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Do you know how hard it is to find video of people using a seesaw in a normal way? There's tons of 'seesaw fail' videos on youtube...and they all involve people getting hurt. Not exactly the funniest thing in my opinion, so I'm going to use this simple gif to show how a seesaw works.
Now, admittedly, talking about a seesaw within the baseball swing is probably a weird concept, but stay with me and it will make more sense in a minute. Take a long look at the moving picture above. Do you see how the ends of the seesaw move faster than the parts of the board that are close to the pivot? How can we use that information to apply it to a baseball swing or softball swing?
The idea is simple: If you can keep your hands still and make them the fulcrum or pivot point, then the farthest thing from the pivot (the bat head) will move the fastest. For some reason though, people talk a lot about parts of the swing they cannot really feel, like the barrel. I want to make sure in this article, I focus on the body. The elbows are the ends of the see saw...and the point between the hands on the bat is the fulcrum. Let me be clear, this is not my idea. But the people who talk most about this...NEVER ACTUALLY IMPROVE ANY SWINGS...they just define patterns. I want to break that mold and really show the 'teaching' side of hitting theory.
Question: Do you think this looks like a baseball swing?
Answer: At first, no. But once you saw the movement and turn added in, then yes, it looked like what the best players in the world do.
Question: How do you train that movement?
Answer: By focusing on the TURN aspect of the swing. If you focus on hand movement, then your turn must stop to support the hand movement. As you saw in the video above, there was no hand movement across my body at any point. The hands stayed beside my back shoulder the entire time. Now, I realize I did not 'finish' the swing. But, I showed all the parts of the swing that matter. Now, watch the video below, and see how my hands move...AND...how the elbows do not work together.
Training a "HANDS FREE" swing:
Many people get very caught up in all the types of drills they can do to 'hit better' or to 'keep more variety' for the team's batting practice. There are short bats, heavy bats, long bats, flat bats, one knee drills, widened out drills...the list is endless. At I.T.S. Baseball and Baseball Rebellion, we use 4 things to teach the swing:
No heavy balls, no other training aids, no gimmicks. Just real swings, and real turning. The Rebel's Rack helps keep the top hand in position as if you push forward, the Rebel's Rack falls on the floor. Clearly the Rebel's Rack and Drive Developer bands can be used to train the strength of the turn as well as the speed of the turn. The Half Turns and Elbow Moves I demonstrated above are very useful in my professional and college player client base in getting them to deactivate the hands and dominate and control the barrel with a power turn. (Speaking of one of my pros, Josh Horton has been ON FIRE, check his stats here) I have used these moves on players as young as 6 years old though...You can see how that worked HERE
Now, I could start talking about how the angular velocity of the swing I teach, when transferred to linear speed is significantly faster and more powerful than a hand dominant knob drive swing...but sometimes the physics can just get too technical. If you really want to find out about that, watch the video below.
Now that you've fallen asleep...
Thanks for reading!
Chas Pippitt, Leader of the Baseball Rebellion