Attn: Baseball & Softball Coaches or Parents…
I'm sure you've heard the following:
- “Power is ALL in the hips”,
- “Load and explode the hips”, and
- “The hips lead the way”…
Well, I'm here to say I've fallen for the same misleading claims that the hips hold the secret to repeatable power. After digging into the science of human movement, reading books like:
- Anatomy Trains by Thomas Myers,
- Dynamic Body by Dr. Erik Dalton,
- The Spinal Engine by Dr. Serge Gracovetsky, and
- Becoming A Supple Leopard by Dr. Kelly Starrett…
I found out how wrong I was listening to the “old guard”. In this video, I'll reveal:
- The shocking study showing that it's NOT all in the hips,
- Where does power come from? And,
- The Do's & Don'ts
See what we did with a group of hitters recently teaching this very thing, that got HPL some press time:
This particular test looked at how spinal engine mechanics, timing of torque, and how natural springy material in our body can produce consistently higher bat speeds, without getting stronger.
Check out the 3-shocking experiment findings below:
- Finding #1 (Zepp app screenshot above): My average bat speed over the experiment increased by 6-mph (every 1-mph of bat speed = 8 more feet of batted ball distance),
- Finding #2: My top out bat speed increased by 6-mph (from 82 to 88-mph), AND
- Finding #3 (Zepp app screenshot above): My hand speed increased by 2-mph!
Then, Where Does Power Come From?
The results from the bat speed study can be proven by the following video blog posts I did at the Hitting Performance Lab:
- Josh Donaldson & Jose Bautista: How Spinal Engine Mechanics are Amplified by Gravity,
- Miguel Cabrera & the Timing of Torque, and
- Adrian Gonzalez: How-to Naturally Spring Load the Body.
Here are two hitters that “show their numbers” to the pitcher very well:
Andrew McCutchen (5'10”, 190-pounds, 2013 NL MVP)
Mike Trout (6'2″, 230-pounds, 2014 AL MVP)
The Do's & Don'ts
I've found with my local and online hitters that the cue “Show your numbers to the pitcher” works very well. Here are some commonly asked questions to its application with both baseball and softball hitters…
When to show the numbers?
Here are the options:
- A hitter can either show them from the start, like Hunter Pence of the San Francisco Giants and Josh Donaldson of the Oakland A's.
- They can show them as soon as they pick up the front foot like Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey (photo above), and Mike Trout, OR
- Show them as soon as they fall forward into the stride like Dustin Pedroia.
My recommendation is either option 1 or 2.
Lose Vision with the eyes?
When the hitter shows their numbers, make sure they don't lose eyesight with the back eye. If they do, then their showing too much of their numbers. For other explosive rotational athletes, like a Shot Putter, losing sight of the target isn't as big a deal. But a batter is hitting an unknown pitch, so vision with both eyes is critical.
Landing Closed & Front Shoulder Flies Open?
This is because the hitter is landing with a closed front leg and toe. CLICK HERE for a similar Alex Gordon (of the Kansas City Royals) Experiment I did using the Zepp Baseball app. Landing with an open front leg and foot allowed me to maintain higher levels of bat speed and increase top out bat speed by 2-mph.
Basically, land closed with the shoulders (“block” them from opening), and land open with the front leg and foot, and by George, you've got it!
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