Hitting: Minimizing Head Movement and the Rotational Swing

Mimimizing Head Movement
By minimizing forward linear movement, the hitter is able to still keep the upper body—specifically the head. This allows the hitter to see the pitch better, which in turn, increases his/ her ability to make consistent contact. While it is hard enough to hit any moving object, it is much harder to hit that moving object while moving too. Keeping the head still enables the hitter to see the plane of the pitch more accurately. Remember, hitting is sight-oriented. No matter how good one’s mechanics are, nobody, not even Ted Williams, could hit blindfolded.

The head must stay in the center of body throughout the entire swing. During the load, the head remains in the center of the body, even as the lower body shifts back. Along the same lines, the head stays in the center of the body during the stride, even though weight is shifting back to the front side. During the swing itself, the head remains in the center of the body, even as the player rotates through the baseball. While the body is moving in a linear and rotational direction, the head remains in the same spot—in the center.

Rotational Swing
From a biomechanical standpoint, maximum power is achieved through rotational movement. In order to achieve maximum power, hitters need to keep their weight back and rotate through the ball, rather than move in a linear motion from the back knee to the front knee and hit the ball off the front foot.

With a few exceptions, all of the great hitters today are rotational hitters. At contact point, their head is directly in line with their rear knee. For Barry Bonds, his head is sometimes behind his rear knee at contact. In addition, the belly button is always in front of the chin at contact point, further illustrating the stillness of the head and the rotational approach great hitters take as their hands enter the hitting zone.