Re: Re: JACK!! grc seeks clarification !!!
Hello Joe A.,
Joe A. wrote :
"I read your question to Jack. In it you ask about "squashing the bug." Its is my understanding that "squashing the bug" is about turning the back foot so that it is pointing in the general direction of the pitcher. I have heard this taught to other people.
It used to be that hearing this made me very angry. Now I just shrugg my shoulders and go on. But I couldnt this time. If you turn your hips you will turn your back foot in the direction of the pitcher. If you don't you might break your leg. Its not an action that should be taught or even mentioned. Its the result of another action. Talking about it is just a lot of useless detail that people who want to sound like 'experts' throw around. Try it. You turn your hips, you squash the bug. Don't worry about it. Its silly even to discuss it."
I believe that the squishing of the bug analogy can be useful if a person doesn't overCoach it. In regards to "squishing the bug", I feel that a youngster that is learning to hit can be compared to a person learning to run. You must 1st-crawl, 2nd-walk and then 3rd-run.
1st- A beginning youngster swings the bat with their arms mainly as hitting would seem to them to be an arm dependent task. Virtually no hip rotation until after swing is made.
2nd- Coach gets the kiddo to squish the bug while emphasizing the use of the hips to help the swing via using their whole body. In most cases the kiddo has too much weight on the back foot while doing drills that facilitate this new adventure but at least they are starting to get their hips into the swing.
3rd- Once the youngster gets the hang of the getting the "hip into the swing" and with many repetitions while doing the whole swing at maximum speed then the hip turn is part of their muscle memory along with more resistance/leverage being used against the front leg which allows less weight (if any at all) to be placed on their rear leg while batting.
Overview: Squishing the bug isn't all bad unless it is overCoached and/or over used.
Joe A. wrote :
"About the degree of hip turn, again, silly details, details, details. The hips move first and pull the top of the body into the swing. There is a natural timing to this that will vary from player to player. It is true that the hips can be too far in front but this will not happen unless the player to taught that the hips and upper body operate separately. For example you talk about the to movements as something that are controlled by the batter and he decides when his hips are open enough THEN he starts his upper body into motions. This dosent happen, it can't happen. The players natural timing will decide.
IF the player(and the coach) percieves the swing as one quick, smooth (liquid) motion "unfolding" from the bottom up, the natural timing will take over. Don't muddle it up with a bunch of useless details that confuse the kids and makes the coaches sound like idiots."
Joe, I'll agree with what you wrote about the natural timing and smooth motion.
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