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How to hit like a pro. By Coach Robert Ambrose

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1 How to hit like a pro. By Coach Robert Ambrose
Rotational Hitting How to hit like a pro. By Coach Robert Ambrose

2 Coach Ambrose Certified Epstein hitting instructor 2012
Certified NPA (Tom House) pitching instructor 2013 Coaching baseball continuously since 2008. Coach both Rec and travel teams. Played baseball, soccer, basketball until I discovered dirt bikes. Raced motocross and supercross competitively Played Division I golf at Georgia State BA Computer Based Information Systems. GSU BA Business Management-GSU BS Professional Aeronautics-Embry Riddle 6 Years in USMC : Operation Desert Storm Day job: Delta Air Lines business process automation and software development for Technical Operations.

3 Rotational and Linear Hitting
There are only 2 proven techniques used in hitting. Linear Model Popular among unskilled players. Easy to teach. Feels natural to players. High ball contact but low power and low production. Rotational Model Popular among professional or highly skilled players. Hard to teach. Feels unnatural to players at first. High ball contact, high power and high production.

4 Linear Hitting Model Cues
Fast hand>>Hands lead the hips. Swing down and through. Swing A to C Straight line is the shortest distance between 2 points. Throw you hands at the ball. Roll your wrists at impact. Get your back elbow up. Keep barrel above the hands. Squish the bug. Swing down for backspin.

5 Rotational Hitting Cues
Hips lead the hands. Feet are first and the bat is last. Curved hand path. Block the front side. Hinge but don’t roll wrists. Back elbow slots down. Arms bent at impact. Match plane of swing with plane of pitch. Bat stays close to shoulder until late in approach. Stay inside the ball. Must start early.

6 Linear and Rotational Comparison
Stance Approach Impact Weight forward Hands lead hips Hips stop early. Bug squish. Weight on back foot. Wrist roll Weight on front leg only. back foot off ground. Wrist hinge Weight Centered Slightly back in this case. Hips Lead shoulders and hands

7 Copy what they do and NOT what they say.
Charlie Lau and Kevin Long teach elements of linear hitting but we don’t find evidence of it in today’s MLB hitters.

8 This technique is not new
Mickey Mantle Joe Mauer

9 The Epstein Model There is no model. We just teach the MLB swing with a series of proven drills. Style is separate from technique. Style is stance, and stride up to toe touch. Technique begins at heel plant and ends at power V. Style takes over after power V.

10 Epstein Drill Goals Consists of a series of drills that are proven to enable students to learn the elements of rotational hitting. Hips lead the shoulders and hands. Maximize torque for power. Keep bat close to back shoulder into approach. Swing on plane with the pitch. Get weight on front foot, blocking front side. Rotate hips and shoulders to target. Proper kinematic sequence to maximize bat speed. Adjust to pitches up and down with shoulder tilt. Adjust to pitches in and out with bent front elbow.

11 Proper Kinematic Sequencing

12 Signature of Rotational Hitters Start early, Wait longer, Swing faster
Swing starts with front foot. Pitcher has ball about waist high Example. Heel plant ball is only feet from hitter.

13 Swing decision matrix. Example

14 Safety First!! Protection
Toe touch is decision point for protection. Better hit the books kid!!

Weeks was knocked down but stayed in game with some swelling. Rollins was not seriously injured and returned to win the 2007 MVP.

16 Protection Position 1. Turn away from the ball 2. Elbows tucked in.
3. Knees away from ball. 4. Head away and down. 5. Back angled down. 6. Bat Down. Whats wrong with this picture?

17 Traditional Bunting Danger
Faces the pitcher with hips and shoulders. Bat angled up can deflect ball into face or chest. You can bunt fine from this position but you can’t get out of the way! She better hit this one! You will not have time to turn away from the ball if you face the pitcher

18 Safe bunt position. Toes pointed toward home plate.
Hips face home plate and not pitcher. Weight more on back foot to make protection pivot easier. Prefer bat level or slightly down to prevent deflection into chest and face.

19 Buy Protection!! EVO is best
EVO Shield offers Heart, spine and back protection. Includes compression shirt and panels are flexible and form to each player for custom fit. 24 hours after initial fitting panels are completely hard. Available locally at Goodsports

20 Now the swing!! Stance Coil and Stride Heel plant to impact
Impact to power V

21 Stance is Style We see different styles But the same Technique

22 Abreu and Bonds

23 Heel Plant>>Approach

24 Coil and Stride (Load) Hands and shoulders go back slightly while front foot goes forward. Ensure head goes with front foot to keep weight centered. Don’t reach with front foot. Helps create torque. **Start with no-stride and will build in stride after technique is mastered.

25 Torque=Power Torque is the separation of the hips and shoulders.
The larger the difference the more power you get.

26 Hips lead the hands. Hips should beat the hands to the target.
Plant front heel and drive back knee in and down at the same time. Front leg must straighten. Don’t squish!!!

27 Swing level with pitch Swinging on plane with the pitch maximizes your ability to make solid contact.

28 Swing on plane and not down.

29 So where is the pitch plane?? Depends…
Plane depends on: Pitchers release point. The type of pitch. Fastball: swing more flat 10 deg up. Curveball: swing more up deg up. Think fastball and adjust to off speed. Will need to anticipate the pitch. If you looking for fastball take the curve. If your looking for a curveball take the fastball. Until you have 2 strikes.

30 Depends on the pitch. Fastball is flatter.
Curve or change will require more up-swing. On deck time and get on plane with fastball. Look for tells on each pitch. Look for grip during pitching motion.

31 You may have to swing down to swing up
You may have to swing down to swing up. No matter what, you must swing on plane!!

32 We get upswing from backlean.

33 Backlean is backward tilt

34 Hinge but, don’t roll wrists
Wrists hinge into impact. Hinging keeps bat on plane. After power V there is a ¼ forearm roll. If you roll your wrists the bat goes up and you hit weak ground balls.

35 Bug Squishing: only after impact
After impact weight on back foot. At impact back foot off ground

36 Drive back knee in and down and straighten front leg.
Drive back knee in and down as soon as front heel plants to push the back hip forward. Straightening front leg drives front hip back. Back heel gets pulled up by knee drive. Get all weight to front leg. Drag or lift back foot.

37 Steady head after front heel plant.
Fall to front foot in stride but then keep head steady. No forward movement after heel plant. Rotate around fixed front leg.

38 Eyes out front Don’t try to track ball with head or eyes, you can’t. Keep eyes out front. Brain can only process 40 frames per second. Ball disappears 8 feet or so from you.

39 How to teach rotation hitting.
Break swing into small pieces in these groups and have student master each. Coil and stride. Heel plant to impact. Impact to power V. Power V to finish. Cycle through each position and drill until it all clicks. QUESTIONS??

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