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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Major Dan: Inside the Ball Question

Posted by: Teacherman () on Wed Feb 12 07:14:46 2003

What I think IS important is 'keeping the hands in'. To me this is very meaningful. Jack, you include many of the requirements for keeping the hands in - back elbow stays by the ribs during shoulder turn being the key one. The front arm is also involved. The lead arm should be pulled by the shoulder turn and should be pulling the bat. Too bent a lead arm is awkward and moves the top hand toward the pitcher/away from the back shoulder - not recommended. Too straight a lead arm and the bat will cast.
> > Someone recently posted suggesting a lead arm bend of 15-30 degrees (if I remember correctly) and that sounds about right as a guideline for a starting point.
> > What does 'keeping the hands in' mean? I have not heard it described concisely but I have seen many posts lately dancing around it. Tom Guerry's internal rotation of the top hand arm; maintaining the box; lead elbow pointed somewhat up and bent at contact all refer to this in some ways.
> > Consider that the top hand elbow can be against the ribs and acting as the oar lock, yet the elbow can have various degrees of bend from this position. The more the top hand elbow bends, the more the lead arm elbow must straighten. Conversely, the straighter the lead arm, the more the top hand elbow has to bend even when kept against the ribs during shoulder rotation.
> > Allow me a digression to make my point: the Power V.
> > At the point where the power V occurs, both elbows are straightening/straight. It is desirable to have this happen in front of the chest rather than toward the side of the body. It is also desirable to have this happen toward the pitcher/after contact/out in front. In the power V, the hands have moved out beyond the elbows. The arms are nearly straight. The hands have come out.
> >
> > What is the opposite of the power V? The hands are more or less between the elbows. This cannot be too literal- nobody hits with a straight line from elbow to elbow. But the relationship of the two elbows and the hands between them is set at load time. IF that relationship is maintained with connection through the shoulder turn and into contact, the hands will not come out of that configuration (the box!) until after contact and will extend into the Power V out in front of the body toward the pitcher.
> > If the hands come out of that configuration early in the shoulder turn/before contact, the bat will either cast if the lead arm stays firm and straight, or drag if both arms collapse.
> >
> > The loss of integrity of the elbow-to-elbow alignment (the box) early in the swing is the hands coming out early - 'hands NOT staying in'.
> >
> > In a correct swing the hands stay in [between the elbows] until contact.
> > So it is beneficial to 'keep the hands in'. It is critical to keep the hands in [between the elbows] until the ball is contacted. After that the hands come out into the Power V. So one could say 'keep the hands in until you hit the ball'. Could that have been shortened to 'keep the hands inside [until they get to] the ball' ???? That's the only sense I make of that phrase...
> >
> > Jack, you have always stressed that lower body actions are only important as far as they drive shoulder rotation. Isn't it also true that shoulder rotation is only important as far as it takes the bat with it to the ball.?
> > If so, then the actions/configuration of the arms are the connection between shoulder turn and bat. Shoulder turn won't do much good for a hitter who's arms/hands don't connect the bat to the shoulders.
> > 'Keeping the hands in' [between the elbows] accomplishes that IMO.
> >
> > Hi Major Dan
> >
> > “Keeping the hands in” and “stay inside the ball” as you describe how you use them would contribute to sound rotational mechanics. But your distribution of using those cues to generate a circular path of the hands by allowing them to be accelerated from shoulder rotation is not what most coaches believe those cues to mean. Invariably, when I ask a group of coaches to demonstrate how they teach “staying inside the ball”, they exhibit pure linear extension mechanics. The lead-elbow breaks down to allow the first direction of the hands to “stay inside” and go parallel with the incoming ball, or in other words, straight at the pitcher. (The same is true when they demo the “fence drill”) --- Note: I’m not talking about just a few coaches – I mean lots of them.
> >
> > It is all right to have some flex in the lead-arm at initiation (many good hitters do) if the batter keeps the hands back and allows rotation to cause the first direction of the hands to be more across the path of the incoming ball instead of parallel to it. As I stated earlier, I think telling a batter to keep his hands “inside the ball” causes him to direct his hands more parallel to the ball. And if the first movement of the hands is parallel to the ball, there is no way he can later develop an efficient circular hand-path. --- So I think we could come up with better cues to promote the correct hand-path.
> >
> > Jack Mankin
> >
> >
> Jack,
> I agree that 'keeping the hands inside the ball' is a useless cue. Doesn't really make sense without a major discussion of what is really meant.
> I have my own understanding of 'keeping the hands in' that I am comfortable with. It is, IMO, the same as Steve Garvey's 'hitting with short stubby arms', etc.
> I think it is a meaningful cue because a hitter can work on keeping their hands in as they turn. The opposite is having the hands fly out, pull out, extend prematurely. This tends to drop/push the barrel under the ball.
> The desire is to create a circular hand path. The hands should start close to the body (not the 10" somebody suggested!) but in close to the shoulder (3" - 5"???) If they maintain that distance as the elbow comes down and body turns, you get a circular hand path. If the hands come out the circle flattens even if you don't push the top hand forward.
> I think it is hard for hitters to take the cue 'use a circular hand path'. But if they 'keep their hands in' (close to their body) (between their elbows) they can produce a circular path.
> Any thoughts on this?

Good stuff Dan and Jack. Jack...What do you think of the cue "hit the inside of the ball" versus "hands inside the ball"? I realize it's a "cue" and may not be "reality" but I get results from it.


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