How Barrel Enters Zone At “Right” Time & Optimizing Impact Points Rock-On-A-String Demonstration


In this video, we’ll chat about the difference between two opposing forces described in Physics as Centripetal (center “seeking”) versus Centrifugal (center “fleeing”), and how they apply to the swing.Centripetal v. Centrifugal Forces Rock-on-a-String Demonstration

I borrowed this ‘rock-on-a-string’ concept from Jim Lefebvre’s book The Making of a Hitter.  I understood it as a hungry 11yo hitter looking for an edge, and I think it’s still applicable now to help hitters understand their intention with barrel path.

Yes obviously, barrel path is in an arc, circle, oval, elipse, etc whatever helps get the point across.  However, to get an optimal impact point, hitters must think in terms of center seeking versus center fleeing forces.

It’s easy to understand optimal impact points and how they relate to Centrifugal Forces (center fleeing) when looking at what the left and right “flappers” must do to hit a pinball effectively…

Superman Pinball Machine

Superman Pinball Machine photo courtesy:

…think of the flappers as hitter swinging a bat.  There are optimal depths of impact – from MORE out-in-front (inner 1/3 of the plate), to out-in-front (middle 1/3), and to slightly DEEPER than out-in-front (outer 1/3).  This demonstrates the Centrifugal Forces (center fleeing) part of the barrel arc.

Centripetal Forces (center seeking) of WHEN the barrel enters hitting zone depends on pitch depth – how long the barrel stays near the rear shoulder.  And here’s the critical mass, the barrels of elite hitters DO NOT enter the zone at the same time, regardless of pitch depth.  CLICK HERE for a post clearing this up.