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Re: Re: hitting the ball to the opposite side of the feild

Posted by: tom.guerry (tom.guerry@kp.org) on Wed Jul 6 09:56:37 2005

As you know this an area I am interested in.I think it is best illuminated with comparison across skills,especially by comparison and contrast with golf.In the case of golf,Bobby Jones "old fashioned" but extremely comprehensive approach based in part on very detailed viseoanalysis is the most enlightening.

"Modern" golf with hot equipment has drifted toward "oversimplifying" the mechanics with the "single plane" swing becoming ever more popular so you can bomb the ball almost 400 yards and then make do if you have given up a little accuracy.This single plane swing is based on a large amount of separation of torso but on minimizing "plane transition".

The best way I have figured of making sense of this is to think of the loading in terms of two simple motions as Jones did. The backswing consists of the counterrotation/twist/turning/coil of the body back,AND it consists of a lifting action with the arms.The single plane swing controls and limits the "lift" component.

Jones used fairly minimal coil/separation,but very pronounced "lift" which is why he recommended that the club point well to the right (righty) of the target at the top and that it was OK for the club to go well past parallel with a fairly loose grip.

This "lift" portion of the swing is similar to how the tilitng of the bat is used in hitting to accentuate the arm action in a way that quickens the swing without lengthening it by excessive backswing/lengthening.

In hitting.ideally,the swing is shortened by the short swing radius and quick coil rather than lots of coil is enhanced by good arm action.

The shorter the swing radius,the more you need to have the THT,CHP and BHT to have quick consistent bathead acceleration and timing.A grip that allows top hand slippage is also required to allow optimization of both loading and unloading.

One of the biggest helpful understandings that can come from golf once plane transition is understood,is that the short qick swing which allows you to wait on the ball,then execute with minimal timing error while developing adequate maximum batspeed also can maximize a good contact zone by having the bathead get to high speed very early in the swing plane (so called "early batspeed",early in terms of early after unloading has started and early into the swing plane,BUT late in terms of it allows you to wait on the ball before unloading).

Then you have a good window of contact angles where the ball is hit hard and stays fair.

This needs to be understod in terms of what the swing plane/disc looks like while unloading.Optimized quick coiling of the body is what sets this ideal plane up.It needs to be thought of interms of the usual way the golf swing plane is presented with the added understanding about "plane transition"-that is the club is in a different plane as the lifting part of the backswing/coil is executed,then comes back to the desired plane as the final quick body load/stretch is maxed out in the downswing ("xfactor stretch").

When the bat is swung with the desired quickness (swing radius that is onthe short side) in the desired plane (with the desired acceleration characteristics) THEN you will see the desried "hiding of the hands" and "THT" that Jack describes. This is most analagous to the desired plane in golf which is the OPPOSITE of "swinging over the top".

Another way to encourage this swing is what is analagous to "never crossing the line" (not going over the top in golf).

Videomotionanalyis would be much simpler if the computer aided tools were used to demonstrate the orientation of the swing plane from lag to contact and the bathead speed within this plane.

The short swing also requires the belly-up setup and the handpath hook mechanics for middle in (BHT).

One benefit of the tradiitonal attempt to teach going to the opposite field is if by trial and error the palyer learns good body coil and connection dynamics in the desired swing plane.If you do not understand this,however, you just get the inside out hands ahead/disconnection type action to make the coach happy.

As long as you have this undesired swing plane,you will have a tendency to cast and hitaround the ball which makes it hard to cover both sides of the plate with authority (even when you are looking in OR out on a particular pitch).

This was the HUGE advantage that John Elliott saw with JAck's mechanics. Now he has a swing plane that permits him to drive the inside and the outside ball with authority.He can wait on the pitch,the depth of the contact point for inside/out is compressed and he can hit in OR out up the middle (or "gap to gap") hard and with a big margin for error.

Teaching approach is same as in golf.Learn body action with handpath controlled (CHP drill or bat on deltoid). Learn how to control front side (add BHT) learn to optimize with back arm/top hand ("THT").


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