The Two-Hip Hitting Myth
Stop turning your hips in the swing
After 20 years in the business of player development and having worked for five Major League baseball teams, countless college softball and baseball teams and having conducted training sessions from Japan to Dubai - one major "skill killer" still exists in mainstream teaching of hitting.
Four-time MLB All Star Manny Ramirez in action during the Frozen Ropes instructional hitting video.
"Turn your hips."
Think of how many times we have told players to do this, with the hope of helping them become better hitters. We now have a generation of hookers and spinners who have hit a wall when pitchers start throwing off-speed or throw the ball on the outside part of the plate.
Sound hitting skills requires a combination of weight transfer (linear movement) and rotational movement. In laymen's terms, we stride (linear) and then turn (rotational) into our swing. Telling hitters to turn their hips (plural) creates excessive rotation and reduces the bat from staying on the ball path for as long as possible (hit through the ball-extension).
Specifically, we need to remind hitters to turn their back hip to generate bat speed-but leave the front hip alone! The front hip acts as a blocking tool to keep the bat path straight and allow the hitter to carry the bat to all lanes in the hitting zone.
The dual hip move is great if the hitter knows every pitch is going to be an inside pitch, but even then keeping the ball in fair territory becomes a challenge, as the bat is in a constant circular path around the ball.
Let's give your hitters a chance to excel after Little league (or be a better hitter in little league!) No more yelling, "turn your hips." Get them to understand the benefits of being a one-hip hitter.
Tony Abbatine is the Founder and National Director of Instruction for Frozen Ropes. His work in baseball and softball has appeared in the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, USA Today and several other national media outlets. The New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and the New York Mets are a small sampling of the major league teams that have hired him over the years. Frozen Ropes has locations across the US and conducts international skill camps across the world, most recently in Kuwait, Dubai, Verona Italy and Toulouse, France.