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answer for grc

Posted by: tom.guerry (tom.guerry@kp.org) on Sat Oct 28 12:29:27 2000


Thanks for reading through that long post.Things got less clear at the
end along with typos.First let me clarify:

One of the most difficult things to learn is AVOIDING premature
extension of the back arm.

Elbow up then down before/at launch helps initiate the swing with top
hand torque,but doesn't have much to do with encouraging a circular
start to the handpath.

The position of the hands at launch(up and in behind the head-not back
down or out)is important for getting the hands started right.

It sounds like RQL's experience is similar to your son's.This would be
my guess about how his mechanics evolved(RQL-please feel free to
correct.He's a righty who bats lefty.The swing is dominated by a down
swinging lead arm resulting in a downward swing plane(aside-from
Paul's recent post he thinks in terms of the plane of the shoulders-I
am talking about the plane the bat is turning in)that doesn't match
the trajectory of the pitch well,and with a relatively late bat on the
inside stuff.This results in line drives to center,grounders to right
and popups to left (when late on the inside stuff).

This is caused by what a golf pro would call "swinging over the
top".If you don't play golf have a pro demonstrate to you what this
means and how they correct it.Basically what happens in hitting is the
handpath is started by extension of the front(dominant) arm instead of
by shoulder rotation,So the bat goes out away from the body taking the
shoulders with it and usually resulting in some forward lunging of the
torso.This is also similar to what we have called the downward
chopping swing.

My reading of RQL's post is that he approached this by working on
changing the contact point and angle of the bat(in the horizontal
plane/parralel to the ground).He did huge amounts of tee work and
found what helped pull the inside/middle ball was more hip turn.Next
he used more top hand and got the ball up more because this seemed to
stop the downswing sooner(?some wobble/uppercutting to swing).Finally
he learned to lean back and get the hands in to pull the inside corner
pitch(similart to Piazza's first series homer this year)with the
tighter handpath keeping the bat angle fair longer.He also did lots of
strength and hand-eye work and is exceptionally good on the mental
side,of course.Mechanically,the adjustment was to create an arcing
handpath for the inside pitch.

I would think working on this location would also be a good place for
your son to focus.I would work on what Jack calls bottomhand
torque.This really emphasizes the shoulder rotation driving the bottom
hand in a controlled arc all the way until contact with no
lunging,even requiring more lean BACK for the inside location.The tilt
of the torsoe at launch has to do with how much the swing lifts the
ball in general.As far as starting the handpath circular,it is
important to know the feel of starting it with shoulder rotation(not
with shoulder tilt or arm action that breaks down the backside) and
with the hands up and in behind the head.

As Paul's recent posts show,the body feels and controls various motor
programs in a way that is different from the sequence they are run
in.The upperbody controls the lower and the hips control the legs even
though the legs have to execute first to start the hips which start
the torso which start the hands,etc.This is why so many people
emphasize the hands in the swing.Then they lose perspective and have
the hands also start things like taking the knob to the ball,etc.The
proper feel of the hands is probably the key swing control factor,but
the execution has to be with mechanics that have the handpath driven
by shoulder rotation with the arms creating a firm connection and
torque forces."Throwing" can be an effective cue if it is the feel of
throwing the batHEAD as Jack states.If you throw the knob,you will get
whipping(ineffective)transfer mechanics with the back elbow in front
of the hands.Another cue/drill that can help with the feel of the
hands is one recommended by Jeff Hodge at biomechanicbaseball.He
recommends the thought of hitting the inside of the ball.This can be
done with tee work by placing the ball on the tee with a seam inside
as a target.This promotes the tight arcing handpath via hand feel that
is the best way to drive the swing program.

Remember that tee drills are refining a spatially optimized swing,not
a game(max batspeed/timing optimized)swing,so there must be other
drills to take this to the game.Jack also demonstrates the golf drill
and bag drills that help teach top hand torque which is important on
the outside pitch when you ch


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