Online hitting information and instruction has become quite the intriguing subject. Seeing tons of swing up/swing down discussions (or arguments) and some different philosophies being taught to hitters.
Question: Since hitters have produced big numbers since the game was invented and they have always been taught to do mechanical things this way, or that way... what is the most common thing that elite hitters do similar?
Answer: Elite hitters command the strike zone and do damage in their hot zone.
It's simple.. but the ability to stay disciplined is very, very hard. While I am a HUGE supporter of the movement to teach hitters what really happens in the swing, the fact of the matter is, we will always have to mold our methods of teaching to support each individuals’ needs. Some hitters need to be told to "get on top", and others need to be told "hit the bottom half".. or to "let it travel" or "get the head out". Very common phrases I’m sure you’ve all heard at a ball field, but we have to adapt to each hitter. If you give lessons and you give the same lesson session after session, chances are you might be hurting the kid. But if you're only teaching a kid to lift homers before you've first taught him proper mechanics and taught him to go hard through the middle, you might be hurting him as well.
A hitter can get really good and consistent with different swings regardless of what his mechanics or personal thoughts of mechanics are. But all really good hitters are able to understand what they do well, look for their pitch, and crush it when the pitcher makes a mistake in their hot zone. There has to be an Approach. There has to be a plan. Hitters listen up.. you have to be ready, on time, and extremely disciplined.
Challenge: Through your next 10 at bats, be 100% ready to hit every pitch thrown your way.. but only swing if it’s a fastball in your zone (middle, in, or out). Once you get to two strikes, of course, battle.. but try to only open your hot zone a little bit Evaluate your at bats at the end of the game and answer these questions: Was I on time? Did I go outside of my zone before two strikes?