The way to understand The High-Level Swing, and learn how to develop it in your hitters, is to first understand the concepts that define and describe it.
I break these concepts up into a number of levels.
- Why Rotation?
- Truth in Hitting
- Hitting Mechanics 101 - Hitting for Average
- Hitting Mechanics 200 - Hitting for Power
- Hitting Mechanics 300 - Secrets of the Pros
I introduce these concepts in a order that is influenced by my experienced working with hitters over the years.
Why have I embraced the term Rotational Hitting when it is so often misunderstood, if not maligned
Rotation lets hitters (and pitchers) tap into and extract the most power from The Core.
But what about the hands?
The hands have a critical role to play in a high-level swing; they help the hitter adjust to the pitch. However, in order to play the role of adjusting to the pitch, the hands cannot power the swing.
As I discuss at length in Ruined, I have learned from my experiences with major league hitters that, when they succeed, it's because they let the rotation of their hips power their swing. When they fail, it's because they try to power their swing with their hands.
Truth in Hitting
Cues like keeping your front shoulder in and/or your hips closed into contact work well for many people when they are used as just that.
However, if you want to understand how the high-level swing works, you have to understand a number of critically important concepts.
Hitting Mechanics 101
Athleticism & Posture
The concept of Posture reflects the fact that a hitter must get into a balanced, athletic position by the time their front heel plants and they are ready to start their swing.
The Swing Plane is the plane -- or more accurately the disc or even the doughnut-shaped area -- in which the barrel of the bat rotates. While what happens to the barrel before the start of the swing is relevant -- see, for example, my piece on Launching the Swing from a Vertical Barrel Position -- the swing plane is most relevant from the start of the swing through the Point Of Contact (POC) and the follow-through.
In order to simply hit a good fastball, much less hit it hard, a hitter must ensure that they maintain their Compactness for as long as is appropriate.
Adjustability is exactly what its name implies; the ability to adjust to the type, movement, and location of the pitch.
Connection is the process of -- as much as is appropriate given the speed and location of the pitch -- linking up and synchronizing the movements of the shoulders, arms, hands and bat and moving them as a coordinated whole, not a bunch of independent parts.
Alignment ensures that the forces generated by the muscles of The Core and the rest of the body are quickly and efficiently transmitted to the bat head.
Hitting Mechanics 200: Power
Whip involves learning how to build up energy in the barrel so that it moves through the Point Of Contact at maximum velocity.
Coil is is an advanced movement of the hips that maximizes their travel -- and thus the Efficiency of a hitter's swing -- allowing hitters to hit for both power and average.
Coil is most easily seen in the swings of...
- Ted Williams
- Roberto Clemente
- Bryce Harper
- Fernando Tatis Jr.
Hitting Mechanics 300: Pro
Another key to hitting for power is powering the swing with the entire body by creating Separation.
In most cases, the way that hitters create Separation is by Loading.
Is easiest to teach the high-level swing as a series of stages. However, in order to maximize the efficiency, and thus the power, of the swing, one must learn how to Overlap those stages.
A hitter's Timing determines whether they are ready to hit the ball when it crosses the plate.
 Unfortunately, and as I discuss in my pieces on the Myths About Hitting, Misconceptions About Hitting, and Phony Flaws, too many hitting instructors, and perhaps even most hitting instructors, don't understand what a good swing looks and are not moving their clients in the direction of The Swing.