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Re: Re: Re: Fastpitch hitting -- Linear vs Rotational

Posted by: tom.guerry (tom.guerry@kp.org) on Sat Oct 27 17:05:33 2007


Thanks very much for the reply.

>>please see comments between >< below<<

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.

>>The reason I picked this to comment on is because it is the same student that John
Elloitt was commenting on in Final Arc 2 in terms of how to better use the front leg which
in my opinion is very much related to creating better upper body resistance which lower
body synchs with/responds to for better loading/coil to power swing. This requires
getting the lead elbow pointed up and then the active tilt, not active turn of shoulders<,<

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.

>>Good point. I would say the position she starts in here is lacking separation. To be
more “realistic”/for this piece to resemble more/fit better into a dynamic/full swing, she
might be better off making this starting position more like a position at the end of
“prelaunch torque”(rubberband winding) before “THT at launch”(initiation/drop and tilt)
which means she would have the hands and shoulders back and already have turned the
bathead and the front heel some with the bat still above the swing plane as you say, and
the front shoulder still down, but the front arm already having the point of the front elbow
up more.

Then she would get the necessary additional quick torso coil/stretch by tilting the
shoulders and letting the rest of the weight go to the front foot as she fires the bathead
and turns the hips.

If torso coil/loading is interrupted or does not finish with a quick last stretch, then there
will not be enough engine power to be connected to regardless of whether the
transmission slips or not,.so to speak.

Jeff Kent might be a good low elbow comparison.<<

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.

>>I think all good mlb swings require preparation including turning the body back (so the
hips can open without losing early batspeed) and shoulder tilted front shoulder down/in.
Then there must be some coil/rubberband winding in place (prelaunch tht) before “tht at
launch/initiation" (drop and tilt - synched untilting of shoulders with weight shift to front

The prelaunch tht continues the inward turn going up and into the bat to start the bat
turning back toward the catcher which creates enough load to resist front leg then hips
turning open. The turning of the front arm to get the point of the elbow up (internal
rotation of lead arm/humerus)is required here for stretching/coiling as the front leg turns
open (rotate bathead/rotate heel).

“Initiation”/”THT at launch” is the result of the GO decision , the hips fire and the bathead
fires as the shoulders tilt and the weight goes to the front foot. This creates resistance so
that the shoulders force a quick last stretch of the torso. preventing freewheeling or a
more dampeneed end of coil/stretch.

Tryng to actively turn the shoulders and hips together will avoid freewheeling due to
inertia, but it will not provide the last quick controllable stretch required for quickness and
plane matching and spatially early/deep start of acceleration<<<

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.

>>Torso muscle contraction is resisted by the shoulders titing laterally (Hands firing
bathead /THT at launch controls coordination of swivelling of forearms and tilting of
shoulders and creation of CHP), front shoulder elevating or untilting produces a quicker
stretch and fire/quicker/better directed acceleration which feels like “hips and hands” or
like “front shoulder stays in there/does not fly open”. <<

Jack Mankin


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