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The Pick Up


Posted by: BHL (Knight1285@aol.com) on Fri Apr 16 00:57:02 2004


>>> I believe that Jack information has benefitted a variety of individuals, possessing hetereogeneous skill levels and statures. Yet, there are three of pointers might prove detrimental to the development of a player. They include 1) putting little emphasis on the importance of the stretch position; 2) dismissing the importance of sitting on the back leg; and, finally, 3) failing to recognize the need to get the front heel planted on time.
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> > > > > > > > Jack contends that focusing on cues that overemphasize the hips leading the hands can cause the batter to forget about swinging the bat-head in an arc. Rather, he opines that if a batter allows the bat to arc back towards the catcher, inertia will cause the seperation that will allow the hips to lead to hands.
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> > > > > > > > Secondly, I read posts where he argues against hinging the rear leg more for low pitches. Contrariwise, he believes that swings are best handled by the batter adjusting the swing plane to a more vertical one.
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> > > > > > > > Finally, his "cue" for bat acceleration is "rotate the heel, rotate the bathead." According to Jack, this "cue" helps the batter use to front leg to assist rotation in a more productive manner than if the heel were just dropped straight down.
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> > > > > > > > However, allowing inertia to cause the hips to rotate ahead of hands causes a very slow swing. If, on the other hand, the batter opens the bottom half, while closing the top half, both halves will spring forward, almost instantaneously. The better connection will cause the lower body to cause the shoulders to rotate much more effectively using this method.
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> > > > > > > > As for Jack's advice to maintain the same posture while hitting, here is what Ted Williams and John Underwood have to say on the subject:
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> > > > > > > > "To get the maximum hitting surface of the bat through the longest possible impact zone you are better off bending your knees and dropping down. The angle of the bat at impact is much sharper when you're up high trying to uppercur. The plane of the swing intersects the downward flight of the ball over a shortened area. You want the opposite" ("The Science of Hitting").
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> > > > > > > > Lastly, one can spin the heel all he or she once, but until the heel drops, no rotations occur. This is seen in the "Final Arc II," where Elliot's rotation begins at front heel plant. A better "cue" might be "open the foot, drop the heel, rotate the bat-head."
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> > > > > > > > Other than that, I think the rest of Jack's instructional "cues" are just fine.
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> > > > > > > > BHL <<<
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> > > > > > > > Hi BHL
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> > > > > > > > First let me say, you’re encouraging young hitters to pull outside pitches is definitely “detrimental to the development of a player.” There are a number of professional hitters with sound rotational mechanics (THT) that can successfully pull outside pitches. However, most hitters, especially young hitters, have a tendency to use more linear mechanics on outside pitches and your recommendation of pulling everything will lead them to many disappointments.
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > I must also point out that your post misrepresents many of my batting principles. I am not sure how many hitters you have worked with to test your ideas, but hundreds of video swing reviews show that the principles presented on this site (and in my instructional video) are working just fine.
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> > > > > > > > Jack Mankin
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> > > > > > > It's about time.
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> > > > > > Hi Teacherman,
> > > > > >
> > > > > > First, let me point out that I do not disagree with any of Jack's mechanics, just his lower body "cues." However, if he feels that his "cues" will help other individuals, he should keep promoting them. I am just making him wary of the reasons why they might not work for everyone. He has his "cues," I have "mine," and others have "theirs." Even your mentor, Paul Nyman, argues that only the desired outcome is important, and not the mental strategies used to achieve them. I have learned a valuable lesson in February: it is unwise to argue with others' "cues," since they tend to be dogmatic about the hints they believe offer them the best chance for success.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > I will go one step further, and posit that as long as everything is contributing to the bat-head arc, he probably does not try to over-correct successful hitters (e.g., Bagwell, who open his front foot while he strides).
> > > > > >
> > > > > > As for my pull-field theories, I still believe in them!
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> > > > > > Just for the record, I want both of you to know that hitters have the right to choose a centerfield or opposite field approach, if they are comfortable in doing so.
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> > > > > > My theory allows smaller individuals to achieve statistical excellence by hitting to the shortest possible field.
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> > > > > > As I said earlier, children probably had better rotational mechanics before adults intruded, and forced their Little League rules on youngsters.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Incidentally, the same people also forced kids to hit "their" way. So, if there is a plethora of weight shift hitters in the lower leagues, the adults are probably the reason why. Even Epstein notes that individuals with perfect mechanics are sometimes asked to "de-learn" their habits, and sometimes can never "re-learn" them again.
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> > > > > > Seen in this light, if a kid wants to pull every pitch, allow it. After all, the game is for the children, not for us.
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> > > > > > An even better step would be to augment it with drills to enhance this ability (i.e., as long as the hitter wants to take the advice).
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> > > > > > Jack has argued that good mechanics are good mechanics, and should be advised at all levels.
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> > > > > > So should pulling every pitch, which made Bonds a Hall-of-Famer.
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> > > > > > Sincerely,
> > > > > > BHL
> > > > > > Knight1285@aol.com
> > > > > >
> > > > > > P.S. Jack agrees that certain professionals are pull field orientees. It is time to bring this approach to little leaguers. As for all of you who continue to support my theory on pull hitting, thanks once again.
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> > > > > BHL, You are incorrect when you say Bonds pulls every pitch. Is Bonds primarily a pull hitter......yes. Does he try to pull every pitch.......no. The reason is that he is a great hitter who is patient, but not stupid. Mays was a pull hitter in New York, but when he came west to SF, he saw that the wind blew from left to right most of the time and started hitting balls to right center that would carry.......why? he was a smart hitter, not stupid. Most great hitters have a primary field, and most of the time it is the pull field, but they don't fight it and that is why they are great hitters........they pull when given the opportunity and go the other way when they are forced to.
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> > > > > Doug
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> > > > You don't learn that in slow pitch softball.
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> > > Hi Doug and Teacherman,
> > >
> > > I would think outside pitches would force batters to go the other way. Yet, when Ott, Mac, and Bonds pull outside pitches consistently, there is no mistake about what they are trying to do, which is pulling the ball over the fence, regardless of pitch location.
> > >
> > > The 7 home runs out of the 100 that went to the opposite field were probably because he was late on the pitch. Even Ferroli acknowledges that going the other way is often "a mistake, not an intention," in his book "Hit Your Potential."
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> > > Also, you questions my credentials as a mere softball player. According to your logic, professionals cannot pull the ball every chance they get, and be successful. Gentlemen, I think it is time to realize that none of us have the Hall-of-Fame credentials of Ted William, the father of rotational hitting. Not only did he pulled everything, he is often lauded for his approach to hitting. Guys, it was a noble attempt to win the argument by bringing up credentials, but historicals proof will win this bout too, even in the credentials category.
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> > > Finally, Jack Mankin said it himself: the mechanics of the baseball swing are no different than those of its softball brethern.
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> > > This means that, once a person gets on top the plate, as SBK suggested, and learns timing, are balls are potential pull field home runs.
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> > > Case closed.
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> > > Sincerely,
> > > BHL
> > > Knight1285@aol.com
> > >
> > > P.S. It would be interesting to hear what others have to say; however, this does not men Doug and Teacherman should not continue to feed me questions. I will answer them based on logic and common sense. God bless all!
> >
> > Yes, the mechanics of the swing are the same in baseball and slow pitch softball. What you don't understand is just because you have a good swing doesn't mean you can hit. Learning to swing is part of the battle. Learning to hit is the other part, a much bigger part. Your assumption that hitting slow pitch softball will be the same as hitting baseball is where you fall off the cliff.
> >
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> No fallacy in BHL's argument, to the contrary it is quite logical. Even more importantly though is that the emperical evidence bears out his argument (witness Bonds, Williams, Macgwire, to name a few).
> > Keep talking though. It won't be long until you've buried yourself and Doug and I won't have to point out the fallacy in your theory.

Hi All,

I believe that when individuals are novices, slumping, or returning their former bailiwick after an injury, they may be in a "rut," and choose to regain their stroke by aiming towards centerfield intentionally.

Nevertheless, some individuals will feel that, as soon as they are able to time the ball, or return their former timing, they will be able to make the instinctive adjustment of how long to wait until they "turn on a pitch." As soon as muscle memory sets in, or returns, they will find an advantage of being too quick with the bat, and pulling the ball. Likewise, the left field fence will appear to be 150--rather than 330--feet aways, since pitched balls will begin to zip of their bats.

This advantageous distortion in depth perception will be the result of bat-speed that these individuals will want to keep as long as possible.

More precisely, the struggling pull hitter does not want to gear all his hits straight away. Rather, he attempts to hit pitches to center at first, and pick up bat speed, until his "projectiles" shower of the left field fence. I call this strategy for helping a slumping pull hitter the "pick-up."

Sincerely,
BHL
Knight1285@aol.com

P.S. If a pull hitter is told to hit to all fields, he will most likely tinker with his timing, experience weird sensations when swinging a bat, and plummet into a slump.


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