Question: Is your video and book different than the others out there and how can you address all different kinds of timing for both softball & baseball at the same time?
Answer: Yes! Very different, I present the viewer and reader with the most important aspect in all of hitting besides eye contact and that's timing! Without proper timing, none of the other mechanics even matter. This is precisely why I developed my own video and now book, because I got sick and tired of the others lack of total instruction about the most important aspects of hitting. Some videos say they show you how you can hit a ball 400ft., but in reality all they are showing you is how THEY hit the ball that far. Sorry folks but this is a pie in the sky promise. What I teach is anyone and everyone can get a base hit and learn how to hit more of them for very high average. It is these high average players that are the most valuable to a team, not the power hitters. Don't get me wrong I do talk about more power and how you can hit the ball farther, but I don't make ludicrous statements like anyone can hit the ball 400ft. This is disingenuous.
And yes all aspects of timing are covered easily for all mentioned sports. The only thing that sets these sports apart is the speed at which the ball is traveling, everything else stays the same. Another myth shattered!
Question: I have seen on another site where the guy talks about baseball and softball and how in baseball the batter does not have time to load up for power hitting because the ball is traveling faster than in slow pitch. This doesn't make sense to me. What do you think?
Answer: Good question and if that were true nobody in the majors would be hitting homeruns I guess. Of course they are loading up they just have to know when to do it. Because the pitch is coming in so fast they need to prepare before the pitch is released. This is when they load up. you will see many of them taking a step up and back with the leading foot before the pitch is released which allows them the time they need to get the lower body involved into every hit.
Question: How about grip? Is the grip you use that important?
Answer: Simple answer is no. I know many and have used many over the years and they all worked to one extent or another. I now use a grip called the double fist or overlap grip which does allow one to increase their leverage and whipping action, but it is not the be all end all, it is simply a piece of the total hitting package. Just like there are many stances that work, it is also the same with grip.
Question: What level do you play at or have in the past?
Answer: I currently play at age 42 in A & Super B division ball. It really doesn't matter to me, because the higher you go the less # of teams there is to play against. Lets face it folks, there are not that many major A teams around. I have been fortunate enough over the years to play with and coach some of the best players in the world. I have a close friend who I still play with who played for Ritch's Superior in the early 90's when they were winning so many major A titles, then they came out with the green TPS Louisville bat you may be familiar with. The funny thing is, when he would come back and play in a simple 'church league' he did not fare as well as you would think. Sometimes you play down to the level you are at unfortunately. But I don't put too much stock in what level anyone plays at. There are D level players who know more about hitting than some guys in the A's. For example, There are many A players who can't tell you what they are doing or why.
Question: Are timing, eye contact and focus more important mechanics than bat speed?
Answer: Yes, it's true. As a matter of fact bat speed is the last on the list in importance, but you will obtain maximum bat speed when everything else is taken care of properly. This is one of those huge myths that sell more bats and related stuff to increase bat speed. But I know plenty of people with awesome bat speed that hit for very low average and this results in a lot of frustration instead of the homeruns you were promised by the "bat speed is everything" crowd. I have had many players tell me they purchased something to increase bat speed and they are still having trouble. Thats because it is simply a part of the total hitting package you need to employ. A balanced attack is better than focusing in on just one element. But since mechanics have been beaten to death in most videos and books, I chose timing to dive deeper into, because timing is where the most attention needs to be focused.
Question: What is the best stance for hitting?
Answer: It is more important that you are comfortable and balanced in your stance. Proof that stance is not super important is just look at major league baseball, for as many players as there are, that�s how many stances there are. I personally do have a favorite stance I now use exclusively that has made me more consistent and I just think it is awesome and believe me I have tried them all. Please get the video and the book to see what I am talking about.
Question: Is batter's box positioning important?
Answer: Yes it's important, but it also depends what you are trying to achieve. Where you stand in the box in relation to the plate will allow or disallow you to swing at more pitches for strikes, depending on where you are. You want to be in a spot that doesn�t cut down on the amount of pitches you can swing at while still being able to keep your swing level. For instance If you chose to stand very deep in the box, you have to realize that many pitches will be dropping in front of you and not being a good pitch to swing at.
Question: I am a pull hitter and would like to learn to hit to the opposite field, can you help me?
Answer: Yes, and it's easier than you may think, but first you need the proper training tool to practice this the correct way. Once again the tee is the best tool for this and all you have to do is set it up on the outside edge of the plate at different depths depending on where you stand in the box. Then you keep the same exact swing as if you were pulling it, the only thing that changes is your contact point.
Question: What weight bat should I use?
Answer: This is one of those personal preference things that only you can answer. Whichever weight you feel most comfortable with is the one you should go with, but in general the heaviest bat you can swing and still feel comfortable with the better. Usually swinging a bat within one or two ounces one way or the other won't make a huge difference in loss of bat speed, so go heavier when you can. What I have recently found with my own testing is lighter is ok with the high compression (harder balls), but on the low compression mush balls more weight is needed. Some people use heavy bats to slow their swing down to prevent fouling the ball too much. If this is you, then you really need to revamp what you are doing to begin with. As long as you keep your hands back until the proper time, then bat weight should not be causing you problems. Again the Tee can and will wean you away from using too heavy of a bat and help you increase your bat speed in proper increments. Ray Demarini used to tell people 28oz. was the perfect weight and I tend to agree, but one or two ounces one way or the other is not going to make that much difference for you. Some of the best hitters in the world and even some 300lber's use 26oz. bats. My friend who played for Ritch's is one of them. However this was when no one was using mush balls either, so things do change.
Question: Can a person who was never considered to be a power type of hitter, do anything different to allow them to get more distance from their hits?
Answer: Yes. This doesn�t mean anyone or everyone can become a homerun hitter. Once again just look at the majors. They have the best coaches and methods etc., but not everyone is a homerun hitter. But if you have perfect focus, timing, weight transfer, proper ball rotation and practice a level swing, you have a much better chance of hitting a homerun. The video will help you in all of these areas so you can maximize your true potential and at least find out how far you can hit a ball. Then from there you can better strategize what you want to strive for in the game.
Question: Should I be hitting the ball before it reaches the plate or at some point after it has crossed the front edge of the plate?
Answer: This is another important aspect to the game which I go into detail in both the book and video, but In general it depends on where you are standing in the box and the pitch location be it inside or outside, if you are standing deep, then the contact pt. may be in the middle of the plate (if hitting up the middle), if you are towards the front of the box, then the contact pt. may be on the front edge of the plate or even a few inches in front. The perfect test for this is wherever you are standing, bring leading arm up with the bat and extend it straight across with full extention, with shoulders level and standing up straight you will see that optimum contact it right there on the leading arm,(not directly in front of you 90 degrees, or in the middle of your body).
Question: Focus & eye contact seem to be difficult for me. Is there anything I can do to improve these mechanics?
Answer: Yes. I have a great trick you can use to help you focus better on the ball. Plus my perfect timing technique will help you in times of non-focus. This is the hardest mechanic to master in the game period. Even the pros don't always focus 100% of the time.
Question: Are the mechanics for baseball and softball are the same?
Answer: Yes they are exactly the same. The only difference is the speed at which the ball is traveling. A baseball player simply loads up sooner and starts the body moving sooner than a slow pitch player does, while keeping the hand back of course.
Question: Should I be striving for a level swing or more of an uppercut type of swing?
Answer: Even most major league batting coaches now teach the level swing is better than the uppercut swing. The only exception is a few of the ultra power hitters like Barry Bonds and Mark McGuire who may have a slight uppercut, but even they do not employ an extreme uppercut swing and this is something that they developed over time, not something they were taught.
Question: When do I start my actual swing or motion to swing?
Answer: This is the "Crux" of my new technique, so I can't get into too much detail here, but I like to break the swing down into two parts. 1. What and when the lower body starts its motion and 2. When the hands come through the zone to contact the ball. This is huge and very important to learn but imagine if you knew on each and every pitch exactly when to start your swing. Do you think this would make a difference in your consistency? Of course it would! That�s what I am going to show you and when you see it and then try it, your hitting game will never me the same again.
Question: I have heard that both hands should stay on the bat even through the follow-thru, is this true?
Answer: No this isn't true at all. Some people during their follow-thru have one hand come off the bat, this includes me. There are many reasons why this just does not matter. For some it just isn't physically possible to keep two hands on, for others it is something that they do not even knowing. As long as you keep your balance and level swing it just dosen't matter. Many who use the double fist grip for more leverage (such as I do), or hang a few fingers off the bat simply can't hang on all the way through.
Question: What is the best piece of training equipment I can get to help me become a better hitter?
Answer: A good BATTING TEE plain and simple. This is much better than even going to a batting cage. Even the batting cage doesn�t always throw strikes. Swinging at only strikes in practice is crucial in honing your pitch selection skills for the actual game. Also the Tee is so versatile for hitting to all fields etc. Also you get better feedback with a Tee than the cage. Plus it's fun!!!!! Did you know that the pros use batting tees in practice? It's true. Think they know something that you don't? Tees are not just for kids. The video will help you to get to the point in your hitting evolution, where you don't even care if you are playing on a fenced field or not. Once you get to this point and are only concentrating on hitting the ball as hard as you can, you will become an unstoppable force that other teams will be afraid to pitch to. You will hit more homeruns yes, but also raise your average and hit more "gappers". Don't you want to be the complete player?
There are too many selfish power hitters who know they have HR power and that�s all they try for. Sure they can hit the ball 350-400 ft., but their average is around .500. Big deal, I'll take the high average hitter any day over a "power only" kind of hitter.