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Re: Re: Fastpitch hitting -- Linear vs Rotational

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Sat Oct 27 13:28:54 2007

Hi Tom

The day Julie and Aaron showed up to shoot the DVD was the first time I ever met or worked with them. You are giving an in-depth analysis of a student’s very first attempt at acquiring the rotational principles found in the drills. Obviously, there are a number of areas in their practice session that requires further work. However, I think the basis for some of your recommendations are not sound and therefore counterproductive.

You state, “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 ?”

And, “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.”

First of all, for a batter who starts with a more vertical bat (above the swing plane), tilting the shoulders to sweep the bat downward into the swing plane ‘can be’ productive. However, Julie initiated her swing with her back-elbow down and the bat already in the swing plane. At this point, tilting her shoulders, rather than rotating them, would have sent the bat downward through the plane. This would result in a loss of power and her having problems making consistent solid contact.

In fact, most of the major flaws I find in a batter’s swing plane is due to their mechanics (especially their “pre-launch” mechanics) accelerating the bat-head downward through the plane instead of into it. --- Tom, we can discuss the “tilting” issue in-depth at a later time. For now, let us address your contention that – in the ‘baseball/softball swing’, the batter should initiate hip rotation while resisting shoulder rotation.

I think we can agree that the shoulders cannot rotate themselves. For the shoulders to rotate requires the contraction of the muscles up through the torso working with the rotation of the hips. For a batter to initiate hip rotation while resisting shoulder rotation means the torso muscles would remain static. When hip rotation is initiated without the load of rotating the shoulders, means the hips are basically “free-wheeling.” – Similar to racing a car’s engine without engaging the clutch.

When a batter initiates hip rotation, his torso muscles are also contracting to induce shoulder rotation. During initiation, the reason the hip rotation leads the shoulder is due to the added load of overcoming the inertia of the bat to acceleration – not because the batter is intentionally resisting rotation.

Jack Mankin


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