and Rotational has some linear. The fact that each has elements of the other makes all of the other "techniques" or really names that people are calling baseball swing mechanics simply irrelevant and fictitious.

So let's define the Rotational Swing and the Linear Swing.

A rotational hitter establishes a stationary axis with the dropping of the front heal and with the front leg and they rotate around that stationary axis. This hitters "stays back" with their upper body. The head and chest do NOT come forward. They a very steady and do not lunge forward in the direction of the pitcher. You will occasionally see this happen when a hitter is completely fooled by a pitch and they break through their axis lunging forward in an awkward attempt to make contact. So the rotational hitter rotates around a stationary axis and stays back.

The linear hitter does not establish a stationary axis and they do not stay back. The linear hitter continues moving forward throughout their swing in a straight forward(linear) movement finishing their swing out over the top of their front foot or even slightly forward of it. The linear hitter typically swings in a downhill plane while the rotational hitter is typically taught to swing on the plane of the pitch because those swing planes match each technique. A linear hitter trying to swing on the pitch plane is very awkward and doesn't work well with all of the moving parts of this technique. Likewise, the rotational hitter swinging on a downhill plane is also an awkward unproductive swing. Staying back and swinging down do not match.

So to summarize the two basic baseball swing mechanics...The rotational hitter stays back and the linear hitter comes forward. See it's not as complicated as many desire to make it out to be. And remember, Rotational Swing Mechanics are simply the Big League Swing.

Todd Thomas is a Baseball Coach and Professional Hitting Instructor for Mike Epstein Hitting. Coach Todd's personal hitting website is Coach Todd also enthusiastically endorses as a place where baseball and softball hitters can master the Confidence, Composure, Focus and Consistency of their game so they can reach their full potential.

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