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Re: Fastpitch hitting -- Linear vs Rotational


Posted by: tom.guerry (tom.guerry@kp.org) on Sat Oct 27 09:26:26 2007


Jack -

I apologize if this is slightly off topic. but the Final Arc 2 clip is a good one to discuss the previous issue of how the shoulders work. Do they turn or tilt or both or do they get turned/how to describe it ?

If you look at the comparison clips of the boy to girl, the boy is just using the one armed lead arm CHP drill and the girl is adding the top hand/back arm.

This is also a point in Final Arc 2 where John mentions how the front leg needs to work.

I would concentrate on the girl and say what you want to change to improve her swing is to resist better with the shoulders/upper body rather than turn the shoulders actively too much. This resistance is controlled by hand torque and will lead to better coiling and better timing of the firing of the bathead.

In her case, she is turning too much from the shoulders and upper torso first which is why the lower body/legs are out of sequence and not contributing to optimal segmentation/summation/sequential speed gains.

What she needs is a more ground up sequence of turning the body that works it's way up and then turns the shoulders and bathead.

Before being turned, the shoulders should tilt so that the handle torque is accelerated and the swing plane is adjusted, then the bathead will be boosted when the uncoiling drives the connected shoulder link via a CHP/not letting the swing radius lenghtn to use ball on string or double pendulum type connection from this point of uncoiling (bathead launching out of handpath radius) to contact.

Because she turns too much with the shoulders, the shoulders interfere with coil and catch up too early with the hips which is what forces the front leg to straighten to much too soon and for her body to overrotate and the head to lean back to try to keep things going.

As you know, in Final Arc 2, John spends time pointing out how there needs to be more initial flex in the front leg that then gets to extension right at contact ideally.

How does that happen ?

It happens by more ground up legs and hips leading hands while hands stay back with well synched weight shift.

That requires shoulders tilting initially to resist turning as the rotation works up from legs to hips then up torso.

The turning of the hips needs to be supported by leg action where the front leg turns open first, then the hips then the back leg.

When out of sequence/"rushed"/suboptimal rotation/coiling is present, you see the back leg/knee turn while the front leg remains closed or legs turn out of sequence with front leg turning in response to the back leg and hips turning, not front leg leading.

This is what happens if you focus on turning the torso/shoulders as opposed to feeling he more optimal type of bottom up rotation traditionally described as "hips and hands" or "not flying open" or "keeping the front shoulder in " (I realize that keeping shoulder in can easily be misinterpreted so as to inhibit rotation and mess up the swing).

Instead, the shoulders and hands have to stay back as the front leg then hips start to turn open with "prelaunch THT".

Prelaunch THT starts with back arm dominant action that synchs the timing of the lower body and upper body for a good coil. When the back elbow starts down, the front leg starts to turn open. This is why your "turn the bathead/turn the heel" is such a good cue.
The body naturally wants to synch this external rotation of the back arm and front leg to start the hips leading the hands (and frnt leg leading hips)/rubber band winding/coil.

Also earlier in the swing during the inward turn you tilted the front shoulder down and in some and have kept it this way.

AND you turned the whle body back with the hips so that the hips can open, but still leave the hands/shoulders back for early batspeed/deeper acceleration and contact.

Prelaunch THT then starts you coiling/rotating into toe touch and then the lead arm needs to become more active and take over from the back arm by internal rotation that turns the point of the front elbow up into the swing plane.

If you look at the girl, she is missing this key aspect of prelaunchTHT and THT at launch which is that the point of her front elbow does not get up into the swing plane early enough.

Prelaunch THT needs to be powered by the lead arm twist that gets the point of the front elbow into the swing plane early/BEFORE the front shoulder untilts.

This upper body action triggers the ongoing/unrushed bottom up hips leading type rotation that will get the front leg to toe touch with good flex in the front leg (assuming the player has learned how to cock the hips and carry the body forward).

NOW you are ready for THT at launch which consists of tilting the front shoulder up and keeping the front arm internally rotated while turning the hips open hard just as the rest of your weight goes to thefront foot.

The front leg will continue to lead the hips and back leg in opening.

The torque on the handle will accelerated the bathead and finish the loading/coil because the upper body still resists turning open as the shoulders tilt, not turn.

Grip and forearm action must is where the action is and "bind" must be avoided (so forearms can "swivel".

Then the handle torque will fire the bathead out just as the torso coil reverses which is what triggers efficient momentum transfer into accelerating the bathead with the lead arm remaining internally rotated (lead elbow pointing ito swing plane) and retaining CHP/swing radius/not lengthening the lead arm.

It is the well timed firing of the bathead as the torso coil reverses from it's last quick bit of stretch/load that transfers momentum ideally so the lead shoulder and bathead keep
turning until contact.

The feel of the shoulder turning and the bathead firing due to efficient momentum transfer/kinetic link/segmentation/summation of levers is a very different (effortless) feel from trying to accomplish the same thing by pulling with the front shoulder or focussing too much on turning the shoulders.

The feel is more that the body keeps on turning in response to the torquing of the handle as the hips stay ahead then decelerate then the torso stays ahead and decelerates then the front shoulder and batead turn right to contact and decelerate.

When timed right. the front leg will get extended just as the front wrist finishes unhinging as you hit max speed at contact/heavy bag.

The handle torque is the key site of cotrol because it makes the body move so that the load/coil of the torso can uncoil just as the bathead is fired.

TURNING shoulders instead of tilting them will interfere with this timing.

So in summary, you need a good nonbinding grip and positioning of arms/forearms.

You need to turn the whole body back with the hips and tilt the front shoulder down and in (inward turn) and cock the hips. (neg move).

You need to stride and cock the hands (pos move).

The start coil with prelaunch THT with turn the bathead/turn the heel AND twisting the lead arm so the point of the elbow gets into the developing swing plane, continuing to sit, then

THT at launch is more a simultaneous hips and hands with shoulders assisting by TILT not turn or you get upper body dominance and messup necessary last quick bit of torso coil.

When done suboptimally, you see, among other things:

1-lack of tht/early batspeed with bat dragging forward before angular acceleration

2-out of sequence leg/hip turn with back hip turning into front/lead leg staying closed

3- point of lead elbow not getting up early and staying up

4-early straightening of lead leg ( or lunging where whole swing is worse and flex stays in
front leg)

5- lack of shoulder tilt (or untilting from tilted down in front position)/lack of synch of
shoulder tilt with heeldrop/full weight shift to front foot.

etc

So in this way the shoulders are more slaved to the hips and hands/ more bypassed as opposed to activey turned.


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