Re: Re: Hank Aaron
I believe a linear stride (or soft fall) is essential in providing separation of the hands before the swing. As a general rule most kids combine both the swing and the stride. However, I have found in my teachings that if a youngster is taught to stand on one foot (the back) and hold the bat vertically, his instincts will tell him to step first and then swing. This where I feel all the confusion comes from. Weight shift prior to the swing and weight shift during the swing are completely different. Hank Aaron was the master, but others have prospered (ie..Sadahara Oh, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Ken Griffey, Juan Gonzales, and the list goes on.) My observations of these great hitters was that they did fall forward, thus moving their heads, but this fall allowed their torsos to coil naturally (instinctually), thus providing a nice separation of the hands. As they reached the launch position their heads then became frozen. The fall was also significant. Pitching, throwing a frizbee, or even jumping off one foot requires a fairly aggressive weight transfer in order for the front leg to provide an aggressive and opposite reaction, thus the ability to firm up. The harded and more aggressive the front leg straightens, the more agressive the hip torque, or so I believe. I myself use this philosophy in hitting and have enjoyed rounding the bases from time to time. I have an open mind, so feel free to comment (good or bad). This is what it feels like to me.
For the most part, I agree with you. Especially when you stated “The harded and more aggressive the front leg straightens, the more agressive the hip torque.” However, I have not found that an aggressive forward weight transfer is necessary for the lead-leg to straighten. Some hitters may use a forward weight shift to load the leg as you describe but some do not.
I would point to Bagwell (http://www.youthbaseballcoaching.com/mpg/bagwell1.mpeg) as one example. He aggressively straightens the lead-leg to drive hip rotation. However, it occurred after taking a negative, or rearward, stride. Other hitters attain great lead-leg extension for the “no stride” approach. I agree the batter should have plenty of flex in the lead-leg at foot plant, but as I said, I have not found an aggressive weight transfer necessary to achieve it.
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