I need to come clean about something. As an ex-hitter and now as a hitting coach, it is a pet peeve of mine to watch high school hitters float the baseball bat into the contact zone. I hate the slow, looping swing!!!
There, I got it off my chest.
I wish I felt better.
But I don’t.
We talk a lot about violence in sport. Football concussions from helmet to helmet contact, well-aimed elbows on basketball rebounds, take-out baseball slides and using your hockey stick as a weapon are examples of unnecessary violence in sports. I’m baseball, though, there is a situation where I fully condone and even appreciate a healthy touch of violence.
In a baseball swing.
My belief is to hit the baseball as hard as you possibly can every time you swing. My philosophy is to teach short quick swings that generate bat speed and power upon contact.
Is short, hit the baseball hard and good things will happen. A well-struck baseball is much more difficult for the opponent to field than a seven-bouncer in the infield or a lazy pop fly to the outfield. Hard hit baseballs result in more base runners. More base runners translates into more runs, more runs translates into more wins.
As a hitter or a youth coach, develop a short, compact, and powerful swing from the very first time a bat is picked up. The long, looping swing you often see on the coach/machine pitch circuit will not work as the hitter matures.
Do you know what the number one reason kids cite for quitting the game when they reach high school?
It’s not being able to hit a baseball.
Why can’t they hit a baseball?
I am 99% sure that player who quits has a long, looping, slow swing. They have no violence in their swing. They not only have trouble making contact but there’s no zip on the batted ball.
Hitters of America, I plead with you to work on developing a quick bat. I implore you to take the steps necessary to rid this country of the slow bat epidemic.
Load and pull back the rubber band.
Step and swing with intent to harm the baseball. Hitting a baseball is a violent act.
Believe me, there are few things in life more fun and satisfying than launching laser line drives into the gap.
To me, that is what baseball is all about… CRUSHING the baseball.