I have spent countless hours studying the swings of the great hitters of baseball. I started giving private lessons in 1995 after getting drafted as a catcher to the Kansas City Royals. Lessons seemed to grow to countless numbers through the years. In early 2003 I had a number of clients that I was working with, and like always, looking to become a better instuctor, I wanted to find out some information on how I could make my players more consistant and produce more power through the drills that they were perfoming. I have always been a very hands on type of insructor and always looking for ways to become the best instructor I could be. At this time, I went looking online for some drills to learn and perform with my players and WA-LA, there it was, no tee drills, no soft toss drills, just great information —- Mike Epstein and his website on rotational hitting. The information that I was reading hit me like a freight train. I was finding out that what I had been asking my players to do was not even close to what the great hitters were doing, and for that matter it was not the things that I was being asked to do throughout my career. It started to come to me…… “These were the mechanics that Carlos Beltran was using when I played with him”. (no wander the kid roped) Carlos was our second round draft pick in 95′ and he was a 5 tool player.
Not only were the (linear) mechanics I was teaching not being used at the highest level, but more importantly biomechanically they can be darn near impossible to achieve with great consistancy. So at that time I had to check my ego at the door if I wanted to produce the players I had always dreamed of producing. It was definately hard, I mean how could an instructor that played Pro ball be wrong. Well I knew in my heart that if I wanted to sleep easier a night, I was going to have to make the switch. So I started teaching what Mike Epstein coined “Rotational Hitting” in 2003.
Through the years I have found that if a player is a great student and has trust in his/her instructor or coach, they will practice whatever they are taught. Not just show up for a lesson here or there, but spending countless hours working on the mechanics they were taught. This is were the problem arises. I can honestly say that what I had been taught in the Minor Leagues is why I never made it to the SHOW. I trusted my coaches at that level, I mean if they didn’t know how to teach what the great hitters were doing at the next level than no one did. Right??? WRONG!!!!! I wanted to be in the Major Leagues so bad I worked on my hitting for countless hours on what I was being taught. I mean, before practice, after practice and even before and after games. The problem was I was practicing the wrong mechanics. (keeping the shoulers level, hitting down threw the ball, keeping the front side closed up and even throwing the hands) I don’t blame my coaches for this, because I know that all coaches have great intentions, but we are like parrots, we teach what we were taught. And they were simply teaching what they thought was the right way. If you are being taught to swing level, throw the hands, don’t drop the back shoulder, and even not open the front side, then this is the stuff a good student is going to work on. The problem is that great hitters do not do any of this. So when I conduct my lessons, I put my players in the positions of the best hitters in the game. Through repitition of doing this, my players have made great improvements and through video analysis they look like the Pros when stopped at any position through out the swing. This is what it is all about.