Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The RX for Better Hitting
Greetings Epstein naysayers,
Epstein does not have a heel drop drill. His drills focus on creating rotational torque and integrating other aspects of his teachings. This would be known if you had access to his instructional tape. Nowhere does Epstein tell youngsters to slam their stride heel down. As far as I know the only thing Epstein has stated about the pressure of the front stride heel is contained in this message on his site. "Two of the worst (in my opinion) cues around are: STRIDE ON EGG SHELLS AND STRIDE ON THIN ICE.
When a hitter does this - or is instructed to do this - he keeps most of his weight over his rear leg, doesn't weight-shift and therefore never winds up launching his swing from a balanced position. Often this results in a hitter's swing plane that is much too steep, resulting in too many pop ups and being consistently late on pitches above the waist"
Every hitter drops his front heel to swing or check his swing. There is nothing in Epstein's teachings that would slow a hitters swing down to prevent him from developing a major league swing - if he has the necessary physical and mental attributes. In fact, the torque that Epstein stresses insures that he will have the necessary rotational bat speed. To state that the swing Epstein teaches is not efficient and too slow to be of major league quality, is just flat out wrong.
Once torque between the upper and lower body has been created the stride forward that Epstein advocates opens the front striding foot to at least 45 degrees. This action minutely begins to open up the front hip giving the hitter's hips a head start for the rest of the rotational torqued swing. Once the front heel drops the rest of the torque between the lower and upper body separation occurs resulting in a powerful yanking of the hands forward.
Anyone who believes that this is too slow of a process has to be discounting the timing factor. When the pitcher starts coming over the top the hitter begins his stride. (see Peavynet.com) This gives the hitter time to do those things that are particular to his style.
How important is the heel drop? Not important enough for Epstein to waste much time on other than pointing out that it helps to create a powerful release of torque between the upper and lower body.
If you have doubts about its contribution to the swing then imagine you are a no-strider and place your front foot flat. Keep it flat throughout your swing. How much bat speed can you generate?
Now go ahead and stride. This time instead of your front heel coming down stay up on your toes, (whatever height you choose) without ever letting your heel come down. How much bat speed can you generate?
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