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The New Swing is the term that is used to describe the swings of the best baseball and fast-pitch softball players. While some may be surprised to see baseball and fast-pitch softball lumped together, I've studied both swings and have found that the swings of the best baseball and fast-pitch softball players are far more similar than they are different.

Evan Longoria and Megan Bush demonstrating the high level swing.

Comparison of the Swings of
Megan Bush And Evan Longoria
at the Point Of Contact

As a result, when teaching Hitting, I use baseball and fast-pitch softball clips and pictures interchangeably.

The New Swing

There a number of things it's important to understand about the High-Level Swing.

The Problem

Most of the limitations of the existing approaches to teaching hitting stem from a lack of understanding of what the High-Level Swing looks like and how it works.


Albert Pujols demonstrating the High Level Swing

Albert Pujols' Swing

Too often, people are just regurgitating the conventional wisdom.

What everybody "knows."

Despite what video clips and pictures of the best hitters show.

As a result, most people don't know as much about hitting and the High-Level Swing as they think they do.

Joe Mauer demonstrating the High Level Swing

Joe Mauer's Swing

As I point out in my piece on the various Myths About Hitting, if you spend even the briefest amount of time comparing what people teach, and what the best hitters actually do, you will immediately see huge, and glaring, discrepencies.

It's the Same Swing

I've spent years going to games, filming hitters, accumulating a library of clips of the best baseball and fast-pitch softball hitters, and looking for commonalities.

What I've found is that most high-level baseball and fast pitch softball players, and in particular hitters who hit for power, exhibit the same basic movement patterns.

Albert Pujols' Home Run Swing Video Clip

Albert Pujols' Home Run Swing

While there are significant physical differences between Albert Pujols and Megan Bush, there are few, if any, significant differences between their swings.

That's because a high-level baseball swing and a high-level fast pitch softball swing are the same basic swing.

Megan Bush Home Run Swing Video Clip

Megan Bush's Home Run Swing

For instance, notice how, while they load and get to Heel Plant differently, once their front heels plant, their swings are basically identical through the extension position.

Video Clip Comparison of the Swings of Albert Pujols and Megan Bush

Comparison of the Swings of
Albert Pujols and Megan Bush

You can see the same thing if you compare Megan Bush's swing to my clip of Evan Logoria hitting a home run to left field, especially at the Point Of Contact.

Comparison of the Swings of Evan Longoria and Megan Bush

Comparison of the Swings of
Megan Bush And Evan Longoria

The baseball swing and the fast pitch softball swing are the same for a very simple reason; while men and women typically have significantly different levels of upper body strength, all able-bodied people, regardless of their sex, have roughly proportional levels of core strength (because it's the key to walking and running). Because the High-Level Swing lets you tap into the large muscles of the core, it is very efficient and as a result tends to be the predominant swing pattern at the highest levels of both baseball and fast pitch softball.

Key Concepts

In order to understand the High-Level Swing, you have to understand the concepts that serve as its foundation. These concepts, which were first defined by Paul Nyman, include...

...and are followed by more advanced concepts like...


In order to swing with their entire body, and not just their arms, a hitter must start from an athletic position.

Albert Pujols demonstrates the High Level Swing.

Albert Pujols at Setup

It is almost impossible to swing with your entire body, and not just your arms, if you are standing overly erect with your feet too close together and your knees locked.


A good swing is powered by the rotation of the hips and shoulders — driven by the large muscles of the core — and not by a linear, pushing movement of the small muscles of the arms, wrists, and hands.

Albert Pujols demonstrating Rotation

Albert Pujols Demonstrating Rotation

While the arms, wrists, and hands are important to the swing, their job is to help funnel, direct, and manage the force that is generated by the body rather than to create force.

Albert Pujols demonstrates the High Level Swing.

Albert Pujols Demonstrating Rotation

The photo above of Albert Pujols is a great example of what good Rotation looks like. Notice how his hips have stopped moving forward and have rotated 90 degrees, due in part to the stiffening of his front leg and the extension of his front knee. Notice how his back knee is bent 90 degrees, which is an indication of the rapid Rotation of his hips. Notice how the rapid rotation of his hips has pulled him up onto the outside of his front foot.


While good hitters may talk about, and sometimes even think, they throw or push their hands at the ball and hit the ball with their arms extended, if you look at video clips and still photos of the best hitters, you won't see extension at the Point Of Contact. Instead, what you will see is that, while their arms do extend, they only extend after the POC.

Albert Pujols demonstrating a High Level Swing.

Albert Pujols at the Point Of Contact

At the POC, good hitters are usually anything but extended, which is just one of many common Myths & Misconceptions about hitting.

Myths & Misconceptions

As I discuss at length in my piece on Hitting Myths & Misconceptions, one reason why there aren't more great hitters, and why people find hitting so hard, is because of the large number of myths and misconceptions that exist about hitting, including about topics like...

For instance, notice how, rather than hitting off of his back foot and squishing the bug, the rapid rotation of Albert Pujols' hips have pulled him up onto the point of his back foot.

Albert Pujols demonstrating a High Level Swing.

Albert Pujols Not Squishing the Bug

In fact, the rapid rotation of his hips sometimes pulls Albert Pujols' back foot completely up in the air at the Point Of Contact.

Phony Flaws

The problem with the various Myths & Misconceptions about hitting is that they include a number of Phony Flaws; things that are actually good and that contribute to the Efficiency of a swing...

...but are too often coached out of hitters and their swings.

Competing Approaches

Rotational Hitting, Linear Hitting, and Extension Hitting are different, and competing, approaches to teaching hitting and to describing and developing a High Level Swing.

Of course, and as I discuss in my piece on The Myth of the A to C Swing and elsewhere in my Hitting essays, it is debatable whether Linear Hitting and Extension Hitting describe the actual High Level Swing; whether what they teach is what the best baseball and fast-pitch softball players actually do. Similarly, and as I discuss in Rotational Hitting 101, there are problems with Mike Epstein's understanding and explanation of the High Level Swing that create problems with how he teaches Rotational Hitting.

As a result, when people ask me whether I teach Linear Hitting or Rotational hitting, I say, "Neither. I teach the High Level Swing." That doesn't mean that I won't draw on some concepts and drills that could be classified as Rotational Hitting or Linear Hitting, but the ultimate goal is always to get the student closer to the High Level Swing.

Condition Your Core!

If you are going to dive into the High-Level Swing, then it's important that you first make sure that your body is ready for the transition. The High-Level Swing gets power from the muscles of the core (e.g. the Obliques) rather than the arms. If you are going to keep from straining these muscles, you must first make sure that they are properly conditioned with a good core workout.

Do as he Does...

Albert Pujols recently had a conversation with Harold Reynolds about hitting. What's interesting about this conversation is that it's good evidence for the gap between the conscious, thinking mind and the subconscious, doing mind. What Albert Pujols tells you NOT to do is what he actually does in his swing and what he tells you TO do isn't what he actually does. Instead, it's the same older A to C garbage that most major league instructors preach but that no good hitters actually do.

To help people understand how Albert Pujols, and other major leaguers, actually swing, I have put together a number of free resources including a Rotational Hitting FAQ, an analysis of a home run swing of Albert Pujols, a discussion of Albert Pujols' stride, a page full of photos of Albert Pujols' swing, and a separate page that contains my favorite examples of swings.

About the Author

The ideas discussed in this and my related pieces on Hitting...

...have helped transform the swings, approaches, and careers of multiple major leagues hitters. With my help...

As Andres Torres said in 2012...

I know about training, but hitting was difficult. And then in ’08... There’s a guy called Chris O’Leary (a St. Louis fan who kept online flipbooks breaking down Pujols’ swing). He’s online. He talks about Rotation. He's got video examples of Pujols, and I watched those.
- Andres Torres 2012

Most recently, I helped reinvigorate the offense of HSSU, an NAIA baseball team and HBC for whom I was the Hitting Coordinator from February 2016 thru February 2017.





























While it pains me to see the guys at HSSU regress since I left, I hope it makes it clear that I know what I'm talking about.

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