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Re: Pulling Off the Ball

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Tue Jul 4 21:31:43 2000

>>>Jack made the observation from tapes that many hitters who appear to be pulling off the ball (head and front shoulder), especially on pitches middle/away are in fact not doing so before contact.

I think this is correct. I often hear coaches yelling at hitters to keep their front shoulder and especially their head in. But the shoulder has to come out in order to pull the bottom hand through. My reaction to this common announcement from various coaches is that the problem is not that the hitters have pulled off the ball by pulling their front shoulder out with their swing mechanics, but that they launched their swing too early given the velocity and location of the pitch. In other words, it isn't a mechanics problem (pulling the front shoulder out) but a timing problem (starting the rotational sequence too early). I wondered whether the tapes you observed (Jack) bear this out. <<<

Hi Greg

Yes, my findings coincide with your observations. In almost all cases the batters head is pulled (actually pushed) out by the back shoulder coming through long after the bat passes the contact point. It doesn't necessarily have to happen on ill timed pitches. It can also occur with well timed pitches.--- Below is part of what I wrote in: "You're Pulling Your Head Off The Ball".

"I have seen (and heard) on video tape many coaches yelling at their hitters that they are pulling their heads out. When I reviewed the swings frame-by-frame, the players head and eyes were just fine through contact --- it was the lead shoulder being pulled by the reaction of the bat during follow-through that forced the hitters head out. --- In most cases, if the batter is told he is pulling his head out, he will try to correct his "non-problem" by slowing his bodies rotation and relying more on his arms to swing with. --- I wonder how many young players have had their progress slowed by well-intentioned coaches trying to solve problems that didn't exist".

Jack Mankin


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