Our experience with "Final Arc II" & some questions
I originally asked my questions after the tale of our experience with “The Final Arc II”, but as some readers might find the story a bit long, I’ll pose the questions first, and folks can read our story at the end. Great work on the video! Very easily understood and the drills were easy to follow, and really helped set the student up for success. I especially liked the Part I theory & fundamentals, as they helped set the stage for the drills in Part II. John Elliott does a great job of showing how to apply the drills so that a youngster can follow along & understand the techniques.
OK, here’s my questions:
1. OUTSIDE PITCH: you noted that the shoulders don’t rotate as far when going after the outside pitch. Should the hitters extend the arms to meet the ball (I assume this is a no-no as it turns the swing linear)? Or is the reduced shoulder rotation enough to hit the outsider? My son’s coach says he should move his front foot diagonally towards the outside pitch to get his reach, but I don’t want him to have to change his footwork depending on the pitch location.
2. MISSING PITCHES DOWN THE MIDDLE: I notice that my son Kyle is missing some “sweet” pitches right down the center of the plate, when he’d hit these with his old linear, flat swing. Is this due to the path of angled bat (extension of his right arm, being a lefty) vs the position of a flat-swinging bat? Or is it maybe only a timing issue with the new Batspeed swing, to be corrected with more practice?
3. LENGTH OF STRIDE: Does a longer stride lead to a straighter front leg during connection with the ball? Sometimes I see Kyle with bat in good contact position, but the front leg is flexed. He’s not really pushed through with his back leg (i.e., rotating around stationary axis pretty well), so I wonder if he just strides a little further and thinks about rotating “on the spot” this will help straighten his front leg on impact.
4. HITTING HIGH PITCHES: When swinging for a high pitch, do you just move the trajectory of the arc upwards to meet the ball?
5. BOTTOM WRIST POSITION AT IMPACT: sometimes Kyle’s bottom (right) wrist isn’t extended to allow the bat to become “an extension of his arm” and the bat is dog-legging. Think of looking at the inside of somebody’s wrist who’s just made a fist or given a “thumbs up”, as opposed to their wrist extended AFTER they’d just hammered a nail. When does the bottom wrist extend to properly facilitate the bat position at impact? I’m assuming it’s sometime between application of Top Hand Torque & during the actual swing.
Thanks in advance for your help, & thanks again for a great product! I hope the following story motivates any prospective buyers to take the plunge. You won’t regret it!
Steve & Kyle
KYLE’S EXPERIENCE WITH “THE FINAL ARC II”, June/05
We received your "Final Arc II" video a week or so ago, and I've watched it likely a dozen times, writing notes & taking bat in hand to try the techniques myself before working with my 10-year old son, who's made this year's All Star team. Kyle's pretty much a singles hitter, almost exclusively on ground balls, and will fall victim to better infielding in the All Star league. He rarely hits for distance and never flies out, and usually swings late to 3B or SS (he's a leftie, of course). I've wondered how to get him to hit for more distance as he's quite tall & strong for his age, but never could figure out the mechanics. I bought the DVD in the hopes of finding something help with distance & to give him more confidence at the plate, especially with the better pitching he’s now facing.
This weekend we'd started on your techniques, A to Z. I wrapped plenty of foam rubber pads & flexi-snow slides around a narrow tree (we have no speedbag) to stop his swing, and started on your drills. Kyle was a bit skeptical on things, and he never could watch the entire video with me as it was a bit technical. He picked up the circular hand path idea pretty well, but was a bit mystified by Top Hand Torque (THT). Here’s a THT teaching hint: Kyle was practicing with a light Little League bat & couldn’t see how THT was working. I let him use a large 30oz adult bat for a few swings with & without THT, and he soon got the message: THT brought that big ol’ stick around much faster than his “normal” swing ever could.
After an hour of drills, we progressed to soft-toss on the bag, then off to the park we went. I use a Louisville Slugger Ultimate Pitching Machine for pitch consistency, and the speed's just right for his age. We started BP & crossed our fingers…
So what did we see?
Oh MAN !! Significant improvement in hitting distance: Kyle hit grounders further than I'd ever seen before, and actually PULLED them to between 1st & 2nd, or even hugged the 1B line. And, he'd even popped a couple of long fly balls to RF-CF as well (I assume this to be a direct consequence of keeping his right elbow extended and above his left, changing the bat/ball impact positioning & trajectory).
This was marked improvement after only spending 90 minutes on drills! The best part of the outing was the look on Kyle’s face after pulling one shot about 175 feet to RF, a distance that previously he’d only reach if he ran after his 1st hit & re-hit the ball a second time in the same direction! He just stood there with his mouth open, staring at the ball; I wish you could have seen him.
Fast-forward 2 days, and another hour or so worth of drills & maybe 45 min of BP before yesterday’s All Star practice. Kyle went to bat & the infielders prepped for the expected grounders, and he nailed some liners to mid/deep RF. He hit grounders too, but not many of them could be fielded, as they really motored. I noticed the infielders pay closer attention & get their gloves in the “ready” position after a few of those. Kyle nailed one or two opposite field hits to deep LF, and then the coach (who pitches in Senior Mens ball) wanted to challenge him a bit & threw some with more steam. Kyle whiffed at the first few, as expected, but I was pleased to see his swing form looked pretty much as you’d shown (it’s hard to tell when things move so quickly). Kyle tagged some pretty good grounders, and then fired his hardest hit yet: a fastball that went deep to CF and rolled UNDER the 200 ft fence! The coaches were really impressed, and Kyle had another look of absolute delight on his face. When he came in from the box from his last killer hit, I whispered “That was a nice Mankin on that last one!”, and he just smiled. A couple of the fathers noted how well Kyle was tagging the ball, and I just mentioned we’d been practicing his swing a little bit.
I can’t wait to see how Kyle does in his next game, and I’m now trying to figure out how to simplify things for his 8-year old brother, who will also benefit from the training.
Great work, Jack!! I’m amazed at the difference your methods have made in my son’s hitting in the 3-5 hours we’ve been working on things, and I can’t wait to see how Kyle’s stats improve by the end of the season, once we really “program” his muscle memory with more drills & hitting practice. Bring on the fastballs!!
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