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Growing up on a golf course I have always loved and had a passion for golf. However, as I dove into baseball more and more, I put the clubs down to avoid the inevitable ruining of my baseball swing that I heard so much about.
Where did this rumor start? My guess is a bad hitter needed something to blame for his atrocious swing and golf was a perfect culprit. How can two swings so similar in movements have such a negative effect on each other?
Diving deeper into both swings and what efficient movements the best in the world have, in both sports, the more similarities you can find. After listening to one of the greatest golfers of all time chat with the current World Long Drive Champion about their swing thoughts and how they create more clubhead speed, it was impossible not to share.
It was interesting to hear Phil talk about his swing thoughts when trying to create more club speed and hit the ball farther.
Oftentimes hitters resort to their shoulders when trying to hit the ball harder, in turn creating poor direction and timing. Hitting is more about where the aggression is put, than just pure aggression in rotation.
Cueing the hitter to drive their front leg into the ground allows for better brace up and faster rotation of the core. Knowing where to put the aggression is significantly more important than being able to go top speed in the wrong area.
Another interesting tidbit from this video is reigning World Long Drive champion, Kyle Berkshire, talking about how his swing has changed over time and how he has to create different movements because of his size.
Being over 20lbs lighter than his competition, Kyle has to create a bigger turn/load than his competitors. This is why it is important as a hitting instructor to be flexible and be able to communicate with players about what is important to them. The thought that one swing works for everyone is asinine.
People move differently and must create force/tension differently because of that. Smaller hitters will have to do more and create more hip/shoulder separation than a bigger hitter. In that same breath, it has to be said that the bigger athlete may need to attempt to create less separation and allow their size to create force. Be pliable and adjustable to the hitter that is in front of you.
This is a hitting cue heard throughout every level of youth baseball.
I get it, kids fly open with their shoulder and pull off the ball.
But what does the front foot have to do with the shoulders? Hitters that land with their front foot closed do exist.
Those same hitters put themselves in a vulnerable position to ankle, knee, hip, and lower back injuries. Those joints are not made to resist a full-speed rotation
From the two pictures above which looks healthier for your body? It doesn’t matter how great your front shoulder stays in if you have a strained MCL and can’t play. In the video, you hear Phil talk about how his front knee opens to keep the force off his knee and free him from injury. Learn from that.
It’s your swing and your career. You have more time than ever to dive into your own swing as well as learn from some of the best to ever do it. Don’t leave a stone unturned and please don’t accept something just because it’s been said before. Rotation is rotation. Hitters can learn from golf, hockey, boxing, and many other sports. Take control of your swing and find what works for you.