We’ve often heard baseball coaches tell their players, “Trust the hands!” and “Throw Your Hands” Is that a good coaching concept?
Our hands are auto reactors. They provide some of our quickest muscle reactions. If we hold our hands up and pop our wrists, we can do that over and over again very quickly. If someone were to throw a punch at us, our hands would quickly and automatically pop in defense.
As in infielder, we don’t have to think about a ball thrown to us. Our hands will react to the direction of the ball and make the catch without having to think about it.
Think of the catcher after he gives the sign to the pitcher. He is taught to frame the pitch. His hands automatically go to the pitch without any thought or direction.
So, the hands are auto reactors. Is this good for the hitter? The answer is: NO!The hitter who allows his hands to react automatically as his first movement towards the pitch will never have full body support.
When the hands go too early, this is when we hear the coach yell out, “Wait on the pitch!”.
Now, let’s apply this to our baseball coaching tips:
1. Coil (Load): The hitter collects his weight on the backside
2. Stride: A linear step towards the pitched ball (30-40% of weight transfer)
3. Body Rotation: Hips rotate toward the ball
4. Hands will then, and only then, execute the stroke
Here is one of our best baseball coaching tips: “HIPS TAKE US TO THE BALL. HANDS TAKE US THROUGH THE BALL.”
So, when we are learning how to hit in baseball, do we trust the hands? The answer is:
Don’t trust the hands. Then, trust the hands. In other words, discipline the hands to wait until we get into the launch position, which is with the hands inside the ball and hips rotated.
Our hands do not initiate the stroke until we rotate to the pitch. They travel in rotation with the pivot, but they do not commit to the pitch until the rotation is complete. This rotated position with the hands still back is what we call the DRIVEposition. It is at that time that the hands will launch.
NOW we can trust them. Let them explode the bat to the ball.
One final note. Remember that when we hit, the hands are in a double lever system. That is, they don’t personally go to the ball. They are holding the bat, which goes to the ball. The hands always end up in front of the body. They are responsible for directing the bat to the proper cut line on the pitch.
These techniques are fully explained in our Super 8 Hitting System DVD set, completely demonstrated in a series of baseball coaching tips.
Good luck – hope this helps.
Coach Joe Brockhoff