Hitting, something that is a must of you want to be a successful ballplayer or team. Also, something that many players and coaches struggle with doing correctly. It is not due to a lack of effort, nor knowledge or a shortage of information and theories. It may be a struggle because we often over-complicate the process. Because of this, this is where the KISS Prinicipal comes into play.
Keep It Simple, Stupid “KISS” is a design principle noted by the U.S. Navy in 1960. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore, simplicity should be a key goal in design, and unnecessary complexity should be avoided.
No matter if you are a coach, player, or parent, you should consider the fact that when teaching and or working on hitting, we may be over complicating things for ourselves or our players. Let’s quickly breakdown a swing in its simplest form. A player should be:
- Create Separation
- Strong frontside, stiff front, etc
- Palm up, palm down
- On your back toe, drive your back knee, etc
- Head on the ball, look at the ball, watch the ball to your bat, etc
Does this list look “simple” to you? For some, that answer may be yes, and we would venture to guess their plan is even longer. That does not make anyone wrong or right; it just means they may have a more complicated process or approach. Of course, we could overly simplify things and say, “See ball, hit ball,” but that is probably not the best approach.
For us, the swing comes down to:
- Weight Transfer
Now how you get there or how you teach a player to get there can vary. If the player can understand these four basics, they should find some level of success. People may point out that keeping your head on the ball is critical, which would be a true statement. But, making contact requires a player to be looking at the ball. So, for this case, looking at the ball is implied. Putting things is simple terms helps people understand and reduce information down to the most basic terms and increase learning. As stated before, how you get to some of these things is your spin on it. That is great, and the devil is in the details, but ask yourself if you need to explain every detail to the player.
Our opinion is not some “must-do” to win or improve hitting; it is meant to get you to think about your current approach and see if there are ways to simplify it. Also, remember another great saying, “If you continue to do what you have always done, you will continue to get what you have always got.” We have to make changes and adapt to what is in front of us; adpating is easier when the approach is kept simple, stupid.