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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Batspeed

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Tue Apr 12 20:42:01 2005

>>> Jack- I see your response as extremely egotistical. To assume that you and a select few others are the only ones in 'the know ' about the mechanics of the swing and what coaching needs to be given regarding how to help a player get out of a slump as you stated ("Very, very few coaches truly understand the mechanics of a great hitter's swing. They will probably tell the hitter he needs to go back to the basics - which usually means some form of linear mechanics.")... In my option is pretty far off base.

And on an aside-something I have not seen much about on this site- the mental side of hitting …mechanics are only half the battle, you can have great mechanics but if you have no clue as to what to look for or the rhythm needed you have a slim chance at hitting the ball. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve simply talked with hitters, and I don’t mean talking mechanic, I mean talking about why they are getting out…most times its NOT mechanical…surprise!

How many big league hitting coaches have you talked with, at what levels have you worked at in this job occupation, talking about- have you spent a season as a hitting coach for any level other then little league? Your premise that if Berry knew more about his mechanics he would be better...? I guarantee Barry has forgotten more then you know...

Did you happen to see ESPN a few months ago...did you catch the clip of Barry taking batting practice with a mitt on his left (back) hand...watch his path to the pitched ball...short, inside and on top...convince Barry that his first move should be perpendicular to the flight of the ball…I’d love to hear his response. <<<

Hi Scott

It would seem that one of the problems you have with other coaches and myself who post on this site can be pointed out with the question Mike Epstein often asks – “Do we actually teach what we see?” If for example, Barry Bonds were to say that he extended his hands straight back toward the pitcher, many others and myself, would not accept his statement as fact. We have studied many frame-by-frame videos or clips of his swings that clearly show his hands take a circular path. Apparently, you would be inclined to believe what he says over what you see.

There are many of us who have heard Major League Hitters describe their swings in linear terms (similar to your cues) that do not standup to a frame-by-frame scrutiny. There have been a good number of threads comparing player’s comments as opposed to what a clip of his swing actually revealed. The best of them clearly exhibited the rotational transfer mechanics advocated on this site.

Scott, I understand that the concept of a good hitter’s “first movement of the hands should be perpendicular to the flight of the ball” is against everything you were taught and teach. Maybe it is time for you to open your mind and see the path the great hitters actually do take their hands.

Keep in mind that if the hitter keeps the lead-arm in a fixed position (no further bending of the elbow) as the shoulders rotate, the hands must take a circular path. It is when the elbow bends (or flexes) that allow the hands to take a straighter path – or, be directed “inside the ball.”

I have studied hundreds of clips of overhead shots (old Astro Stadium) that show the hands of the best hitters do first move perpendicular to the flight of the ball. However, a clip of Pete Rose: http://www.youthbaseballcoaching.com/mpg/Rose.mpeg is the only available overhead I can find to show you. This clip shows Pete’s hands further from the shoulder (does not ‘hide’ the hands) than hitters who hit for power as well as average. Even from this position, the first movement of Pete’s hands is not linear toward the pitcher or directed “inside the ball” – they are directed toward (or more perpendicular to) the path of the incoming ball. If he had hid his hands like Bonds, it would be perpendicular instead of close to perpendicular.

Jack Mankin


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