In This Andrew McCutchen Baseball Hitting Video (2 of 4), 

 

…of the Do This For Longer Drives series, we’re going to: Andrew McCutchen Baseball Hitting Video

  • Discuss when barring the front arm is okay,
  • Explore the science of spinning fast,
  • See how effective The Cutch is at turning, and
  • Look at how to work on this at home.

CLICK HERE to watch the – 2 min, 5 second – PBS Circus Physics video about the Conservation of Angular Momentum, or turning faster.

 

Straightening the Front Arm Out…Good or Bad?

Also referred to as bat drag, arm barring, or casting.  Let me clarify:

  • Arm barring GOOD: to make an impact adjustment to outside or lower pitches, and through extension
  • Arm Barring BAD: before and during the front heel touching down, and before  barrel whips back towards catcher’s glove

 

The Science of Spinning Fast

IF straightening the front arm out before the front heel touches down proves for a faster turn, then why doesn’t controversial 2014 Gold Medal winning ice skater Adelina Sotnikova do this during one of her big turning jumps?

Because it’s ineffective for humans to quickly turn this way.  When Adelina wants to slow down, she extends her arms and legs away from her body.  In hitting, it’s important to turn fast, stay compact, and do it early.  Before the barrel gets onto the plane of the pitch.  In which case, the front arm needs to stay slightly bent.

WHY?

Because if the hitter bars the front arm out early, they will spin slower, which will force the hitter to make a decision to swing the bat sooner.  Translation, the hitter has LESS reaction time!  AND will be vulnerable to inside and higher pitches in the zone because of their higher perceived velocity to the hitter, according to Perry Husband’s EV system.

If we keep a slight bend in the front elbow, then we have the option to keep it bent and spin faster (if we need to on the inside or high pitch), or we can let the front arm extend on pitches down or outside because these pitches are perceived slower (via Perry’s EV system), and the hitter has more time to get to those pitches.

 

Did Cutch Pass the Turning Speed Test?

In the above Andrew McCutchen baseball hitting video, science clearly says that ‘Cutch’ can in fact turn faster during his Final Turn.

However in this Andrew McCutchen baseball hitting video, he can get away with it because of his shorter arm span in comparison to a hitter with a longer one, like Miguel Cabrera.  Cabrera would have to stand farther off the plate to make an early arm bar work.  Similar to what Ken Griffey Jr. did.

And as we’ll discover what force bleeding compensation he makes – possibly – because of his early arm barring in Part-3 of the Andrew Mccutchen baseball hitting video: Do This For Longer Drives video series.

 

How Do We Practice a Faster Turn at Home?

  1. Break the swing into two-steps: 1) To the Fight Position (Landing), and 2) the Final Turn
  2. Use a mirror or batting tee
  3. Video analysis feedback – either Coach’s Eye app (free for android) or Ubersense app (free for iphone)
  4. Hitter “hides their hands from the pitcher”, while keeping a slight bend in the front arm
  5. Going into the Final Turn, the hitter will try and “crush the catcher’s glove” without extending the front arm

CLICK HERE for Part-3: Do This For Longer Drives: Andrew McCutchen baseball hitting video series, where we look to see if Cutch breaks the One-Joint Rule…If you missed Part-1, then CLICK HERE.

In This Andrew McCutchen Video (1 of 4),

 

Andrew McCutchen Un-Weighting Principal…We’re going to look at how ‘Cutch’ (5’10” 190 lbs*) used Science to beat Paul Goldschmidt (6’3″, 245 lbs*) for the 2013 NL MVP.  McCutchen has to stay close to human movement science in order to compete with big guys like Goldschmidt.

(*according to Baseball-Reference.com)

In this Part-1 video, we’ll:

  • Demo the Un-Weighting Principal,
  • See how Cutch either DOES or DOESN’T use this in his swing, and
  • Look at how to work on this at home.

For a different angle on this, CLICK HERE to watch the – 1 min, 58 second – PBS Circus Physics video about the Conservation of Linear Momentum (aka, the Un-Weighting Principal).

A few notable explosive rotational athletes who also use this human movement rule:

  1. Olympic throwers (javelin, hammer, and discus)
  2. Olympic shot putters
  3. Olympic jumpers (high, long, and triple)

 

WHY the Wide Stance?

I get tired of hearing about instructors pushing the wider [non-athletic] stance.  This makes it difficult to create any forward movement in the swing, and see it’s benefits (read below).

I ask my students…what position – with your feet – would you want to cover a fast wide receiver?  How about guarding an agile soccer striker?  Or jumping to slam dunk a basketball?  Hitters need to start from an athletic stance – feet slightly wider than shoulder width.

“Sitting back” isn’t very effective when it comes to dynamic human movements.

As a famous Samurai swordsman Miyamoto Musashi once said:

“In all forms of strategy, it is necessary to maintain the combat stance in everyday life and to make your everyday stance your combat stance.” – Musashi, The Water Book

 

Un-Weighting Principal Benefits:

  • Feel lighter in Final Turn
  • Easier to move heavy objects
  • Get a ‘head start’

 

How Does Andrew McCutchen Do This?Andrew McCutchen Un-Weighting Principal

  • Front hip moves forward
  • Head movement is okay to heel strike
  • NO push, natural fall forward

 

How-To Practice at Home (feedback marker setup)

  1. Back marker (dimple ball or duct tape) inside back foot
  2. Front marker is hitter’s bat length, plus one or two baseballs in front
  3. Get “front hip” to front marker
  4. Set tee slightly behind front marker

CLICK HERE to watch Part-2, Andrew McCutchen: Do This For Longer Drives.  We’ll look at how effective Cutch’s Final Turn is…or isn’t.

Baseball Hitting Tips: Barry Bonds Getting Shorter

In This Baseball Hitting Tips Video,

 

…we’re going over howBaseball Hitting Tips: Barry Bonds Getting Shorter

  • To use the body – not the hands – to get “on-plane” with the pitch,
  • Barry Bonds makes hitting the long ball look easy, and
  • Most young hitters get the #1 long ball secret wrong (and how to correct it).

A few weeks ago I worked with a 12-U Little League team from Bakersfield California called the Sliders.  They recently came to Fresno for a tournament and DOMINATED.

One of the moms Sheri – her son is Alex in the above video – emailed me a testimonial:

“The boys won first place! Ben, Paul and Dylan hit their first home runs ever! They went undefeated for entire tourney! We’re going to round table pizza to treat all the boys!”

The three young men who hit their first home-runs had worked with me for the first time, a week before the tournament.  Now, this wasn’t all me, but wasn’t a coincidence either.  Before I worked with them, all three boys naturally had a little forward momentum working for them.  And, Sliders Coach Justin Karr has been working the baseball hitting tips system with his team for over a year now.

In the baseball hitting tips video, Barry Bonds gets on plane with the pitch very well by lowering his body.  He does this by creating an “L” with his back leg to and through contact.  Whereas the moment Alex’s front heel hits the ground, he ‘stands up’ causing ball flight to be low.  Alex would have to get “on-plane” with his hands, which is very inconsistent.

 

Snapping Towel (Lean) Drill Setup:

  • NEED: light exercise band with handles, AND decent sized carabiner,
  • Loop exercise band handles to carabiner, then to chain link fence, OR
  • Parent/Coach holds exercise band handles, and finally
  • Have hitter loop band under armpits.

In the baseball hitting tips video above, I mentioned breaking the swing apart into two steps:

  1. To the Fight Position (landing), and
  2. The Final Turn.

You’ll see Olympic Hammer Throwers lower their backside as well.  This enables the release of the hammer at an optimal forty-five degree angle.  CLICK HERE to watch a World Record holding Hammer Thrower lower his backside while rotating.

Robinson Cano Baseball Hitting Mechanics Video Reveals...

In This Baseball Hitting Mechanics Video,

 

…We’re comparing the “Fight” position of one of my young hitters to Robinson Cano. You’ll discover a little known technical flaw limiting explosive rotational power. Cleaning this up gears the body for a more effective turn.

We’re going over:

  • What is an optimal “Fight Position”
  • Hitter compensations associated with a bad Fight Position
  • How-to get into a good Fight Position

It’s amazing how many flaws happen before the Final Turn evens takes place.  I would say 75% of the mechanical breakdown can be solved before the Final Turn takes place.  Robinson Cano has such a friction-free swing that it’s critical we copy his pre-turn positioning.  He’s one of the most consistently powerful guys in the game, and not very big by today’s standards.

Here’s Robinson Cano in the 2013 home-run derby:

Backside Baseball Hitting Mechanics Robinson Cano

Back view: Notice how his hands push back towards first base dugout, and elbow comes up and out of the way…

Baseball Hitting Mechanics: Robinson Cano

Front view: see how he’s hiding his hands from the pitcher and showing his numbers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Quick Tips For A Faster Turn,

 

Robinson Cano Baseball Hitting Mechanics Video Reveals...

…We’ll be comparing one of my eleven-year-olds Ian to Robinson Cano:

  • If he’s “hiding his hands” from the pitcher,
  • How his front elbow is creating barrel path mayhem,
  • How Robinson Cano uses the Catapult Loading System, and
  • What does Ian need to work on?

In this Robinson Cano Baseball Hitting Mechanics Video…

I wanted to show a snapshot in time of one of my eleven-year-old hitters.  Ian is working on staying short with his limbs – pre-landing position – in order to turn faster.  His front arm tends to move back towards the catcher too much, which causes it to bar out and turn his torso slower.

We can break the swing up into two steps: 1) To landing (or the Fight Position), and Final Turn.  75% of consistency and power is taken care of in Step One.  Here’s the drill Ian will use in the video for correction…

 

Break It Apart Mirror Drill

  1. Get into stance with front shoulder facing mirror or picture window,
  2. Get to fight position (Landing), and
  3. Make sure you’ve hidden your hands from view – like a boxer would when he’s going to deliver the knock out blow.

CLICK HERE or watch below, another one of my Robinson Cano baseball hitting mechanics YouTube videos that I did for SwingSmarter.com:

In This Baseball Hitting Mechanics Video,

 

…I analyze one of my eighth graders Zack, and we uncover the #1 simple tip can overcome bad hitting technique:Baseball Hitting Mechanics Video: #1 Simple Tip to Overcome Bad Hitting Technique

  • “How to make your everyday stance your fight stance, and your fight stance your everyday stance” – Musashi, a famous Japanese Samurai swordsman
  • The Snapping Towel Effect: getting the body moving,
  • The Snapping Towel Effect: the snap back, and
  • How Zack can improve…

CLICK HERE for an MLB case study YouTube video I did on David Ortiz looking into how Big Papi used the same Snapping Towel Metaphor in the 2013 Playoffs.

I’ll be doing a lot of baseball hitting mechanics video case studies of my own hitting students.  Some where I do before and afters of their own swing.  And other times, comparing their swing to a small-bopper I think is relevant to them.  I think these case studies help coaches and instructors eliminate the excuse of how young hitters can’t develop high level mechanics.

The main objective of the Hitting Performance Lab is to show we’re not arguing about linear versus rotational mechanics.  It’s that we’re discussing human movement.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re male or female.  Young or mature.  Baseball or softball.  We’re talking about how the human body is designed to efficiently move.

In This Baseball Hitting Drill Video,

 

Baseball Hitting Drill: #1 Way To Hitting For Consistent Power (Case Study)…We discuss the #1 way to hitting for consistent power by analyzing one of my younger hitters Braden:

  • Before and after swing,
  • The Un-Weighting Principal, and
  • What baseball hitting drill to work on next.

 

Before & After Swing

It’s so fun to see young men – like Braden – begin to build in human movement principals like Un-Weighting and notice an instant jolt in force at contact.  I ask all my students, if you wanted to live, would you rather get hit by a train going thirty miles-per-hour, or a motorcycle going sixty?

Of course the motorcycle!  You see, the motorcycle swing is very handsy, fast like a bike but no weight.  The train swing uses heavy mass and the slower rotational speed of the torso to pack a wallop at impact.  Forward movement and Un-Weighting are only the beginning…

 

The Un-Weighting Principal

I’m working with Braden on throwing his body mass at the ball.  Much like a projectile missile.  This helps to make the bat feel lighter to the hitter.  And be able to turn harder with less muscle involvement.  The swing is a transfer of energy.  We’re taking the potential energy contained in the hitter’s body, and getting it moving to transfer into the barrel.  Then effectively shift this moving energy into the incoming baseball.

CLICK HERE for a YouTube baseball hitting drill video I put together that demonstrates the power of the Un-Weighting Principal.

 

What Baseball Hitting Drill to Work on Next?

Braden is coming along nicely with his footwork – with the exception of making sure his lower half is mostly open at the Fight Position (landing).  We’ll be getting him to tap into the natural springy effect of his torso.  I call it the Catapult Loading System.  How the swing is loaded is a difficult concept for most to understand because their focus is on the wrong things:

  1. Not every great MLB hitter walks away from their hands.
  2. And not every great MLB hitter is swinging as effectively as they can.
  3. We tend to study the wrong hitters.
  4. And the camera view matters.

If you have any questions on this, then please post them below…

In This Baseball Hitting Video Trick For Longer Drives,

 

Baseball Hitting Video Trick For Longer Drives…I analyze one of my young hitters Jarred, comparing his most recent swing to another about six months prior:

  • We analyze how consistent he’s being with his Float, Fall, and Fight Position (Landing),
  • How his spinal alignment got better, and
  • What baseball hitting drill he needs to be working on to clean up his Fight Position.

In the beginning, Jarred was one of those hitters who came in turning and burning on every pitch.  Head flying out.  Shoulders doing the same.  Very inconsistent with his power.  Once I got him to realize the swing isn’t all about muscle activation, but about using the forces of gravity to give him a “head-start”, he started seeing the ball rocket off his barrel.

You see, it’s all about technique.  Not athleticism.  Sure the latter helps.  But it doesn’t mean a small hitter can’t out-slug a bigger one…just look at how Andrew McCutchen (5’10”, 190lbs*) beat out Paul Goldschmidt (6’3″, 245lbs*) for the 2013 NL MVP.

(*Baseball-Reference.com)

For more baseball hitting video trick information, CLICK HERE to watch a four-minute video where Dr. Kelly Starrett reveals a simple Spine Integrity Test you can do with your players right away.

Also, I’d be forever grateful if you SHARE THIS POST to Facebook or Twitter.  The more people we can help educate the BETTER!  You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel HitPerformLab above.  And of course, if you have any questions or comments on this post, please direct them below…thanks for watching!

In This David Ortiz Grand Slam Baseball Hitting Analysis Video Of…

 

David Ortiz Grand Slam in 2013 Playoffs Baseball Hitting Video AnalysisBig Papi’s two-out-bottom-of-the-eighth game tying grand-slam in the 2013 ALCS playoffs against the Detroit Tigers, we’ll be analyzing the following mechanics of David Oriz’s swing:

  1. How he uses the Catapult Loading System, and
  2. How his swing resembles a snapping of a towel.

The David Ortiz Grand Slam is what we all dream about as kids growing up.  What was interesting when you compare David Ortiz to Matt Holiday of the Cardinals is that both utilize a hand hitch in their swing.  This takes precise timing to master.  And it showed with such a contrast in performance between the two players…

Matt Holiday struggled to get his hands into position early on in the Series, but later – almost too late – he figured out his timing.  Whereas Big Papi was red hot through the whole playoff and World Series.  He was able to get his hands into the correct position to begin his Final Turn.  The MVP trophy was well deserved for Mr. David Ortiz in the 2013 World Series.

CLICK HERE for the full video on the historic playoff grand-slam.

Also, I’d be forever grateful if you SHARE THIS POST to Facebook or Twitter.  The more people we can help educate the BETTER!  You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel HitPerformLab above.  And of course, if you have any questions or comments on this post, please direct them below…thanks for watching!