The Two-Hip Hitting Myth
After 20 years in the business of player development and having worked for five Major League baseball teams, countless college softball and baseball teams and having conducted training sessions from Japan to Dubai - one major "skill killer" still exists in mainstream teaching of hitting.
"Turn your hips."
Think of how many times we have told players to do this, with the hope of helping them become better hitters. We now have a generation of hookers and spinners who have hit a wall when pitchers start throwing off-speed or throw the ball on the outside part of the plate.
Sound hitting skills requires a combination of weight transfer (linear movement) and rotational movement. In laymen's terms, we stride (linear) and then turn (rotational) into our swing. Telling hitters to turn their hips (plural) creates excessive rotation and reduces the bat from staying on the ball path for as long as possible (hit through the ball-extension).
Specifically, we need to remind hitters to turn their back hip to generate bat speed-but leave the front hip alone! The front hip acts as a blocking tool to keep the bat path straight and allow the hitter to carry the bat to all lanes in the hitting zone.
The dual hip move is great if the hitter knows every pitch is going to be an inside pitch, but even then keeping the ball in fair territory becomes a challenge, as the bat is in a constant circular path around the ball.
Let's give your hitters a chance to excel after Little league (or be a better hitter in little league!) No more yelling, "turn your hips." Get them to understand the benefits of being a one-hip hitter.