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How Open Focus and Deeper Runways won a World Series.

November 10, 2018

 

Plenty of reasons why the World Series trophy this year sits in Boston, MA.

 

Great starting pitcher, versatility of roles, clean defense and a group of players that actually looked like that liked each other.  From a hitting standpoint, the Red Sox were visually greater than the Dodgers as evidenced by the following  examples:

 

 

Call it good two strike  hitting or a two out approach, the Red Sox lengthened the Runway ( the  lane  between  the pitchers release) and the Go Zone ( decision point where  hitters need to decide when and  what). Put another way, the Sox hitters saw ball flight longer which allowed for better "prediction skills. Later Go Zones, better chance of contact.  Don't confuse this strategy with "judy" swings. Look how many big flies the Sox hit and more specifically, home runs that were opposite field or straight away center.  The best hitters in the game control and are constantly using the runway to better estimate speed, space and spin data! This imaginary runway that sits in the minds eye of all good hitters acts as markers during ball flight that helps in the prediction process.  Remember, we don.t hit what we see, we swing at what we think we see.

 

 

Guessing and siting on pitches is dangerous at times.  Did you know notice how many times the Dodgers were frozen on middle of the plate strikes or were caught looking for a pitch and then fooled by  get me over strikes?  Contrast that to Bostons hitters that stayed in "read" mode longer and trusted their eyes to lead the barrel to collision point.

Hitters that understand or stumble into Open Focus (" I see more when I look at nothing") demonstrate better plate coverage and don't  need to be guessing as much.  Guess/sitting on pitches is a high reward poker game.in offensiveness counts  Playing poker with runners in scoring position or with 2 outs in a tie game is beyond risky.

How do you think hitters at times  pick up pre-pitch cookies from pitchers?  Its not happening if they are staring at the chest or bill of the cap or have no pre-pitch search strategy.  Sunsets, mountains and oceans. The best eyes in the game are devouring the pitchers movement pattern as if they were watching a sunset, forest or waves crashing.

 

 

I don't mean to  insult the many great hitting coaches in the industry but swing mechanics are worthless in high stress at bats. I will say it another way. Leave your swing corrections for  BP or early work and make being on time and visually clean the priority.  The best hitters in the Series and in the industry forego pretty BP swings for efficiency.

 

 

Did you notice how "ugly" some of the Sox swings looked like during the Series? A few observations:

 

No back side rotation,

 

Swing finishes that were low and flat,

 

Back foots that resembled walking zombies ( heavy and simply dropping down).

 

Front knee flexion on contact that violated the "hit off a stiff/strong front side.

 

Terrible "sequencing" in that the barrel lead the swing instead of the kinetic chain absolutes.

 

 

 

Simple answer. When you allow the eyes to lead the barrel to collision point and let the body follow naturally, you have high caliber swings in high stress at bat. Kudos for the Sox for putting on a visual hitting display in the Series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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