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Re: Re: Hitting


Posted by: Shawn (mariner0324@yahoo.com) on Wed Mar 2 09:20:02 2005


> >>> Everytime i hit the ball it's driven into the ground. Some people say I chop down or swing down. Is there any way to help this? What could be some causes? Too heavy of a bat maybe? <<<
>
> Hi Joe
>
> Most of the best hitter’s swings have the bat on a slight up-slope at contact. They will all have the bat-head above the shoulders as they initiate their swing. Therefore, they all must accelerate the bat-head down ward before it bottoms out and slopes upward to contact.
>
> The main difference between your swing and theirs is that they accelerate the bat-head downward behind their shoulder while most of your down slope takes place out in front of the shoulder. By having much of the down-slope occur behind the shoulders means their bat-head bottoms out farther back and is on the up-slope in the zone.
>
> When you drive the hands forward to start your swing, the bat-head starts downward more in front of the shoulder and may not bottom out until after contact. Try keeping your hands back at the shoulders and allow rotation to accelerate your hands (rotational transfer mechanics). This should help you initiate the bat into the correct trajectory. – Below are a couple of posts from the Archives on this subject.
>
> Jack Mankin
> ##
>
> Posted by: Jack Mankin (mrbatspeed@aol.com) on Tue Aug 26 17:33:40 2003
>
> TDS
> >>> Jack I have seen on the message board that the swing is a slight upercut by the great hitters. I was always taught to focus on the top half of the ball. What do the great hitters focus on when rotating to the ball ? I hope you don't say I see the ball I hit the ball. 90% of the young hitters I have worked with when they swing and miss are under the ball, I have always told them to focus on the top half and it seems to resolve the problem. I guess I am struggling on what to tell those same kids that appear to be under it but yet they are suppose to be swinging up at it. <<<
>
> Coach C
> >>I will be in the minority here, but the first move for me is to start down to the ball then, as the the back shoulder begins to dip the bat will begin to level off and then upswing. From my experience most kids have trouble slotting the rear elbow and because of that the bat drops below forearm level at impact. Essentially they drag the bat. I think Gary Sheffield does a wonderful job of slotting the rear elbow, whil maintaining a flat swing. Yes he has a very slight upswing, but he is not trying to swing up.....he swings down.
> I don't believe in trying to swing up, but that's what people see so they teach it. Pujols is another that starts down to the ball, but levels off at contact and finishes high. <<
>
> Hi Gentlemen
>
> Here are a couple of points to consider in your discussion.
>
> (1) Nearly all of the better hitters start with the meat of the bat higher than the back-shoulder. And since contact is made below the belt, it is obvious the bat must be swung downward before it starts in an upward path. The difference between having the swing plane in line with the path of the ball or cutting down through it is determined by the batter’s mechanics. The better hitters keep their hands back at initiation and the bat-head is accelerated on a downward path back behind the back-shoulder (back toward the catcher). The path of the bat will then bottom out and be on a slight upswing in the contact zone. If, on the other hand, the batter thrusts the hands forward at initiation, the downward path of the bat will most often occur out in front of the shoulder and will normally continue its downward path right through the contact zone. --- The main point is – did the bat start downward ‘behind’ or ‘in-front’ of the batter?
> (2) I fail to see how a batter can keep the bat above the forearm when the forearm is belt high and the bat-head could be knee high at contact.
>
> Jack Mankin
> ##
> Re: lead arm, elbow
>
> Posted by: Jack Mankin (mrbatspeed@aol.com) on Thu Aug 28 23:04:29 2003
>
> Question/Comment:
>
> >>> First time posting. Followed discussions for couple years. Purchased Final Arc II about three months ago.
>
> Situation: HS coach told my son to drive his front elbow "down and in." Now he has a downward bat plane as he makes contact with ball.
>
> Question: What is proper position of front elbow in launch position, as back elbow enters slot, and as shoulders turn for contact? Equally important, how do I describe this to me son? Are there any drills that will help him get front arm in right place? <<<
>
> Jack Mankin's reply:
>
> Hi dmaddox:
>
> Think of the plane of the swing as being a flat disc that is tilted down toward the plate so as to intersect the path of the ball in the contact zone. The bat, lead-arm and shoulders should all be in that plane from initiation to contact. You may have the bat more vertical while in your stance, but the bat must drop into the plane of the lead-arm when shoulder rotation begins.
>
> Since the shoulders are rotating on a tilted plane (not horizontal to the ground), the back-shoulder will begin (from the inward turn position) higher and rotate to a lower position as the lead-shoulder starts lower and is rotating upward. You should not have to think about lowering the back-shoulder, it should happen automatically as you rotate if your launch position is correct.
>
> Keeping the lead-arm (including the elbow) in the plane of the swing is an absolute MUST. That means the lead-elbow MUST always remain pointing into the plane of the swing. If the lead-elbow lowers (or drops) down out of the plane before contact -- the swing is ruined. The wrist will start to roll too soon and the bat-head will come out of the intended plane. This will normally cause inconsistent contact and usually results in weak grounders or pop-ups.
>
> Jack Mankin

Very nice post Jack.

I think it's important to envision the swing plane. As it's mentioned in the post above, envision the swing plane as a flat disc. The bat will travel in the same plane as the disc. If the posture is tilted toward the plate then the disc is tilted toward the plate. This would give the swing plane a down/level/up path, just because the swing is following the same path as the disc.

With what Jack mentions they both should help to make solid contact and help to get the bat on the plane of the pitch.

Here is a couple of clips that might help you envision the disc and swingplane.

http://s6.invisionfree.com/Hitting/index.php?showtopic=51


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