Baseball Hitting | Is Shoulder Rotation Good or Bad?
It would be safe to say all baseball hitting coaches agree on the importance of increasing bat speed. Disagreements arise when discussing the role of shoulder rotation in generating that bat speed. Linear coaches have concluded that allowing the shoulders to rotate will result in casting, hitting around the ball and pulling off the outside pitch. They use a batting cue, "Keep your shoulder in-there" to remind the batter not to allow the shoulders to rotate.
At Batspeed.com, we have a more positive view of shoulder rotation. We agree the "keep your shoulder in there" cue has merit during the stride and pre-launch movements. However, we do not agree that the shoulders should not rotate during the swing. We would point out that the linkage to the bat (through the arms) is connected at the shoulders - not at the hips. Therefore, for the rotational energy of the hips to be transferred up and out to the bat, the shoulders must rotate. In order to generate maximum bat speed, shoulder rotation should start as the swing is being initiated.
Well, whose right and whose wrong? We have often reminded our hitters not to put faith in any batting cue, tip or drill (including ours) whose merit cannot be verified in the swing mechanics of the games best hitters. With that in mind, let us test the "Keep your shoulder in-there" cue by analyzing the swings of good hitters. Below are a couple videos that feature 4 good MLB hitters and several top softball hitters.
I am sadly convinced that the "Keep your shoulder in there" cue has prevented many young hitters from reaching their hitting potential. In our Swing Analysis DVD, we explain the problems with linear mechanics and why rotational mechanics will help them succeed at the plate.