Preparing Hitters

As a teacher/coach/instructor, you need to know what the critical elements (attractors) of a good swing looks like & have the ability to differentiate between the individual style aspects of the swing (fluxuators) that vary with each individual hitter. It is not critical that your athlete needs that specific info. The athlete should be more focused on the result of his swing that is most represented by his ball flight.

In general, hitting is about balance, rhythm & timing. The attractors are loading into the rear hip, head centered between the feet post stride, knees between the feet in the launch position, palm up & palm down at contact, & head & eyes at the point of contact. Everything else is a matter of style & fluctuates from hitter to hitter.

All too often we (coaches) overload players with too much information, especially verbal info on the mechanical side. The art of coaching is constructing a drill protocol for each player that addresses their mechanical needs. The drill becomes the teacher if the drill focuses on the attractors & more importantly, in this case, ball flight. Based on the individual skill set of the player (i.e. Power guy with higher ball flight or non-power guy with low ball flight), the key is to create a drill & give the player a goal & let them organize their body to accomplish the goal.

Our job as teachers/coaches is to eliminate our job. The worst thing we can do is create dependent players. We want our players to surpass us & become the teacher. The best & most long lasting lessons are self taught. Only if we properly cue organized drills with goals can that happen.

Once you develop a swing, in order to get it to transfer to the game in terms of performance, you must practice at game speed & game complexity (an area for further discussion in a future blog).