Matt Nokes: Why Rotating Back Hip Through Zone IS NOT Necessary For Power

http://hittingperformancelab.com/matt-nokes/
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The ‘Hip Thrust’ That Matt Nokes Is NOT Talking About

Matt Nokes: Cal Ripken Jr.

Look at Cal Ripken’s lack of back foot rotation. Photo courtesy: Gene Sweeney, Jr./Baltimore Sun

In this Matt Nokes post, I wanted to bust a MYTH that Homer Bush brought up in his interview last week…

And that is…

The MYTH that rotating the back hip through the zone is necessary for power.

This past week, I re-tweeted this from @HyattCraig (who is awesome btw), of one of two Miguel Cabrera homers in a game, and this particular one he hit to CF:

The next day after that Tweet, I found this private message from a follower on Twitter:

“Joey, Honest question. I love most everything you post and It goes with all of the philosophies I teach as an instructor, but this particular post I don’t quite understand. Are you saying a backwards step of sorts and having limited pelvic rotation are positives? I don’t feel like this is practical for anyone that isn’t 6’3 225 when the pitcher is providing the power at 93. If you have time could you please clarify this for me?”

My response:

“Thanks for asking about that. A couple things, we do have to be careful about taking from big slugger analysis. I don’t mind what the back foot does as long as its un-weighting AND not skipping forward too much. Miggy has a great line following the batted ball, it has to do with optimizing centrifugal (center-fleeing) forces. As an example, the belly button should point where the batted ball has exited. Coach Matt Nokes talks quite a bit about full rotation not being an absolute to hitting.”

Which brings me to the above video, where Coach Matt Nokes walks us through numerous examples of elite hitters not fully rotating their back foot (and pelvis) until after impact.

Also, let me define full rotation of the pelvis (or hips as some refer to it as), at least from what I see/hear/watch from other people out there…

Full pelvic rotation is getting the hitter’s belly button to face shortstop (for a righty, or 2B for lefty) on any pitch…inside, middle, and outside.

I’ve found this gospel preached from those who don’t ‘buy into’ or understand the loading of springy fascia in the torso, since to them, the shoulders would be seen as ‘inactive’, before the hitter starts turning.

Therefore the pelvis has to do all the heavy lifting.

This method is far from optimal, and NOT very safe for the lower backs of youth hitters across the nation,

AND even more disturbing…
WILL continue to keep Orthopedic surgeons in business.

CLICK HERE for a post I did explaining how the swing isn’t rotational OR linear, but that’s it’s actually linear, rotational, then linear again.

The purpose of this post, is to open up discussion about whether rotating the back hip through the zone is necessary for power IS or IS NOT a myth…

Lastly,

I wanted to share one of my favorite Coach Matt Nokes drills for practicing what he preaches.  It’s his “Around the Zone” soft toss (coaches please be careful with this):

What say you…?

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Joey Myers

I’m a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), the International Youth and Conditioning Association (IYCA), and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).I’m also a HUGE supporter of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA).

I’ve spent 11+ years in the corrective fitness industry, and have too many alphabet-soup certifications to bore you with.I also played four years of Division One baseball at Fresno State from 2000-2003.

It’s NOT how you study, but what you study that counts.I apply human movement principles (or rules), validated by science, to hitting a baseball and softball.
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43 Comments

  1. Joe

    Joey and Matt,

    In all due respect, and it is not my intention to be contrary because I respect the work that both of you do, I think that there are a few variables that Matt failed to take into account. Lombardozzi and Rose would not be considered power hitters per se; Sosa, Braun, Ripken, and Brett were all striding into the plate, which would not only restrict their hip rotation but also the movement, or lack of movement, of their back foot; Williams was trying to pull an outside pitch in that clip and topping the ball; Pujols was lunging in those clips, which would restrict the movement of his back foot; Piazza, a self-admitted “pitching machine hitter,” was more of an upper half hitter who didn’t efficiently utilize his lower half; finally, Jones was repositioning (“skipping his back foot,” Joey’s jargon) efficiently.

    I think you have to consider the distance between the hitter’s feet after striding, at least the hitters you showed in your clip. The wider the feet, the more likely a hitter would/should skip their back foot. I think that, in addition to the direction of the stride, in this case with the hitters shown, striding towards the plate would dictate the action of the back foot. As a hitter’s center of mass shifts forward, so too must his back side.

    Just a thought. Your comments are welcome.

    Joe

    • Joey Myers

      Joe,

      Even though the back foot is sideways, we still see it skip…sometimes forward, sometimes away from home plate, sometimes toward home plate, and sometimes it stays in place but they get up on the toe. Go onto MLB.com and sort their 2016 stats by BA: http://gohpl.com/2da4cfY

      Then go onto YouTube and look at the hitters with more than 20 homers (my assumption is the ones below 20 will be keeping the back foot sideways as well), and search “[player’s name] 2016 highlights”, and watch that back foot stay sideways. And it really doesn’t matter if the hitter pulls the ball, goes up the middle, or oppo, the back foot stays sideways until follow through and finish. Miguel Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Jose Altuve, Dustin Pedroia, Votto, Mookie Betts, Big Papi, Andrew McCutchen, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams…they all do it.

      Watch the back foot of your favorite, The Mick, hitting his 500th homer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Orw6YsDn2o

      I had a good phone conversation with Homer Bush the other day and his hypothesis is by keeping the back foot sideways, it helps the hitter maintain barrel on the plane of the pitch, and a gold nugget detail contributing to hitting .300.

  2. Jon Ball

    Sounds like a great time for one of your famous Zepp tests. How about testing bat speed when you rotate your hips through the swing and do not rotate your hips fully. I always teach max bat speed and therefore max ball exit speed.

    I absolutely believe in your catapult loading system and a full hip rotation, so I do not think you have to favor one or the other. On an outside pitch a full hip rotation might mean having your belly button to the second baseman for a righty. A lot of it depends on pitch location and timing.

    If you are late on an inside fastball you are going to do what you can to barrel up and that might mean rushing your upper body through before you get a full hip rotation to catch up with that pitch. But if that is routinely the case you need to start your swing sooner, not limit your hip rotation on all of your swings.

    • Joey Myers

      Jon,

      You’re absolutely correct, a Zepp experiment on this is coming. Please see my first reply to Joe above. It’s uncanny to see the majority of top 20-25 hitters, based on BA (and hit over 20 homers in 2016), in the Big Leagues to have a sideways back foot regardless of pitch location. Some may be more sideways than others on outside pitches, but sideways nonetheless.

      I just thought it’s an interesting observation, and that’s why the post 🙂

  3. jeff

    I have to admit i have been a hips guy forever. I am only now changing my mind. Or actually i’m gaining a better understanding of what the hips actually do.
    And it started with me noticing that some hitters who rotated less, but had better connection with the ground, hit the ball much harder. I attributed it to a better and more solid base (the cannon shooting in a canoe metaphor). And it may be that because the reduced rotation allows for better ground connection.

    Right now i am a believer that the torso twist, springy force, must lead the way and the hip rotation and lower half power happens second and adds power via mass/inertia.

    If one leads with hips first they are fully open before contact when they should actually open during contact.

    • Joey Myers

      Jeff, totally…and like you have thought the back hip must get through on ALL pitches, but you can’t deny what’s happening to that back foot (and hip) on video with the best most elite hitters. From Miggy to Altuve. Teaching otherwise, and I fear we’re not giving our hitters their best chance of succeeding.

  4. Joe

    Joey,

    Mantle has a slightly closed stance on his 50th HR. He is also striding into the plate. He hooked that HR into the short porch in right field. Can a hitter get his back foot up or skip it if he strides into the plate and block his front hip from opening? Not sold on this approach, though it’s done, especially by Miguel Cabrera, in going to right center.

    I guess it has a lot to do with vectors, the new frontier with me since I avoided calculus in high school at all costs.

    • Joey Myers

      What’s crazy Joe, is that crashing the plate (slightly) with the stride foot is part of the solution, not the problem. A good friend of mine I’ve mentioned in past posts, Lee Comeaux, who instructs pro golfers from around the world, has studied the Thomas Myers Anatomy Trains stuff longer than I have…and he says the body’s fascia gets optimized when the feet are moving on different planes not squared up, so front foot moving in towards the plate, while back foot slides away.

      As a good example,

      Check out this video of Hank Aaron (pay particular attention to the umpire’s view clip):

      Interesting…

  5. Joe

    Jeff,

    I guess Ted Williams is to blame for “the hips lead the way” maxim from THE SCIENCE OF HITTING. However, Ted didn’t lead with his hips. He had a “counter movement,” his term, or a “counter rotational” movement coined by his protégé, Mike Epstein. If you check out his swing, you will see a down-and-in movement of the front shoulder, engaging his X-patterned fascia and core muscles before the hips go into action.

    Check out his slow motion swing on Youtube. I’m on my phone and can’t copy the link.

    Joe

  6. kyle harrington

    Good stuff Joey..

    Here is what I have noticed over the years….

    1. Guys who always stride towards home plate cut off hip rotation on inside pitches. Guys like Miggy and Trout. These guys tend to not pull the ball the furthest but show more power up the middle and opposite field. They also are forced to learn to swing in a way that delays the release of the barrel so they don’t roll over so much.

    2. Guys that step straight or slightly out (Bautista) have more pull side power but lack big oppo power. I think guys like Reggie Jackson, Mc Guire & Encarnacion.

    The direction of your stride and how far you stand off the plate are crucial in determining you “makeup” at the plate. A guy that stands close and still dives in is challenging the pitcher and increasing there pitchers effective velo. Not a good idea. A guy that stands way off the plate, dives in and understands the strike zone is dangerous contact hitter but may hurt his power. It is obvious that Cal Ripkin underperformed in the power department for his size. He was off the plate and dove in. But as far as hitting for average, it might be a better method. Ichero, Rose types.

    • Joey Myers

      I agree with you Kyle. Just like I mentioned on the phone, it would be difficult for guys like Miggy, Ripken Jr., and Ken Griffey Jr. to stand closer to the plate because of their longer wing spans…compared to McCutchen (5’10”), Dustin Pedroia (5’7″), and Jose Bautista (6’0″) who tend to crowd the plate a bit more than the big guys.

  7. Mark Meger

    This is an excellent piece. I’m soaking it all in. So many factors come into play here specifically size, body type and strength along with a hitters individuality. With our 13U kids we do emphasize the rear hip drive but we shun turning that back foot. That should happen after contact as shown here.

    Thanks for the great piece!

  8. Djura

    Hmmmmmmm… All I’ll say, is if you didn’t do it this way, it would be hard to release properly in my view especially square….You need the back foot side ways to measure the ball across your chest or to square the ball and than you need the back foot sideways to LET the push happen… I think I mentioned moments of action in the hands and feet… Well if you follow the big toe of the back foot to the top hand we will find it extremely helpful… So obviously there are a plurality of moments of actions in both hands and feet…Nice article but I find it extremely difficult to discuss these things unless we look into all the arm lines… Hope all is well…

    ~DM

    • Joey Myers

      I totally agree Djura, and I love your description: “You need the back foot side ways to measure the ball across your chest or to square the ball…” This is what I was trying to get at in the post above with centripetal v. centrifugal forces. There’s a 45-degree optimum impact area, and the chest sternum is right at the center of that. If hitters are taught to “get the rear hip through impact” on every impact pitch location, then hitters are grossly neglecting opposite field power. And in Homer Bush’s book, .300 hitters are really good at doing two things: 1) hitting the low pitch (combats pitcher’s #1 weapon for getting GB’s), and 2) hitting with force to the opposite field (neutralizes defensive shifts).

  9. Djura

    So we are not saying there isn’t a pelvic coil right? This gets complicated really fast… The back foot should indicate where the pitch was if the batter did it all right… At some point there needs to be a stop to transfer to the next action but when we see the swing in real time the stops could be missed… In addition, getting the hips through is a weird cue since they work interdependently and we are working in two planes…Again, the devil is in the details but the question should be why do they work interdependently… At the end it’s about how to release the head square where the back foot side ways comes in play…

    So mentioned the top hand and back big toe… Than there’s the bottom 3 of the lead hand and the other side of the side ways foot… Again, it gets complicated as we need to set up in order to LET or better… Make sure we are not holding back… So we try not to slow the head but also try our best to control it… Back foot side ways allows us for better control and helps us go with the swing as oppose to holding it back…

    Again, the devil is in the details….

    ~DM

  10. aprudy

    I’m not sure I’m clear about Nokes’ point in the top video.

    I think he is saying that these hitters are neither rotating their hips to the point that the belly button/belt buckle is facing center field, nor turning their back heel/achilles tendon to the sky before contact… that these two things happen after contact.

    Then, I think, the point is that the front foot lands slightly open and the front leg starts to straighten with the hips aligned with the angle of the foot (more towards the gap between the first and second baseman) and – adding Meyers to the equation now – the release of the spring fascia loaded on the angled spine occurs in a manner that drives the completion of the hip rotation, the unweighting of the back foot and the back foot’s completed rotation.

    It would seem to also explain why so many good hitters, post-contact, roll over their front foot… it’s because the hips are rotating past the angle of the foot as the follow-through is completed

    Unlike, then, a lot of teaching that has the hips rotating square to the pitcher and the back knee being forced downward so as to pull the torso through the rotation to the ball, this approach has ground forces and mechanical energy doing the work to partially rotate the hips with the majority of the power coming from the forceful release of the tension in the torso.

    It now seems pretty obvious that – along with the Meyersian spin angle and torso facia work – I have been overemphasizing the hips, even though I’ve not gone as far as some, and that this (along with a regular fear of/refusal of community-based 12yos to angle the spine properly) partially explains why so many of my hitters struggle with the outside pitch… not only are they too vertical but they have opened up too much too early.

    Love to hear your thoughts/comments/criticisms, Joey.

    Alan

    • Joey Myers

      Alan, you’re right on with Coach Nokes assessment, at least how I understand it.

      The rolling over of the front foot at to post impact is because of shifting foot pressure. The outside part of the foot (pinky toe side) is the power part of the foot. The body is reflexive. The power part of the hand is the same, that’s why we use the bottom 3 of the top hand (like hammering a nail). Click this Mickey Mantle hitting analysis video where I explain shifting foot pressure: http://gohpl.com/1k6T6GX

      I think Mark Meger’s comment is great: “With our 13U kids we do emphasize the rear hip drive but we shun turning that back foot. That should happen after contact as shown here.”

      And yes, with full or almost full rotation of the pelvis, hitters will have a difficult time with consistent power to the opposite field.

  11. Joe

    Joey,

    I have to disagree with you on this: “What’s crazy Joe, is that crashing the plate (slightly) with the stride foot is part of the solution, not the problem.” I think that there are other variables at work here. For instance, with Henry Aaron, I think what he does with his back foot – skipping sideways toward the 3B dugout has something to do with his grip and therefore his penchant for a top hand dominated swing which takes him over the plate. Take a look at these clips of Carlos Gomez and Carlos Correa, both back foot skippers with strides straight ahead (notice their balance). Also, notice Miguel Cabrera skipping his back foot.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VasKHKwdg6E&feature=youtu.be

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_vEJu3jmpw&feature=youtu.be

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McVrac2lYgI&feature=youtu.be

    As for Mantle, watch this clip of Mantle, a younger Mantle. Could his inclination to stride towards the plate and not skip the back foot a consequence of his age and injuries? After all, the clip of his 500th HR was near the end of his career, as he became increasingly impacted by his injuries. Are foot skippers more likely to be athletic players like Gomez and Correa? Also, Mantle hit his 500th left handed. He was a natural right handed hitter. Notice the balance in this clip and the back foot skipping contributing to it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af5QCxgmBHI&feature=youtu.be

    Again, I think that vectors are at play here, though I admit, I’m not an expert in regards to them. Maybe someone out there is and I welcome their comments. Aaron’s vectors take his head and upper body over the plate and his back foot towards the 3B dugout. Compare and contrast Aaron with Gomez, Correa, Cabrera, and Mantle.

    As for Mr. Comeaux, I do not question his expertise but I dont think that golfers are striding into the tee are they (I don’t play golf) or staggering their stances? I could be wrong. I’m not sure how your statements below fit golf. At least, I have never seen golfers do what we are discussing in regard to hitters.

    “Lee Comeaux, who instructs pro golfers from around the world, has studied the Thomas Myers Anatomy Trains stuff longer than I have…and he says the body’s fascia gets optimized when the feet are moving on different planes not squared up, so front foot moving in towards the plate, while back foot slides away.”

    Once again, thank you for your time. My intention is to get this whole hitting business right and to keep learning. It is not to disparage what you say.

    Joe

    • Joey Myers

      Joe, trust me, you aren’t discouraging me. With a concept such as this, it’s a sharpening of the sword.

      You’ll find with bigger hitters more off the plate, they’ll stride in toward the plate to close the gap, but with a longer wing span, they can afford this. Griffey Jr., Cabrera, Hamilton, and Papi.

      Hitters such as Pedroia, Bautista, possibly Altuve, they’re closer to the plate because of a shorter spinning radius. BUT, because they’re close to the plate, you won’t see them crash the plate. However, you may see them land more closed and shift their back foot away from the plate during the turn.

      With outside impact we see the front foot stays more flat to the ground, whereas on an inside pitch, you’ll see more of the inside of the front foot peeling off.

      The quick and dirty answer on crashing v. not crashing is: it depends Joe. But neither one is an absolute.

      And Joe, to clearly see what direction the back foot is skipping and where it’s pointing is from the pitcher’s view. Very tough to tell from the chest on view. You can see the skip, but not what direction.

  12. Bob

    Great discussion boys. A lot of really good stuff to digest. I won’t weigh in on this now, but I just wanted to say how genuinely concerned the world is right now about your election – and say “Please do not put either Trump or Clinton in the White House”. Jill Stein is the one you should be supporting. As someone who lives outside the US, she is the one we have the most respect for. Keep coaching and doing great things for your families, but realize you need to elect someone who is not just thinking about the next 4 years – but the next 400 years! That person is not going to be found in either Trump or Clinton. It’s Stein good people.

    • Joey Myers

      Bob, not to get too political on a hitting blog…it’s tough since these two candidates are our only choices. If you believe we can vote for the bottom two, and they have a good chance of winning, that’s being ignorant. Neither one of them were allowed to be on the debate stage (both major political parties blocked that from happening), which 10’s of millions of people are watching, it’s not going to happen for them. It’s a media distribution problem. Although a vote for the bottom two may clear your conscience, you will most certainly see one of the top two in as President.

  13. Joe

    Joey,

    I think you tweeted a clip of Miguel Cabrera skipping his back foot towards the 3B dugout. I think that his doing that was a consequence of his head position and arm barring on a pitch away, which he hooked to center field rather than taking it to right. I think the direction of the foot skip depends on pitch location and how a hitter reacts to it. Whether or not a hitter skips his foot depends on how wide he gets after striding.

    Joe

  14. Djura

    Joe… Both hands are connected to both feet… Said differently… The lead hand is connected to both feet….and the same for the top hand…And obviously there are elements inbetween… And your neck is in there too… But at the end we need to know what the arm lines are doing… Only than we can find the start of each arm line and where each one connects to other lines and where the said other lines end is most helpful…Notice there are lines that do work and lines that position… The back foot is about leverage the top hand ( I wish we can speak of points) and positioning and going WITH the swing…. Hope all is well…

    Joey… If your with me on this than perhaps we can examine how one lands with the lead foot…We can leavage the lead hand with the big toe OR notice the or… We can get that lead foot down earlier than we guessed by using the lead hand…you know what I’m talking about… So it’s just leaverage ( more power) or get down now ( timing which is more power too since you can square the ball)… Alright I said I’ll drop it but I think this article relates…Said another way, if your looking at your feet we OUGHT to look at our hands too and by default everything between…Hope all is well. Later.

    ~DM

  15. Djura

    Than again I think this is even more complicated as its possible as your arms go from high to low different connections may be made…. What do I know…~DM

  16. Joe

    Joey,

    Just caught Javier Baez’s single vs Kershaw tonight. He’s the poster child for your contention about the back foot skipping back toward the 3B dugout. Very similar to Henry Aaron. Clip of it to come later.

  17. Djura

    I watched the video once again because Nokes is confusing me… When he says we don’t rotate I’m not exactly sure I know what he’s saying… He said they don’t open for inside or something like that… Uhhh… Yea you do or at least as I see it… When he states cut the corner….what does he mean by open… For inside I have to face the inside pitch to hit accross my chest…there’s an easy way to do that… Just set it up and it happens naturally…

    The swing is a triple pendulum… So there are stops right… I get confused when we say linear this… Rotation that… We don’t rotate… Rotate is a funny word… So is that 360 degrees or can it be a small part only….

    The return is a good point but let’s look at it a different way… Like from your arm lines… If you hit the ball.. Than you just stay the coarse and let the “swing” finsh right… So what’s holding the bat… Yep those hands… So if those hands are holding on and moving… Well, the hands are connected to the feet/legs… So as the hands continue and exit that 45 degree angle Joey talked about, they are going full circle ( not really) and which means if your connected… So should your feet and everything between… Sort off… Well the return…I guess…. So if you don’t see the return than you had a double pendulum ( I.e., your actually throwing the bat head at best)…I’ll take the triple any day unless I have to adjust because I guess wrong… Again like Donaldson… With the rubber band… I’ll use the triple while most use a double…

    Any thoughts or corrections would be appreciated…

    ~DM

    • Joey Myers

      Yes, Coach Nokes is a very knowledgeable guy, but sometimes he has a hard time getting what he’s thinking out of his head and relating it to coaches or players. This is a problem I have as well. Over time, the coaching cues will sharpen. With hitters who over-rotate their back foot, we have to tell these hitters to “not rotate” it at all. It’s exaggerating one thing to get another. I call it the Goldilocks Golden Rule.

  18. Djura

    Ok… I’m sorry but I’m still thinking of how this is phrased… When you and Nokes say people say rotate …are you saying like the hips through with the swing… Because that’s not hitting square… That is like spinning through the ball and that makes no sense… You wouldn’t have control of the ball… You wouldn’t be hitting square…across your chest….Why would you spin through the ball..Pendulums right… We get that…you wouldn’t throw that way… Or punch like that… I’m confused…I think I’m confused because for me there is a little interdependent hip movements….. Man this is why I hate cues and how we phrase these things…. Your not talking spinning right because if people teach that I would be floored…

    • Joey Myers

      Yes, people teach rotating like “spinning” the hips to be perpendicular to the pitcher on all pitch locations. Not good. The hips should be perpendicular to impact, not to the pitcher.

  19. Djura

    Maybe I’m over thinking this… Because you can’t be thinking spinning… Most likely you saying compression…interdependent movements…that feel like your compressing…and sideways to the the ball..so it’s not one sideways fits all… Right? Sorry for the million questions but sometimes I get confused because I didn’t grow up hearing all this stuff…

  20. Joe

    Joey,

    As for my post above about Javier Baez’s single vs. Kershaw, I found a clip of his HR vs. Cueto and the Giants which is in stark contrast to the action of his back foot on the single. Which leads me to this – the action of the back foot, especially whether it is skipping or not and in what direction (back towards the 3B dugout or straight ahead) depends upon pitch location, the hitter’s posture, and head position. You can observe Baez doing something very different on this HR than what he did on that single, which were both to left field.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bySJ3BX_1fY

  21. Djura

    So I talked to a few people at the softball field and youth sports complex about this…Yes, these people teach spinning through the ball.. I asked them how they direct the ball and they all noted the ball location ( inside to outside and out in front or deeper in the zone)… All these people I know have or had a hard time directing the ball with damage…. I stopped discussing the swing with most but I see what your saying….They don’t know how pendulums work for sure and they treat all pitches the same but they don’t know they do since they know where to hit the ball in the zone but and BUT they don’t know how to square the ball… Said another way, they don’t know how to transfer the energy to the ball… And the fact that you get many setting up to pull hides this fact and the fact that you do get many pretty good pitches over the plate to hit…. But this is unreal as you get older and you put in many hours of practices or pay big bucks to learn this stuff… Batters should know better… Easy drill… Get a wiffle ball and bat… Start tossing the ball up and start hitting it hard everywhere… You’ll know what squaring means or hitting across your chest… Unreal…. People spin and ask me how I can direct the ball… Why the hell would you spin… Try throwing a ball a spinning…. What’s the first thing you learn when throwing… Getting square to the target….The ball is a target… It matters where it is… You don’t do the same thing for all the balls…if your spinning you just catching it at different points of your spin…Unreal….Seriously this blows my mind….Where are these spinners directing their core…What the hell are they thinking?????

    Joey to say this is wrong is wrong… It’s more, what are you thinking????Why would you do that????Throw a ball or a punch… It’s weird… 99.5 percent don’t know it… And some know more yes… But seriously, so many don’t and they need to know how complicated this is… I think if your spinning… In a few years your done…I think it would be hard to use your core at that point… The core is your positioning and your position is well established and is hard to change unless you get deep into this stuff…

    for me this has to be the number 1 killer because it long lasting…this is really bad in terms of hitting….

    ~DM

  22. Gavin E. West

    I need to process this a bit more later in the day when I don’t still have the sounds of buzzing 5th graders still in my head (teacher). But please help me sort through some things. What do you mean by the back foot being “sideways”. Is that referring to the toes facing directly into the opposite batter box, possibly while being up on the toe vs. the “shoelaces facing the pitcher” mentality”? Doesn’t the Hitting Performance Lab logo show a non sideways foot? Is it ok for the foot to end up in the laces towards the pitcher position post contact? If so, what is the teach here? How do I translate this to a young player? I’m an O’s fan and have seen countless pictures of Cal’s swing. I’ve had a few players get into that same position with a non-rotated foot but with a knee driving towards home plate and a belt buckle facing the pitcher. Their swings look physically awkward, sometimes even painful looking. Is this what we are actually looking to have them do? I like the idea of the belt buckle facing the direction of launch. That is something I can work with. What are the “teaches” here?

    Thanks a million for all that you do!

    • Joey Myers

      Gavin, short answer in talking to Taylor Gardner (Backspin Tee guys) on the phone today is that the back heel ends up in front of the back toe (that’s a loose definition of what Matt Nokes is referring to as ‘sideways’). I’m actually revisiting this post with tomorrow’s post with some helpful hints and ‘teaches’ (as you refer to). Keep up the questions…I’m still processing as well on how to teach this effectively, and more important, safely.

  23. Djura "Judo"

    Ok… Not to get knee deep into this but as per my understanding from a stick ball guy… By the way does that still work or is that getting old now… Either way that was my way of saying to some you don’t have to read past that if that’s your motto… You know the resume thing…

    Either way, as per my understanding… You can have “strong feet” or set it up that way… Your big toe thing is a good “rule of thumb” but the pressure ( think tension) ought to be just below the second toe… So it may feel like the big toe but just slightly below the next toe… And you mentioned the forces going into the plate from the lead foot… Think GRF and how to rotate your hips… Either way… When your lead foot lands the forces are lead toe and tear heel… And when the lead heel drops it goes with the rear big toe ( not really big toe….

    Now as the rear foot moves friends on many things… Grip, slippage, linear direction, rotary direction, timing, weight shift, guessing wrong, adjustments, pitch location, hand grip, postute Etc…Yea and there are more… So yes it can be for a plurality of reasons…. Yea… I guess the more you know the more questions we have…

    This is as per my understanding…But what do I know… What say you Joey?

    ~DM