|ChrisOLeary.com > Hitting > The Hitting Mechanic > Steroids: Do They Actually Help Hitters?|
I've spent a decent amount of time thinking about about steroid use and hitting. However, I haven't bothered to put those thoughts down because I assumed that -- excepting Manny being Manny -- the new drug testing regimen had largely solved the problem, at least at the major league level.
Now, Ryan Braun has seemingly gone and tested positive for steroids, making the topic relevant again. As a result, let me put forth my various thoughts concerning whether steroids actually help baseball players or not.
I am not convinced that steroids actually help hitters.
At most, steroids provide a psychological advantage.
Results in 12 Hours?
I have a number of minor and major league clients and they have told me a number of similar stories.
For instance, a hitter was struggling while for a caribbean winter league team. After an 0 for 22 run and a particularly futile night, and a warning that he was going to be released if he didn't start hitting, the following morning he decided to try a course of steroids.
That night, he went 3 for 4 with a home run and a double.
While that story sounds like conclusive evidence that steroids work, here's the problem; it takes steroids days or weeks, not hours, to have a measurable (physical) effect.
There's no way a course of steroids taken in the morning can have a positive (physical) benefit later on in the day.
Any benefit had to be psychological.
Evidence from the 1990's
The fact is that many of the most famous, and successful, steroid users had very hitting mechanics and swings and were already good hitters before they used steroids.
That also suggests that the advantage was primarily psychological; they hit better because they believed they could hit better after taking steroids.
The picture above shows Barry Bonds at a position that every hitter needs to pass through. Notice how his hands are rotating with, and just ahead of, his back shoulder and how his back elbow is tightly pinched.
While Barry Bonds was also taking steroids at this time, I would argue that his hitting mechanics were the reason why Barry Bonds was as successful as he was.
There's also the case of Alex Rodriguez's 2015 season. If any hitter is clean, it has to be him.
Based on my experience working with a large number of minor and major league clients, your problem likely isn't your strength, it's your hitting mechanics. Most of the higher-level hitters I have worked with do not have a good understanding of what a good swing (actually) looks like. Instead, they have been taught one or more of the things I discuss in Truth In Hitting.
Do me a favor.
If you are a hitter and are considering trying steroids or some other performance-enhancing drug, e-mail me. Let's see if the problem is your hitting mechanics and your swing, rather than the size of your biceps.
I don't work for free, but I'm sure we can work out some sort of arrangement in which you get access to my information for free and pay me at some point in the future.
Your balls will thank you.
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