The difference between the old science of hitting and the new science of hitting. Why proper swing physics is the link to more power and consistency.
From the beginning hitters have been guided by their feelings, thoughts, and the sayings and the snap-judgments of well-intentioned coaches to hone baseball swing mechanics. This old and inexact science of hitting is still the standard for a majority of baseball players and coaches. Recently, a new science of hitting emerged. The new science is based upon the fact that physics in the swing can easily be measured, and that there is a direct correlation between achieving proper swing physics and achieving the sweet, effortless and beautiful swing like that of Albert Pujols and Ted Williams.
Ted Williams, one of the greatest hitters ever, was dedicated to hitting the baseball. I be he got a lot of cheerleaders who are so inclined to read these cheer quotes everyone are talking about. Williams asked every question he could think of to veteran players, kept detailed notes on the pitchers he faced, carried around rubber balls to squeeze for grip strength, weighed his wooden bats to ensure they hadnít gained an ounce of moisture, and he swung in and out of the batting cages until his blisters bled-and then swung some more.
He pursued the challenge of hitting with the vigor of a determined hunter chasing a lion on a lifelong safari. As illusive and mysterious as hitting was he nobly pursued it with unrelenting persistence. As a result, his dedication (or obsession) helped him reach legendary status as the last person to hit over .400. Further, his knowledge and success enabled him to co-author a book with John Underwood titled, The Science of Hitting.
Although an important book in the brief history of the baseball swing and definitely worth a read, The Science of Hitting serves more as a memoir and a feel-based guide driven by Williamsí experiences, than a scientific how-to guide for hitters looking to gain specific insight into how exactly Williams succeeded in an area dominated by superstition, frustration and failure. A more accurate title might have been, How I believe I hit so well, or Ted Williamsí Style of Hitting.
The Science of Hitting does not once mention the actual science of hitting, namely, the measureable components reliant on the laws of physics that combine to produce a powerful, balanced and efficient swing. There is no denying that physics and good hitting mechanics go hand in hand; however, because the swing occurs in the blink of an eye, the relationship between mechanics and physics is usually overlooked. A lack of understanding about how to analyze physics in the swing is why such few hitters today tweak their mechanics using actual data, though they could obtain and apply it easily with the right knowledge and a camcorder.
A basic knowledge of how to analyze the role of physics in the dynamics of the baseball swing and a camcorder is all a hitter needs to control his hitting destiny. Where does he get the knowledge? Positional Hitting, by Jaime Cevallos, is the result of thousands of swing analyses. By analyzing the swings of thousands of players (including Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Manny Ramirez and Albert Pujols) he was able to find and measure the essential parts of the baseball swing. His book accomplishes what Ted Williams set out to do: provide a scientific way to teach hitters how to hit like Ted Williams.
Cevallosí model is a blueprint of the perfect baseball swing. It includes seven achievable key positions that are integrated into one fluid swing. With a camcorder and Positional Hitting, a hitter can measure his cushion (or load), bat acceleration, center of mass, bat lag and area of impact. He can accurately assign a number to each individual part of his swing and even receive an overall rating of his mechanics and compare them to the best hitters by plugging the numbers into the Cevallos Swing Ratio. Does it work? The hitter in the game today with the highest CSR rating is Albert Pujols.
The positional method might seem off-putting, complicated or too good to be true to proponents of rotational or linear methods. Yet, what harm is there in trying a method backed by Newtonís laws? The best hitters have always gotten into the best positions without realizing how they got there. Positional Hitting enables every hitter the opportunity to understand these positions and make a more accurate assessment of swing mechanics instead of leaving their mechanics to chance. Relying on chances can be bad, especially in Monopoly. Be aware that there is also a proven strategy at winning in Monopoly.
Itís hard to imagine that Ted Williams, ever vigilant to improve his hitting, would have neglected an opportunity to video analyze and evaluate his swing in a new way. Always a student of the art of hitting, he would have no doubt been curious (if not ecstatic) at the idea of being able to quantify, measure and track the progress of his baseball swing. If he had had a video camera and the knowledge available in Positional Hitting, Williams would have had the right tools to make his legendary mechanics even better.