Rotational vs Linear Batting

by Sean Thompson
(Austin, Texas)



My daughter has been a rotational hitter all her life. She is 16 now. On her JV High School team she batted .417. I switched her to a new travel team and the coach teaches linear hitting. The coach is trying to convert my daughter to
linear hitting. And up to now my daughter is struggling at the plate batting around .250 or so. Is my daughter too set in her ways to switch at this time? Should I have the coach stop changing her batting and have her switch back to rotational? Thank you."

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It it ain't broke ...
by: Coach Dan

Sean,

One of the things that always confuses me is when a coach decides to teach a "new way" to hit the ball. I had a similar situation with the high school coach and my older daughter (he knew better when my younger daughter came along. She used the rotational swing, or short swing. He felt it was too short and that it wouldn't generate any hits. I told him to let her be and give her a few games with "her swing" before you give her "your swing". Well lo and behold ... she hit over 400 as a sophomore and sprayed the ball up the gaps. Suddenly it wasn't "too short" any more.

In my mind, I always apply the simple adage to hitting, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." What was the coach looking for in changing your daughter's swing. What results were not being achieved. I would go to him, without making a big deal, and ask him to let her be. He added her to the team because he felt she would be an asset. Other than the fact that he is comfortable with the linear swing, what does he hope he will achieve by teaching your daughter the swing? Then I would ask him for a reprieve in teaching her the linear swing and let her go back to hitting her "natural" way and see if her hitting for average returns. Hopefully she will start hitting again.

Secondly, I would go to your daughter and take her aside. I guarantee she is confused AND frustrated. Frustrated because she can't figure out this linear swing thing, and confused because she is probably doing both the rotational and linear swing at the same time. Tell her to go back to what works. Hopefully she will start hitting the ball again and I am sure it is more important to the coach that his team is hitting the ball rather than how they are hitting the ball. If she does start hitting again, and the coach has a problem, you may have to move teams. It is more important that your daughter is happy than what team she is playing on.

I just hope she is not caught hopelessly in between. You may need to take her back to whoever taught her the rotational swing for a quick refresher and see if she can get back into the swing of things... Practice with a broom stick to perfect the swing through repetitions.

BTW, I don't care how the player hit the ball if they hit the ball. I only worked on players who were struggling. All of these swings are 80% similar, so there should be no reason a coach cannot help a team with multiple styles. At your daughter's age, I would hate to change what works.

Coaches out there, if you don't agree, let's here from you why!

Kind regards,
Dan

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