WARNING!! Down & Through Hitting Mechanics EQUALS Down in the Lineup

Written By: Chas Pippitt

The Myths of Hitting

It is often said that swinging “down and through” the ball generates backspin.  Coaches for years have been telling hitters to hit the top of the ball to make the ball go farther.  Another common queue from coaches is to 'go to the ball', or 'hit it out front.'  These statements are false.   They are myths, and they ruin hitters.

The argument goes like this.  “What’s the shortest distance between two points?  A line.”   So if you swing on a line down to the top of the ball, and then continue through the ball, the ball will spin backwards when it leaves the bat.”   This is nonsense.  Hitters who swing this way will fail.

Swing Down Baseball Swing, Linear Mechanics, Rotational Hitting, Chas Pippitt, baseball rebellion

Black line is Barrel Path. Green line is path of pitch. Yellow lines show ‘Power V’ and ‘A to C’ mechanics at their worst.

Look at the photographs above and below.  Two players with ‘down and through’ mechanics, attempting to hit the top of the ball and hit the ball out in front to create backspin.

Swing down softball swing, A to C Mechanics, Linear Mechanics, Knob to the ball, Backspin, hitting drills, baseball hitting, softball hitting

The black line is Barrel Path. Green line is the estimated path of ball. Purple Circle is estimated contact point. Yellow lines are indications of down and through mechanics. Power V is shown here, and ‘A to C’ mechanics as well.

Well, no one can argue that the shortest distance between two points is NOT a line, but I’m going to argue that a pitch is not a point…but a moving object, much like a comet, that has a leading point and a tail.  The swing also moves, and there are many possible points of impact along the path of both the pitch and the swing.  That is if the swing is done properly.

The ‘line’ or, in most cases, ‘arch’ of the pitch is drawn from the release point of the pitcher all the way to the catcher’s glove.  Would you rather have one point to hit the ball that has an area of only a few inches?  Or…would you want something better like a bigger area that is feet instead of inches?

In Jaime Cevallos's Positional Hitting book he describes what I am talking about as Area Of Impact (AOI).  The reason Down & Through makes a hitter so inconsistent is because of the reduced AOI.  The AOI is about 8-14 inches with D&T, and the Baseball Hitting Rebellion way is more like 4 feet!  Think about the path of the barrel as being like the NIKE Swoosh sign...this is connecting the dots from A to B to C.  We at Baseball Rebellion are greedy, we demand both consistency and power with our swings, like every truly great player.

 

Bat Plane, Pitch Plane, Softball Hitting, Baseball hitting, Baseball Rebellion, Chas pippitt

Which bat path would you rather have your swing have? Which bat path gives you the largest chance to hit the ball hard?

ThePTMethod.com

The problem is, a hitter can't create this 'upward' swing without dropping his back shoulder or  dragging his barrel.  So, you can imagine these hitters in the dreaded ‘B’ position or hitters who have ‘dropped their back shoulder’ or who are ‘dragging their bats through the zone’ must be bad hitters right?  I don't think so...but you might be unsure.  Let’s see what the Pros do:

Kevin Mattison, Baseball Rebellion, Hitting Mechanics, Pro Baseball Hitting Mechanics

Kevin Mattison, AA player for the Jacksonville Suns (Marlins) has raised his batting average over .110 points this year. Look at the barrel deep in the zone, behind the path of the ball. Red line is barrel path, green line is ball path, purple is estimated contact point, and yellow box is area of impact possibilities.

Now, you might say, Chas, that's only a AA hitter.  To that, I'd say 'True, and one of the best 3000 players in the world'...and just to be clear, Kevin is NOT a power guy...he's a 6.4 runner in the 60-yard dash and a GREAT fielder.

Now, let's look at two of the greatest MLB power guys, Albert Pujols and Arod.

Can we all agree that Arod is/was a great hitter?  How about Albert Pujols? Arod is a 600 homerun hitter, an absolute monster of hitting and Pujols is arguably the best right-handed hitter ever.  These guys MUST have 'good' mechanics...they MUST hit down on it...they MUST go 'A to C'...and reach out in front of them to 'create backspin and lift'...RIGHT???

Albert Pujols, Swing Mechanics, Baseball Swing Mechanics, Pujols Swing Mechanics

Yellow lines show deep contact and heavy bend in elbows (this pitch was hit to the pullside gap). Red line is arch of the barrel. Green line is pitch trajectory, and Purple is the contact point.

Alex Rodriguez Texas Rangers Mechanics, Baseball Hitting Mechanics, ARod Mechanics

Arod, about to crush a homerun for Texas. Bat lagged back in ‘B’ position, swinging up at an incoming pitch.

WRONG!  They are the best in the world at what they do...and they hit the ball deep and on an upswing!  So how do mechanics like down and through, and hit the ball out front permeate the coaching field?  Well, I’ll put it this way…it’s not ALL the coaches fault…

Extra Young Hitters and The Well-Meaning-Parent

Remember when your son or daughter was very young…I mean so young they were using the giant barreled plastic bat and the Whiffle Ball.  So young you stood like right in front of them so they could hit the ball, and were never worried about getting hit because mostly they weren’t hitting…they were swinging wildly and going to get the ball they missed…then throwing it nowhere near you…so you could retrieve it and the process started again…

Now….think back…what did you do when they hit that first ball?  I don’t mean crushed it…I mean the first foul tip?  Remember?  YOU WENT CRAZY!  You were so proud, and so was the child, and you couldn’t wait to walk towards them…give them a high five…and then pick the ball up that went back so they could hit it again.

Does that sound familiar?  Of course, it does, because every single parent of every player I’ve ever had at a camp or lesson tells the same story when I ask about the plastic giant barreled bat and ball.  Now they might remember that once the child got better…they could hit it over some fence, or into a pond, or off a building (not grounders I will quickly point out)…but they also remember those formative swings…when the child is rewarded for ‘hitting’ the ball.

Lets fast forward on that same kid’s journey:  Onto T-Ball!

Now, if a young kid is playing T-Ball, the goal is really just to ‘hit’ the ball.  I’m not even sure they should keep the score at that level, because really isn’t it about learning the game and the kids having fun?  But this is where the problems get even bigger!…you get that one excited dad who just wants to WIN BABY, and he’s all over the kids, telling them all kinds of ridiculous things like ‘just make contact’ and ‘nice easy swing’ and ‘you don’t have to try to hit the ball hard, just hit it on the barrel and that’s all that matters’.  Then that dad talks to a high school coach…or reads a youth hitting book, and sees the ‘A to C’ approach.  This makes sense to him, because, as we said before, ‘the shortest distance between two points is a line’.  So he has the kids raise their hands, slam down on that stationary ball, and, as we all remember, chaos ensues.  Grounders are turned into home runs, the pitcher has some sort of timeout circle that causes all runners to have to stop, and the games, mercifully, have a time limit.  The kids love it, everyone gets ‘hits’, and by the 3rd inning, the kids are more worried about the snack after the game than the score.

Bad Hitting Drills, Baseball Rebellion, Swing Down, Swing Up, Baseball Plane of Pitch

This is a common sight, a well meaning father spending time with his son, but unknowingly teaching him to be unsuccessful in the process.

Little League and Travel Ball

The field is still small, hard grounders zoom into the outfield, the best pitchers in the league throw curveballs but really is more gravity than spin that makes that ball move (and that crazy dad is still coach…and there are MORE OF HIM).  That same kid is a normal sized kid, faster than most but not the quickest kid.  He still loves the game, and he’s being taught, and rewarded, for swinging down on balls, hitting hard grounders, and making contact.  He makes the Little League All-Star team, but he bats 7th…a new experience for him.  Some of the other kids hit the ball a little harder, are a little bigger, but he’s an all-star nonetheless.  He gets on a travel team, and his grounders start getting caught a little more often…He isn’t a starter anymore…but he’s playing against good players…Still, he’s frustrated that his grounders aren’t working…he’s not used to this much failure…However, he is still excited about middle school.

Middle School Ball:  Trouble in Paradise

So here’s that kid, getting ready for tryouts…In NC where I live, middle school rules dictate a minus 5 bat, (my kids swing minus 3’s)…so he grabs his buddy’s 31 inch 26-ounce bat and it feels HUGE.  The minus 12 he’s been using in little league and the big barrel in travel ball are a thing of the past.  He can barely swing this thing, but he’s got his hands high, just like his coach is telling him….but he can’t get it out of the infield, and the curveballs are really starting to show weakness now…He can’t stay back and his off-balance forward lunging towards the pitcher more and more often…In the batting cage, he struggles with the weight, but he hits hard grounders and soft line drives towards the back of the cage, something he’s used to but the ball doesn’t ‘jump’ the way the bigger kids can...Maybe he makes the middle school team but maybe he doesn’t.  Let me tell you who did make the middle school team…The kids who hit it the hardest and farthest.

The coaches in middle school and high school are confusing…they’re teaching ‘A to C’ down and through mechanics.  They put the tee way out in front of their hitter’s front foot, where the ‘line’ from ‘A’ to ‘C’ is the flattest, the kids hit line drives.  The game comes, and those same kids are rolling over grounders and hitting weak fly balls… The coaches are confused…and don’t like these results…So now the players are at fault, and here comes the coach speak ‘why are you dropping your shoulder?’, ‘why are you swinging up at the ball?’, How did you get that lunging long swing?’, ‘Why won’t you wait for the ball?’.  Watch how the lineup forms itself over time, the best hitters are the ones who hit the ball the hardest and farthest…and I bet, if you had video of those kids, they aren’t taking a ‘direct’ bath to the ball.  They are taking a path that accelerates the barrel into the path of the ball.

Here’s another drill:  put the tee out in front of your child’s foot.  This is the position that is easiest for them to hit, then watch them hit.  Do they lean forward and reach for the ball?  Pay attention to how long their stride is.

Bad Coaching, Baseball Hitting, Swing Up, Swing Down, Linear Mechanics, Rotational Hitting, Pro Hitting Mechanics, Baseball Drills, Hitting Drills

What are we working on here? Hitting mistake pitches? Ok, I’m good with that, but shouldn’t we be able to crush those automatically? Most hitters can take terrible paths to that ball and create a ‘false positive’ result of success.

Now, put the tee behind the back of their front knee…can they hit a hard line drive from that tee position?  If so…how did they do it and where did it go?  And can they do it again and again?  Try a very low pitch from that deep position?   Can they elevate and drive a low pitch or do they beat that into the ground backside?  Remember, this pitch is middle...not outside.

Correct Bat Path, Swing Path Baseball, Pitch Plane Baseball, Baseball Hitting Drills, Baseball Rebellion, Chas Pippitt

Now HERE we are getting somewhere. Edited picture is the same as above but the tee is deeper in his stance, and lower, forcing a better, more quickly accelerated swing, with a longer area of impact.

Let me ask you a question:  what percentage of groundballs turn into outs in the major leagues?  What’s your guess?  50%?  65%?  Nope, the answer is .74 percent!  Knowing that, does it make sense to teach our kids to hit the top of the ball?  If someone can PLEASE show me how to hit down on a ball to make enough backspin to carry that ball out of a ballpark in a game, I’d pay to see it.  I am not advocating fly balls over grounders, trust me, but fly balls do have a chance to become extra-base hits, while grounders very rarely do.  *statistics taken from CrawfishBoxes.com*  Don’t we want our youth players, our sons, and daughters, to have the highest chance at a top level swing that we can?  How much better does a ball driven to the fence feel than a seeing-eye ground ball single?  Do we ask our children to get C’s in school because ‘C’s get degrees’, or do we push them to be their best?  Would you only teach them to do math or reading at a 6th-grade level?  Of course, you wouldn’t, but if you’re teaching down and through, back to front mechanics, you’re limiting your child’s progress and forever putting a ceiling on their upward potential.

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Tim
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Tim

Hey Chas, Great posting. I have to tell you what you have put down seems to me to be so much more instinctually and intuitively spot on. The longer potential area of impact obviously gives a batter a much greater chance at making quality contact. The path of the swing as you describe also I believe greatly increases a batters chance of making quality contact with lower pitches. Now coming from the Dark Side (former pitcher) I know pitchers and more importantly most pitching coaches of at least the last two generations preach down,down, down in the zone. I was… Read more »

greg
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greg

How does this change the list of drills posted on your wedsight?

jmyers
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jmyers

Haha Greg, I knew this was coming 😀 Changes are coming soon to the TOP 5 Drills section of SwingSmarter.com, and about a half dozen articles will be replaced with Chas’s Hitting Rebellion ones. It’s been a slow change over because I’ve been so busy with getting Chas set up with the blog, and fulfilling orders on The Starting Lineup Store. Rest assured, it’ll be worth it, more great content to come!

DOUG
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DOUG

Hi Chas, My comments are not coming from someone who is a sold down and through coach but someone who is asking these questions to challenge you. I have found baseball hitting instruction is largely theory, copying other so-called experts and a heavy load of salesmanship to support a belief system. Currently, I try to believe what I see rather than see what I believe. I don’t believe anyone anymore until I take their theory to my special group of hitters and we find out whether it works better or not. I work with a lot of teenage hitters. I… Read more »

chas
Member

Doug, What an impressive email! There’s so much there, its going to take me some time to respond…and probably in a few different posts/replies. I’ll try to go in order of your questions: Here goes! Players with improper hip drive (thrust) are unable to support the barrel with their shoulders. This leads to ‘dumping the barrel’ down to the catcher and will lead to this uppercutting, wrist rolling, top spin generating swing that you’re describing. ‘Velo up in the zone’ is an interesting phrase with many meanings. First, if it’s truly ‘up’ meaning above the belly button…don’t swing. It is… Read more »

chas
Member

Doug, Had a break from lessons, lets see if I can bang out more answers… Short hitters VS Tall Hitters: Short hitters are lower to the ground and therefore have an easier time getting to low pitches and a smaller strike zone. Taller hitters have more natural leverage and length and therefore can uppercut more, and still be successful. One of my main problems with many youth and high school coaches is they coach what ‘wins’ instead of what ‘works’. My life is literally devoted to finding the best possible way to smash a baseball, and this is what I’ve… Read more »

Tony S
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Tony S

I’m going to say this method of swinging is this “new school” bs and isn’t going to be around for long because guys are striking out more then ever and for example will go 1-4 in a game with 2 strikeouts and one HR.

jmyers
Guest
jmyers

Great stuff Chas!! See, I told you guys Chas is a technique nerd, 3 SUPER Charged responses in a row!! Pictures and video speak volumes for what is “actually” happening during the swing. There are just too many holes in a Down & Through swing, it’s difficult to hit with any consistency. I can tell you pitchers hate guys like Bautista because they keep their barrel in the zone so long, it makes it hard to deceive that kind of a swing. Even if you don’t time the pitch right as a hitter, you have a lot of margin for… Read more »

chas
Member

Joey,

NERD? more like Savant.

Chas –

jmyers
Guest
jmyers

Haha Chas, I stand corrected 😀

Ivan
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Ivan

Chas,

Thanks for taking the time to explain the points in so much detail. For me, as a rookie to the whole hitting mechanics it is difficult to follow the jargon and need things spelled out for me from time to time. So I understand it, with getting the bat in the zone sooner (the Swoosh) and being long through the ball you will still create backspin? Or is backspin not really required at the point?

Thanks again for the time you spent put this articles together much appreciated.. even when it confuses me…

chas
Member

Ivan, My answer to the ‘backspin question’ is 2 fold. first, if you are hitting the ball hard and on an elevating line…you want backspin. HOWEVER, if you mis-hit a ball, and are hitting the ball hard in a downward trajectory (a grounder) you want topspin to shoot that ball through the infield. Think of a tennis player. when they hit a dropshot slice shot (backspin) the ball hits the surface and dies….slows down. when they hit a topspin winner shot, the ball hits the ground and shoots forward (yes, friction still slows the ball, but the topspin gives it… Read more »

Doug
Guest
Doug

Hi Chas, Thank you so much for your extensive reply. You have really challenged me and I am really trying to get a full understanding of your system and how it is different and most importantly how it will help my hitters. It seems to me initially that you are using the nike barrel path to the ball as a means to accelerate the bat head? If I might explain my personal experience. Mine son always hit with a slight upper cut swing and was a consistent 310-320 hitter with no home runs. However, at age 17 my son completely… Read more »

chas
Member

Doug, I’m glad you’re enjoying my responses as much as i’m enjoying your questions. Let me be clear, I was trained as a ‘down and through, top hand snap backspin generator’ as a hitter throughout my career. Feel free to check my stats (or some of them) at baseballcube if you need validation of my own struggles. I had massive power in batting practice once i added considerable strength and size due to NC State’s excellent training table and strength and conditioning coaches. But at State, there were just studs everywhere hitting 450 foot bombs like it was nothing. (back… Read more »

doug
Guest
doug

Hi Chas, It seems to me that each hitter has areas which are referred to as holes in their swing (referring to how Ted Williams illustrated his own batting average on pitches in different locations in the strike zone). Are you saying that ‘down and through’ will create areas in the strike zone which will be problematic for a hitter using this approach? If so, which areas? Or are you saying that ‘down and through’ will reduce a hitter’s power as well as create more holes than your barrel-path approach to the ball? I would like to see some video… Read more »

Preston
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Preston

Hey Chas, great article. It now makes alot more sense about how you are accelerated whn you hit instead of still accelerating when you make contact. Look foward to our next lesson and putting some of these things into action

Phil
Guest
Phil

So, you had how many hits in the Major Leagues???

jmyers
Guest
jmyers

@Phil: as our comments rules say: “Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name and do not put your website in the comment text, as both come off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation!” I’ll let your “rude” comment slide because I’d like to hear Chas’s take on what you just said. If you’re one of those fanatical hitting forum people who like to get into “pissing”… Read more »

chas
Member

Phil, I had exactly 0 hits in the major leagues, or any type of professional baseball. I wasn’t a great college player, and never claimed to be, as I’m sure my statistics are online somewhere. What I am is a person who continually searches for ways to make hitting easier to understand and improve at. We at BHR and I.T.S. Baseball are proud of what we do, and how we do it. I welcome any advice you can give on hitting if you think I’m wrong or that linear hitting/swinging down is the way to go. Enlighten us. Better yet,… Read more »

Jay
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Jay

My hitting instructor keeps telling me to swing down and through and I know that is wrong. He keeps on saying I am dipping and that is his reasoning for swinging down and through. I talked to him about how I want to swing the way you guys teach it but he wont listen. How can I stop from dipping so he shuts up?

Matt
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Matt

Chas, I love this line of conversation as it is a testiment to whats been going on in youth baseball. You are 100% right, their continues to be a belief among coaches, that down and though, linear hitting, squish the bug, all of the problematic approaches to hitting are the right way to hit. None have ever been able to truly explain why they work. I see this from coaches who grew up in the 80s who, like myself ,were taught to hit the ball on the ground, the artificial turf rules!! High School and College offensive output went down… Read more »

Gary
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Gary

Chas, Awesome. Love the conversation. Love guys who shout their points in CAPS, no matter how foolish their chatter is. I love that people want to simplify such a difficult task, give it a name and bottle it. Linear, rotational etc. I’d love to hear a guy with natural skills who just…figured it out…Babe Ruth, I’d love to hear his answer to these overly analyzed notions. While I love the analysis and I love your take on it all, and I love how completely wacky so many “gurus” are, it gets crazy looking at every move along the way and… Read more »

Steve
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Steve

Chas, Great site and great reading. I coach 7 & 8 year olds in East Cobb, GA and up to now have been teaching a linear swing… squish the bug, putting a higher tee behind a lower one, etc. Your Robby Cano (my favorite player) analysis has won me over. The fall season is just starting (first cage practice this weekend) and I would love to begin teaching my kids the swoosh path. Can you recommend a few good drills for young kids? Also do you happen to know any instructors around this area teaching a similar approach? Would also… Read more »

George
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George

Hi guys, I’m a big fan of the rebellion — really enjoyed the row til you go stuff, which was several months ago. Not sure this is on topic “exactly”, but it does pertain in an overall sense to how to clearly show barrel path when adding them to photos. Illustrations / graphics depicting barrel path are frequently been done with a simple line. Using a line rather than a ribbon shape is NOT TERRIBLE — but it can ( if my own experience is any indication) lead to misunderstanding of how things move in 3D space. For instance, if… Read more »

ed kovac
Guest

my grandson is 6 and in t-ball.. where iis the best location of the tee . I have him practicing at the belly button to encourage getting to the path early and inside the front foot for the game

Steven Mays
Guest
Steven Mays

I wasn’t able to complete all of the comments here, so forgive me if I discuss something that has already been established. One major aspect of this argument that I have not heard much discussion about is what affect the linear down swing path vs rotational up swing path has on timing. And not just timing, but the subsequent muscle memory that is developed based on the success and failures of each swing path. I will try to keep this short, but I believe this is probably the most important aspect of success of rotational mechanics.and the failures of down… Read more »

Goody
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Goody

I think we are talking abount semantics here in our word choices in describing the hitting process. Some coaches might interpret that “down and through” means to swing down on the ball while others may interpret it as swinging the barrel “down” to the area of impact and then pushing the barrel “through” the pitched ball in a linear action such as I do. Would you not agree there is a down part of the swing? How else would you get the barrel of the bat to go from facing upwards to downwards? Let’s begin with what I see as… Read more »

Goody
Guest
Goody

Chas: I never was very good at 20 second sound bites, lol. And I work with lots of females so I tend to have to get a bit detailed with them. But my baseball hitters will look a lot like yours as will the softball players. I have swung a bat myself many times and there is a swing aspect (bottom hand) to the swing and a push aspect (top hand) to the swing. Extending the arms is a pushing action. When the ball hits the barrel, the hitter has to fend off that blow just like an offensive lineman… Read more »

Steve
Guest
Steve

Dear Chas, My 14 year old son has been taught to hit, I believe, using more of a rotational approach. to hit the lower inside 1/4 of the ball. Looking at your diagrams, they match how my son has been instructed to hit. He has been told he has a very good swing. However, he is also not hitting for any power. He is not driving the ball. He hit the ball harder, two years ago, than he does now. He is only 102 lbs and he gets frustrated when bigger kids just stick the bat out there and get… Read more »

Tom T
Guest
Tom T

OMG! You just described our last year of travel baseball. My Son is 15 and has always been the big hitter on the team. 2012 season he hit in the 3 hole and batted .475 with 8HR and 57RBI (in 62 games). This year he was delighted that he made a very elite travel team in the area. Our new coach was a self-proclaimed hitting “expert” who preached the down and through hitting mechanics. In his own words, there is no other way to hit a 90mph fastball the to take a direct 45 degree path to the ball and… Read more »

Don Ervin
Guest
Don Ervin

Hey Chas. Great informative site here. I am really enjoying the various questions and comments here on your site, especially your insight to the different questions. One confusing question I hear from numerous people is, why do so many great hitters tell how to do it and then do it quite differently? The great one Mr. Ted Williams was one of those who done so. His swing video’s do not show his swing as he expresses and demonstrates in his photo’s illustrated in his book which is very technically written, and easy to understand , a lot of learning and… Read more »

karieannlewis
Member
karieannlewis

I have a question about fastpitch. I see it being very effective for baseball, my question is fast pitch against the rise ball? Have you ever looked at it from that angle. seeing a rise ball that truly jump would to me seem to b impossable to hit with the swoosh! Thanks for the feedback

karieannlewis
Member
karieannlewis

Thanks for the answer. My daughter is 14 now and I had sat and watched allot of tevoed baseball and softball games 2 years ago. And had taught my daughter to hit that way just from watching the hitters in slow motion, for hours and hours! Had tought it to her through the winter. She has a batting cage in the basement, and had her very close to that swing and was crushing the ball at 12 the following spring. But being the idiot that i am I let the team coach change her simply because he didnt like it.… Read more »

karieannlewis
Member
karieannlewis

Im going to!! By the way the girl from Alabama was Whitney Larson which I saw the short video of on your website, in a youtube video.

Anthony Rogers
Guest
Anthony Rogers

Hey Chas don’t be so quick to bad talk the “go and get it” technique or the “hit it out in front” technique, because those terms are not always meant the way you have explained them on hear…I have many years of hitting experience and having won some batting titles. Now nothing at your level but I’ve always been taught both those sayings but they are different….Mine is as follows, “hit it out in front” and” and get it’ are sayings to not let the ball get to the plate and attack it right in front of the plate. Don’t… Read more »

Rich
Guest
Rich

My daughter (8yrs) is having great success with the lower body mechanics. Thanks for all of the great free video content and breakdowns!!! However, I can’t seem to convey the message regarding not swinging down and through. She’s the victim of 3 years of horrible instruction (from myself). How do you explain getting the barrel in the zone quicker instead of chopping at the ball. She’s able to do it on about 1/3 of her swings but I can’t seem to replicate it with consistency.
Thanks again!!!

Darren Tracy
Guest
Darren Tracy

Chas,

Thanks for the info….I have seen many a player with the rotational hitting techniques have great success with it, my son being one of them. They just seem to have better bat speed and consistently hit balls harder….I used this page and your theory in an article i wrote here:

http://www.examiner.com/article/hitting-myths-and-the-correct-way-to-hit-with-good-swing-fundamentals?cid=db_articles

I was never a big fan of the “chopping wood” type teaching method, and find using rotational hitting gives a kid more “quiet” movement in his or her swing..

Jimmy
Guest
Jimmy

you dont try and hit the top of the ball when swinging down and through, you hit the bottom to create backspin which pretty much invalidates much of this article.

Derek
Guest
Derek

Hey guys, I love your site and all the great things you teach about hitting. Keep up the good work! I’m glad someone is exposing all this bad hitting instruction that youth hitters have been given for so long. You guys have probably already seen it, but the other day I came across a video by Mattingy speaking at some coaches convention or something. It looked kind of old. Anyway, he gives the typical “swing down” and take the hands directly to the ball” junk that he always teaches. Then at the end of the video, he actually says “if… Read more »

Sully
Guest
Sully

The only thing about rotational hitting is that it’s pretty darn hard to do! If you have a kid who can learn to do it then that’s clearly the way to go. But I think that is the minority of the kids out there that can actually pick up on rotational hitting. For the majority of kids I still think linear is the way to go. It’s just easier to learn for the majority of youth hitters that will never play past 9th grade.

JK Whited
Editor

Sully,

I just have to disagree. I am amazed every day with what kids can do, talented or not. Majority of kids never come to full potential because dads and coaches think that they just can’t do it. Wrong, they(dad or coach)don’t know how to teach an explosive rotational movement. So inevitably dad/coach makes baseball easier for the young player with a lighter bat and “knob to the ball” type of approaches and forever cripple good hitters. When you say “It’s just easier”, you summed up why most kids never play past 9th grade.

JK-

Karl
Guest
Karl

I have to disagree as well. It is almost impossible to execute the linear hitting swing as it is taught. I know I was never able to do the linear swing. Teach the load and the weight shift, and everything else should fall into place on its own.

Karl
Guest
Karl

After watching Basball Rebellion YouTube videos (both hitting and pitching), I am finally going to say good work. Although it has been two years since I last played, I know the struggle of trying to execute these mechanics while coaches are trying to teach the “down and through” mechanics (One of my former coaches may have commented on this article a few years ago). I initially encountered these concepts on another website and now have hope for the future of baseball instruction as these concepts have started to catch on. After years of instructors just repeating “conventional wisdom,” there are… Read more »

Coach Joey
Guest
Coach Joey

Hey Chas I would like to start off by saying I am very confused. When I played little league back in the early 80s I had a similar swing to the swoosh. I was a power hitter and it just felt natural to swing that way. I have been coaching fast pitch now for almost 10 years. Everyone I have talked to seem to use the chop swing to teach their girls batting. I guess my question is does the swoosh work just as good in fast pitch as it does in baseball? I’m just curious because it seems like… Read more »

Coach Joey
Guest
Coach Joey

Thanks for the quick response. I will look up that article. Bottom line for me is teaching the best I possibly can to my girls. I truly do appreciate what you are doing for the sport. I guess I just have a lot to unlearn. Take care.

Coach Josh
Guest

Chas Pippitt, I have been on break for the last two weeks from my travel athletes (18U Gold team) here in Virginia Beach VA, and during this time I try to come up with new ways of saying the same thing….Your post and website have been very helpful, releasing the bat for extension, the greater then sign to lead with your hips and a couple others. I have a quick questions I really loved the Miranda Davis video (since I have been yelling at the top of my lungs that their is no difference between a softball swing and baseball… Read more »

Darrin Fisher
Guest
Darrin Fisher

Hey Chas, love the articles. Our boys have really bought into the idea of linear. We have seen better results with hard hit balls, and ability to make better contact. Do you have any information on timing and timing for off speed and adjustments. Looking for some cues. Right now we are using the glide methods. Keeping hands back and slowing our movement towards the pitcher. This way we are not stopping momentum. Thanks Chas.

Darrin Fisher
Guest
Darrin Fisher

Our idea of linear is to create movement going towards the pitcher, rather than no movement towards the pitcher and just rotate. We time for fast balls when the pitchers hands break traditionally. Some guys a little later depending on load. When we are timed up FB and we get an off speed pitch we teach glide (our voacb to keep moving hips and hands moving but to slow them down for a fraction). I’m looking for more information on timing for FB and off speed and adjustments to off speed. Thanks Chas

Chad Longworth
Guest
Chad Longworth

Great work. Anyone using data and metrics to analyze swings knows that there is only 1 path through a baseball and it’s not down. I posted on my twitter account yesterday that with all the high speed video and statcast data how we are still disagreeing whether a swing should work up or down through a ball. It’s really puzzling. I like the terminology accelerate the barrel into the path and trajectory of the ball. I think anyone using measurement tools to properly asses swings with subjective vs objective coaching understands that more line drives and fly balls with trajectory… Read more »

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

Hey I do teach hitting lessons to kids. The way I teach to get the uphill angle on a swing, especially on low pitches is to tilt more. This is by making sure the back knee is bending and also a slight tilt a the waist in.
Do you agree/disagree with my assessment?

chris hendrix
Guest
chris hendrix

Always believed in down through and yes the shortest distance is a straight line. I never heard anybody say hit the top half of the ball— though…I didn’t get any higher than single A so maybe they teach that at the higher levels. I’m being sarcastic as you are Chas Pippitt.

I was listening to Mark McGuire just yesterday. Maybe you’ve heard of him. He was saying he swings down through the ball. I guess if he was your student he would of hit 80 home runs.

Gabe Dimock
Editor

Chris,

Did McGuire actually swing down?

-Gabe

Greg
Guest
Greg

Hello chas this article hit a though situation im going through with my son. My son was struggling hitting and I was told by a patient of mine that there was a hitting school down the road. GRADUM baseball (owner lorenzo hitting coach for a rod). Whitin 2 months they transformed his swing. This is the progressive swing that all the new guys are doing Bellinger, trout, correa, donaldson, etc. put the ball in the air it produces runs. This crap about hitting ground balls will only produce outs as the defenses have changed. Not saying my son is any… Read more »

Clint
Guest
Clint

Hard hit ground balls, and line drives produce runs. Too many kids now are long and slow to the ball, and can’t catch up to a decent fastball. Put the ball in play…. make things happen.. Also, too much dropping the hands and back shoulder producing routine fly balls….

JK Whited
Editor

Ground balls, seldom produce anything but outs, especially against elite players on defense. We want majority line drives as well, especially for those players who may not have the body to produce homerun distances. Putting the ball in play works at youth levels but if that’s the mindset then most kids just rely on that and then eventually can’t compete with the players hitting the ball hard into the outfield. I think if you really dove into what we do and teach that you would see that dropping the back shoulder the right way will actually help increase a players… Read more »

Clinton Valentine
Guest
Clinton Valentine

Pete Rose?

JK Whited
Editor

What about him?