|Twins catcher, Joe Mauer|
Most hitters have an imbalance between the two. Some have too much power and not enough grace. Others have too much grace and not enough power. This is the challenge for players and the coaches who are trying to get them to improve.
|The great, free swinging Roberto Clemente|
I think we as Americans have a problem when it comes to hitting. Being a prosperous nation, many kids now have the ability to pay for instruction from day one. We have hitting camps and clinics everywhere for players and coaches to pass on the intricate mechanical details of hitting a baseball. Leaving alone the fact that some instructors flat out teach concepts that don’t work, even the best instructors tend to put most of their focus on the mechanical side - the “grace.” In my opinion, too many hitters are “neutered” by this early focus on mechanics. When kids went out into the backyards to play Wiffle Ball and into the streets to play stick ball, they didn’t care about mechanics. It was just about hitting the ball hard. They learned all the mechanical details later in their career or just by trial and error through making adjustments. They started with “power” and learned the “grace” later.
My son is four years old. He is eligible to play Tee-Ball but will not. He loves to play baseball on our driveway. He sometimes holds the bat incorrectly. He literally stands on the plate whenever he hits. He swings from his heels so that he can hit the ball hard enough and far enough for it to hit my car. He falls down laughing every time he does. His front side flies out a lot. He doesn't keep his head still. He pays absolutely no attention to the mechanical side to hitting.
… and I couldn’t care less.