Ted Williams’ Philosophy on Hitting
Little do people know that Ted Williams was very particular about things when it came to his philosophy on hitting. After his career, Mr. Williams talked a lot about his philosophy about hitting. He noticed that when he talked, people listened. He also noticed that even though people listened and respected his opinion, most did not understand what he was talking about and a lot secretly disagreed with him totally. How can anyone disagree with Ted Williams, arguably the greatest hitter of all time?
Well most of the baseball world turned their back against Ted even after he wrote his book about hitting. Instead, most everyone turned their attention to Charly Lau and his swing principles. As it turn out, Lau’s principles and Williams principles are on opposite ends of the spectrum and both men had little respect for each other. Especially Williams, who thought Lau would be responsible for setting hitting back 50 years. In a sense, Williams was right, because the 70’s were not the best hitting years in baseball. 1972 was one if the worst hitting years statistically in the history of baseball and Lau started his popularity from 71 through the 80’s. Even today, his principles are probably the most popular as players who played in the 70’s are now the coaches of today. 2014 has not been a good year for hitting. Statistically, the MLB numbers are almost as worst as the 1972 year.
Would Ted Williams be shaking his head if he were alive to witness this?
Oh you would hear from him, I would guarantee that! He sighted that Lau hung out with a lot of superstar hitters, but really never improved many teams. He did have the privilege of being a coach on many good teams, but really the teams that he coached averaged no better than a .265 team batting average ( his career average as a hitting coach).Some of the teams he coached, like the Yankees and White Sox, the team batting average went down 10-20 points from one year to the next. He had a few years with the Royals and Orioles where the team batting average went up 10 points, but as you add up the ups and downs he was no better than the previous hitting coach he replaced. Certainly compared to today, Lau is no better than the very average hitting coach. So how did he become the ultimate hitting guru? He was a coach on some championship teams and he was a marketing genious. This had Ted Williams shaking his head as he used to say, “How can an average coach become a guru overnight?”
Ye been fooled and most are still fooled about how to really hit to this day and Ted Williams called it a long time ago! There are not many that Ted Williams have acknowledged as someone who understands top level hitting. Mike Epstein is his most popular guy who has done a great job of pioneering the education of the the uphill swing. Ted Williams put his stamp of approval with him and has been proud of how Epstein has been able to break down and educate hitters and coaches as to what is really happening in a good swing.
Then there is a fellow named Steve Ferroli, an unknown who attended Ted Williams camps as a kid and built a relationship with Ted and helped him build his baseball camps down in Hernando Florida. Ferroli has a book out there that is pretty detailed and Ted trusted him enough to become his sons personal hitting coach.
Then there is me, Mike Huber. After a fall out with Ferroli, and the fact that Teds son could not hit at the minor league level the family contacted me after I wrote Ted Williams a letter. What I found out was that I had a different take and program than Ferroli and Epstein had. Ted’s son John Henry could not hit. He over rotated and could hardly hit batting practice without falling over or throwing his bat in disgust. He thought that since he was trained by people that his dad endorsed that it was the right way. I convinced him differently after he went 1 for 42 in his pro debut back in 2003-4.
The main thing I convinced John Henry was that the hips should not rotate in the beginning of the swing. They should pop and then rotate. He hit 14 home runs in a round of BP after he learned the technique that simplifies the Ted Williams rotational swing. Soon he hit .296 with a Baton Rouge team in one month after learning the techniques.
The one thing I told Ted Williams son was that the techniques simplify his dad’s thoughts about hitting and that when learned hitters can boost their batting and slugging percentage up by more than 50 points.
By and large with over 90 percent of the teams that learn the version of techniques John Henry learned, they really do improve this much. The question is, ” Would Ted Williams have took heed to the techniques I taught his son if he were alive to see his son go 1 for 42 to hitting 14 homers in a quick BP session and then getting named player of the month soon after in the South East Pro League?