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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Pro Example

Posted by: tom.guerry (tom.guerry@kp.org) on Sun Nov 26 11:05:44 2000

I think HoffmanLa makes an excellent point in that the key differentiator in the good and great swing is batspeed.The keys he mentions and Jack demonstrates are essential to maximize batspeed as discovered by visually identifying the universals shared by the most productive major leaguers.These universals are the result of underlying physical and mechanical principles that can not be violated without significant loss of batspeed.

The power swing is primarily a timing skill.Timing error is minimimized by shortening the swing(minimal swing radius and staying on plane)and by maximizing batspeed along this path(body better able to predict swing duration).Another strategy for increasing batspeed without greatly lengthening the swing is to get the bat started the same way for every pitch(or at least for every pitch you are willing to swing at for a given pitcher).Adjustments for a particular pitch must be pretty much done by launch with only slight adjustment at the margins possible after this as explained by Jack.So posture adjustment to get on the right plane must occur by the time of launch.

Yet another strategy to work as well as possible within the reaction time is to have as few distinct motor programs(swing types)as possible and still have full plate coverage(Big Mac for example).It is also important to control the swing with the hands which are best able to learn to hit a spot at the right time.Jack's swing explains this in terms of the application of top and bottom hand torque which are very minor adjustments that allow the hands to be the ultimate swing timing/sweetspot position controller once the swing is on plane with the hands staying connected to the torso in a circular path.

It is important also to think of how adjustments best match the swing plane to the pitch trajectory to maximize the contact zone(maximize volume of space in which there can be solid contact/ball-bat collision that puts hard hit in fair territory).Maximum batspeed requires swinging the bat perpendicular to the torso/parallel to a line drawn through the shoulders from launch to contact.So there has to be turn around the right vertical axis with the right combination of bend at the waist(what golfers call the spine angle)and backward tilt(which determines the amount of upward inclination of the swing plane.You may need less backward tilt on the low ball than the high ball because you contact the ball far enough into the swing that the direction of the bat in the swing plane is more up for the lower contact point than for the higher.

Now all of this sounds very complicated,but is really just the straightforward application of fundamental principles/universals.The hands will learn how to demand the total body motor program required to do all these things almost instantaneously,just as they learn to do other miraculous things like get your glove to the right spot to catch anything thrown your way.You would not want to confuse the student with these terms,only give them simple cues that lead them toward the desired visual reality.You as a coach,however,must be able to think in these terms to distinguish the necessary universals from the unique motions of a given player that are compatible with these universals.


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