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Debunking Linear Hitting Theory Arguments

Debunking Linear Hitting Theory Arguments

For those of you who follow my website or
watch my videos on YouTube, you may know that I don’t box myself into a linear hitting
aspect or a rotational hitting aspect. I think the swing happens in a very certain way, a
good swing and it’s a little bit of both, getting energy from both linear and rotational.
But if I have to stick myself into one philosophy, I would say I lean a lot more towards rotational
hitting. So in this video, I’m going to debunk the
two most heard arguments for linear hitting which are you’re going to be a lot shorter
to the ball or quicker to the ball and you’re going to create back spin which back spin
will create more distance on your hits. So first all, let’s start with you’re
going to be shorter to the ball. Yes, you’re correct if you’re taking a linear swing,
your bat path to the ball is going to be a lot shorter. For example, a linear swing,
we move this up here, a linear swing. You’re going to start here and you’re going to
take this bat straight from here, A to B, A to B. So yeah, you’re going to be a lot
faster. Here is where the problem comes in. If you’re
swinging that way A to B, you’re only in the zone, the hitting zone. For a fraction
of a second, you’re going to be out of the zone, in the zone, out of the zone. Your timing
has to be so perfect to make contact with this ball. That – it’s not worth it being
that short, OK? So then once you say that, once you debunk
that myth, they say, “Oh well, if you have a rotational swing, you’re too long.”
I disagree. I think you can be still short to the ball with a rotational swing. You can
still have get on plane with the ball early but still be quick to it. Meaning, you would
not want to cast your hands when you got a rotational swing. So if I’m here, getting
all in plane doesn’t mean letting your hands get away from your body. You can still stay
short to the ball and in. So when I’m starting here and I get on the
plane with that ball, I can still be short too here. I’m staying inside of the ball.
I’m not going out and around. Everything is not getting extended and out and around.
I don’t want to do that when I’m in rotational swing. That’s not a true swing play, getting
away with the ball. I want to stay in. I want to stay short and in. And I can do that with
a rotational swing. I can stay inside this ball and still put a good hit on it. OK? So now, let’s talk about the back spin issue.
So first of all, in a linear swing, if we’re swinging down here, if we screwed up a lot,
where does the ball going to go? Ground ball. So timing is already hard in a linear swing.
So how are you going to create a back spin consistently on a linear swing? It’s very
hard, very hard to do. If you do create a back swing, yeah, the ball
might go a little bit further but again, your timing has to be so perfect that it’s hard
to do. The best hitters in the game don’t do it this way because the timing has to be
perfect. And those guys have impeccable hand-eye coordination and timing in their swings and
they don’t swing that way. So, why not swing with a rotational swing?
Because guess what? You can still create back spin in a rotational swing. When you’re
all playing with that ball and if you’re just hitting just below the center of the
ball, you’re going to create back spin. OK? Now, with that being said, you’re not really
thinking about that. You’re not thinking about, “Let me hit just below the center
of the ball.” You’re trying to see the ball, square it up, hit it and if you get
on plane, where’s the plane going to take you? Even if you square that ball up perfectly
and you don’t create back spin and you’re all in plane with that ball coming in about
8 degrees coming in if it’s a fast ball coming, that’s a line drive swing on plane.
Boom! Through. That ball is going a line drive that way. So even if you square it up and
then knock the ball out there, that’s still a higher rate for success than a linear swing. So I just want to debunk the two biggest arguments
here for linear hitting. I’m sure I might miss a little bit of it. Leave some comments
below. I want to hear what you got to say. Let’s talk about it. All right guys. If you found this video helpful, please subscribe, and then join the free newsletter at


Man you have the best videos for mechanics I so agree. I always had a linear swing and struck out a lot but I changed to a rotational and my success rate and batting average has increased and not only that is getting in the plane with the ball helps hitting opposite field as well. Very good advice you really know what your talking about

I would argue strongly that anyone involved hitting approach and hitting philosophy is going to coach rotational swing to generate the most bat speed and allow the bat to stay on plane for the longest time. When your're hunting a fastball over the plate, and get fooled by off-speed, good luck with that linear swing.

Hey I'm having problems on staying on top of the baseball when I'm throwing. When I try to throw a regular fastball it comes out like a cutter or almost a slider. I am not sure how to fix this.

How to stop hitting pops up. I used to be a line drive guy, but now I kept popping fly balls and that is driving me crazy. I was the started batter in the line up and and number 6 or 7 sometime they did not put me in the line up. Also I would like to have a solid contact of the sweet spot, but I cant. I do not know if I am chasing pitches out of the strike zone. would you make a video in the future telling us how to hit on the sweet spot of the bat. that will help me and other guys with the same problem I had. thanks

Attempting to intentionally hit a ball with back spin is a tall order.  Given the margin of error, back spin is mostly the result of hitting the ball mostly on line, just below the center; too much below center; too much below center and a fly ball results; this progress to pop up if you get under even more.  Is trying to obtain backspin when hitting really a teach or just a result of hitting the ball solidly.  Conversely hitting the ball above center would result in grounders and top spin.

I strongly agree that its a lil bit of both. Its def possible to stay short but also keep the barrel in the zone for a long time. Good hand route and putting the barrel on plane for a great swing!

Great job, John. It's hard to believe that Ted Williams explained the swing this way in his book, THE SCIENCE OF HITTING, which first came out in 1970, and we are still having thus discussion. The question is why. What were all those hitting instructors, coaches, players thinking between then and now, a half century later.

Some of the greatest hitters of all time with all time hit records hit linear. Why does no one acknowledge that anymore??

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