Why I Hate the Linear vs. Rotational Argument

Why I Hate the Linear vs. Rotational Argument

Posted on 06. Oct, 2010 by in Fundamentals, Hitting Mechanics, Tools, Youth Ball

I understand there is validity to these approaches…but the truth is…you don’t need to, and shouldn’t label yourself as “rotational” or “linear.” Getting caught up in these terms is probably the worst thing you can do for yourself, because you’ll just end up confused. I didn’t hit .450+ in college by blindly obeying one of these 2 philosophies, both of which I have no idea where they came from.

The fact of the matter is, no one has really defined either of these approaches…well…people have, but no one agrees. So, forget about “labeling” yourself, and learn the real fundamentals that make professional hitters. This is just me…but I bet if you ask most Pro hitters what their style is…they probably wouldn’t have an answer.

I addressed this issue in the latest baseball training podcast. Download this Episode.

[audio: /linear_rotational.mp3]

A Full Comparison of Hitting Techniques that I found online. It’s a pretty good breakdown…but the problem is…many of these things overlap. I agree more with Rotational, but there are things under the Linear Hitting Style that are a part of hitting. Let’s take a look at what the Internet has labeled these two approaches as.

Rotational Hitting

Who Do Coaches Say That Teach It

  • Circular hand path (I’m not sure what they mean…but the hands go RIGHT at the ball…then obviously around your body)
  • Lead with your hips
  • Don’t roll your wrists (I agree with this completely)
  • Don’t extend your arms (I agree with this completely)
  • Use your hips (I agree with this completely)
  • Keep your weight back (I agree with this completely)
  • Keep your hands back (I agree with this completely)
  • Keep the bat in the plane of the ball (I agree with this completely)
  • Keep your back elbow bent and tucked (This is personal preference)
  • Strong, powerful swing
  • Rotate your shoulders on an axis

What Generates the Power in this technique

  • The rotation of the whole body (I agree with this completely)
  • Thighs and hips (I agree with this completely)
  • Body torque (I agree with this completely)
  • Elbow drop to hip (I agree with this completely)
  • Bat head extends in front of the hands early in the swing plane (This is flat out wrong)

Linear Hitting

Who Do Coaches Say That Teach It

  • Straight (linear) hand path
  • Lead with your hands (I agree with this completely)
  • Roll your wrists (This is flat out wrong)
  • Extend your arms (This is flat out wrong)
  • Use your hands
  • Get your weight forward (This is flat out wrong)
  • Hands to the ball
  • Swing down on the ball
  • Form a Power V with your elbows at contact (This is flat out wrong)
  • Short, compact swing (I agree with this completely)
  • Don’t drop your shoulders
  • Most efficient swing
  • Squish the bug (I agree with this in theory, but a powerful swing takes you off the back foot at contact)
  • Line up your door knocking knuckles (I agree with the bat in your fingers, but knuckles do not need to be lined up)
  • Get the knob to the ball

What Generates the Power in this technique

  • Movement of the hands and arms (That doesn’t make any sense to me)
  • Wrist snap (I agree with this completely)

The Conclusion: Learn From the Best

This is what I mean. There are far too many contradictory statements when you have random people spitting information about hitting styles. The fact is, no one agrees on everything…and for someone to take one of these styles and force it on a hitter doesn’t make any sense.

If you want to be safe…don’t blindly listen to anyone. Watch the pros…learn from them. They’re obviously doing something right if they’ve made it that far.

Does anyone know where these styles came from? They seem to have popped out of nowhere…almost like someone was using them to promote some new idea of hitting. Sorry, I’m just always skeptical of these sorts of things.

Comment below if you know where these ideas originated.

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3 Responses to “Why I Hate the Linear vs. Rotational Argument”

  1. Paul

    11. Oct, 2010

    Excellent article!

  2. Coach G

    12. Oct, 2010

    “Bat head extends in front of the hands early in the swing plane (This is flat out wrong)”

    Where in rotational hitting does it say this? Rotational hitting talks about bat lag which is completely opposite of what it says here.

    Rotational hitting came from Ted Williams and Mike Epstein has made it easy for players to understand. Linear is a term used by Charlie Lau.

    And I agree watch MLB hitters, you will see rotational mechanics in 90% of them.

    Love your site, cant wait to get a hold of your videos!

    -Coach G


  1. Tweets that mention Baseball Linear vs. Rotational Hitting | Train Baseball -- Topsy.com - October 13, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Next Level Baseball, Brian Moran. Brian Moran said: Here's why I hate the linear vs. rotational hitting argument… http://trainbaseball.com/linear-rotational-hittinghttp://fb.me/JKxh9jgg […]

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