The most debated half-second in baseball history without umpire involvement is “after the load to contact.” Millions of dollars are made at this moment.
How are you going to get there?
Dennis Tiefenthaler, Co-Founder, Seam Readers
Ladies and gentleman, welcome to Seam Reader’s tenth blog of all time. Baseball and softball, as we all know are global sports played by an estimated seventy-five million kids and adults in over one-hundred countries throughout the world. Since its inception, Seam Readers World-Wide has now reached a half a million of those kids and adults and has been introduced in over forty countries. For us an unbelievable feeling as we work our way to reaching the millions more of those who might benefit from our message.
Our mission, as stated in a previous blog is to provide content that almost in every case cannot be argued. There might be a better way, but none can say that how and what we learned and are instructing is not legit or valid. That could have something to do with the reach and growth that we are experiencing. We think it also says there is a genuine hunger out there from parents and players to get the best instruction available to them. Instruction that is easy to understand and is full of common sense. So again everyone out there, thank you for your trust and your patronage. Thank you God for giving us the words to communicate this. Let us see after this week’s writing, if we can still claim content that cannot be argued. On to the mechanics of the swings.
As we write our first words about this subject , we want you to realize that our methods are going to keep you in the best power position, no matter what is your body type or strength. So with that as our starting point, here we go…
Every blog or video to this point has put you in the best position to be a success before transitioning into your swing at the ball. We think it can be said that every hitter on the planet, no matter where they start their hands, always end up in the same position, right before their decision to swing: hands back, shoulder height, holding the bat at a forty-five degree angle, hands loaded in the ready to go position.
At Seam Readers we believe once the decision is made to swing the bat, you have two swings to choose from: the Power-V Approach, or the Power-O Approach, i.e., old school vs. new school. Let us start with the Power V approach.
Knowing that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, we want to move our hands in a slightly downward motion through our chest while flashing the knob of the bat at the ball while both hands throw the barrel towards the baseball with the goal of making contact right above the middle of the ball to create backspin and lift (top hand above the ball). Just as soon as contact is made, the follow-through takes over (down to the ball, up through the ball). This is known as the Power-V Approach because at contact, your hands and your arms make almost a perfect V which means that you got good extension on that swing.
The Power-O Approach is where the hands drop the barrel of the bat and the elbow into a slot which in turn raises the front elbow into what looks like a “chicken-wing” says Mike Trout. As the swing continues, the barrel is directed at right below the middle of the baseball with an upward motion through the ball, which is considered more of an upper-cut swing. Because you dropped the barrel of the bat into the zone and you were looking to hit the bottom of the baseball, your arms created a circular position at contact, thus creating the O in the swing.
Both swings are going to provide you with some consequences. The old school method, or Power-V Approach provides a direct path to the ball where there is less room for error. If we miss our target and make contact an eighth to a quarter of an inch higher, we still have the opportunity of hitting the ball hard somewhere and thus getting on base. The new school method, or Power-O Approach gives you more room for error because we are dropping the barrel of the bat, into the hitting zone instead of moving towards the baseball, therefore making the swing a little longer. And if you miss the intended target by an eighth or a quarter of an inch here, you will more than likely hit a pop-fly somewhere. And with pitchers throwing in the mid to upper nineties, striking out is a real possibility.
In conclusion, we recognize that both swings are represented and used to success in the big leagues. Personally I was taught the Power V swing as a professional and in turn taught my son Jared the same. The reason we tell you this is because in the weeks to come the methods that we impart are going to be in regards to the Power V swing. Some examples of players and the way they swing are below. Have a great week.
Power V guys:
- Pete Rose
- Barry Bonds
- Ken Griffey Jr
- Mike Trout
- Christian Yelich
- Cody Bellinger
Power O guys:
- Derek Jeter
- Aaron Judge
- J.D. Martinez
- Bo Bichette
- Mookie Betts
- Nolan Arenado
At home drill: The drill for this week will be another tee drill. The point of this drill will be to find you or your players swing, Power V or Power O. For the drill you will set up the tee for pitches that your player sees the most and hits the best. That could be low and in, up and away or right down the middle. If you do not know then just go with a pitch right down the middle. Now you will have your player try both swings with the pitch being the constant. This is where some evaluation needs to take place. First make sure they know the difference in the swings and second ask them if they feel different. What feels best to them and what looks the best once they hit the ball might be the indication that they found their swing.