Re: Re: Re: Re: Interesting July threads

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Sat Aug 2 15:50:55 2003

> >> You make a somewhat valid argument, but I think you are missing a small detail. I experimented today with your analysis and came up with a different assessment of the same motion. You stated.... "As the elbow and forearm slides inward, the path of the hand straightens and there is no circular hand-path as there would be in skipping a rock across a pond. This is also a weak position for the batter to apply torque to the bat and the end result is a poor baseball swing"
> > >
> > According to my tests, the path of the hands does not straighten due to the continued rotation of the torso, which keeps them on a circular path. In my findings, once the elbow has gotten into the "slot posiiton", the hands appear (to the naked eye) to take a linear path.
> >
> > Under closer review and at higher speeds, the researcher can see that the path of the hands only appears to be linear because the arms will begin to straighten. This occurs as the release of energy in the arms transfers to the wrists and subsequently the out the end of the bat.
> >
> > To the naked eye and under analysis at 30 frames per second, this is what many have mistaken as linear hitting. If an object moves at 360 degrees per second, my analysis of the object at 30 frames per second could cause me to miss over what happens for over 12 degrees of movement. the elbow moves at over 600 degrees per second and the hands at over 900 degrees per second. At 30 frames per second, I will miss over 20 degrees of movement. Depending upon the distance from the axis of rotation to my point of measurement. That could mean that I may miss anywhere from one inch to ten inches of movement.
> >
> > (Even the model video you display on this site can be referenced) Add up the lost frames in your model and we have lost over 2/3 of what is happening in the swing. In Frame C (frames 2/3/4 under normal play), you model's trailing elbow spends time in front of the trailing (top) hand. Because of the speed of travel, it quickly catches back up to the elbow and passes it in position.
> >
> > I have seen many discussions about "torque" Which appears to be misused. The torque many are referring to is mistaken for the energy release. The role of each major body segment in the swing is to store and release energy it is the storage of energy that is the torque (loading of a joint).
> >
> > In my explanation of lead elbow/hand position a greater amount of torque is placed on the wrists, thus creating a greater potential release of energy to the bat. Many would call this a weaker position for hitters. but if the hitters has developed an appropriate amount of strength in their hands/wrists/forearms, they can actually control the release of energy more efficiently.
> >
> > If the hand leads the elbow, a lower amount of energy is stored in the wrists on the way the contact. The excess energy is thus stored in the shoulder and elbow. This can create tension in the wrists/hands. The athletes inability to release the energy stored in these joints can contribute to physical problems in those joints. We see similar problems in throwers who do not release the energy in the shoulders and elbows in pitchers who get into less efficient throwing positions.
> >
> > There can be a negative impact to these mechanics in hitters and pitchers/throwers. If an athlete has hypermobility or intentionally increases the stretch length in the joint storing energy (as in Epstein's call for more X-factor--separation between the hips and shoulders), injuries can result because the energy will continue to store until it reaches the maximum for that joint. The joint then has to be strong enough to recover from the excessive stretch position. The bottom line is the athletes have to be strong enough to handle what we teach.
> >
> > In response to the questions from the other gentlemen, I am not referring to any one hitter in particular. Most major league hitters do not necessarily have the best mechanics. So if we model young hitters after one player or another we may be setting them up for failure. Most scouts will look at a player and say he swings like Bonds, A-rod, or somebody that they like and thats how they determine (along with their stats) is a first of last round pick. that player may or may not make it in the big leagues because they do not have the same mental preparation, pitch selection, and many other factors that helped other hitters with similar swings be successful. A young hitter with a hole in his swing, may not pick up on which pitch to hit or know how to work around the weaknesses. And that's why scouting, just like hitting can be a guessing game.
>
> Dr. Chambers
>
> Your statement "most mlb players do not necessarity have the best mechanics" is incredible. Just who does have the best mechanics and where do they play?
>
> And, does your lab include a batting cage?
>
> And, how do you define swing quickness?

A common rule of thumb is that the best athletes typically make up the majority of sports teams in all sports. not those with the best technique. Don't get me wrong. I believe there are players with good mechanics at the professional level in all sports, but the majority of the players succeed in spite of their technique because of overwhelming athletic ability and coordination. I believe some of those players have swings that work for them but not for all athletes who play the sport. that is why a young kid who tries to swing with as much bat speed as a Bonds may not have the same results or perhaps they will have simialr results. It could really go either way.

I am not sure of what you mean by my definition of swing quickness. please expand your question or refer to a specific comment. We do not operate a baseball facility. We are an independent research lab.

Before you ask your next question of where we are located and request more detailed contact information, it is not available to you at the present time. We are a private institution researching injuries in sports. we prefer to remain anonymous. Ocassionally we see a post that we would like to expand on because it can help us get a greater feel for what lies beneath the question or comment. It helps us get an idea of some of the perceptions coaches and athletes have about biomechanics in their sport. It also helps us to look for specific issues in our research. Our research includes shoulder, knee and back injuries in baseball, football, basketball, volleyball, and track and field throwing events. In contrast to what many of you believe there are a lot of similarities between many movements in multiple sports.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to your continued postings on the biomechanics of hitting. But remember ladies and gentlemen, we all have something to learn, event from the simplest of comments or questions of the youngest athlete and greatest scholars on baseball and softball. This true, but only if we choose to look deeper for the answer. Good luck, Mr. Mankin

Dr. David Chambers <<<

Hi Dr. David Chambers

I thank you for your thoughtful comments. Since your post is quite lengthy, I will to need to address your statements in different sections. I find a more productive dialog when the number of topics addressed is limited.

You stated "You make a somewhat valid argument, but I think you are missing a small detail. I experimented today with your analysis and came up with a different assessment of the same motion. You stated.... "As the elbow and forearm slides inward, the path of the hand straightens and there is no circular hand-path as there would be in skipping a rock across a pond. This is also a weak position for the batter to apply torque to the bat and the end result is a poor baseball swing"

According to my tests, the path of the hands does not straighten due to the continued rotation of the torso, which keeps them on a circular path. In my findings, once the elbow has gotten into the "slot posiiton", the hands appear (to the naked eye) to take a linear path."

Dr. Chambers, I have not viewed the results or how you conducted your test, therefore, I am unable to comment on it. However, I would agree that if the back-elbow stayed in the slot (elbow stays back at the batter's side) as the body rotates, the hand-path would be circular. But that is just the point. With the vast majority of hitters, from Little League to the Pros, that lead with the elbow and then pull with the hands, the elbow does NOT stay in the "slot." It slides inward past the batter's side toward the bellybutton. As I stated earlier. - "But the added inertia of the bat (as compared to a pebble) causes the elbow to then slide in toward the bellybutton. As the elbow and forearm slides inward, the path of the hand straightens and there is no circular hand-path as there would be in skipping a rock across a pond. This is also a weak position for the batter to apply torque to the bat and the end result is a poor baseball swing."

This type of mechanics does produce a much straighter hand-path. I was probably overstating the case in the above paragraph when I said there would be 'no' Circular Hand-Path. It would have been more accurate if I had pointed out that the hands are arcing toward the shortstop when the bat-head comes through. - This explains why batters have trouble hitting the outside pitch.

I will cover your next statement in another post.

Jack Mankin

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