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Re: Re: Re: Hank Aaron

Posted by: Shawn (mariner0324@yahoo.com) on Tue Jul 26 21:21:27 2005

> 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.
> Hi Paul
> 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.
> Jack Mankin

I agree with both of you.

An aggressive weight shift like Aaron's is part of his load and unload cycle. He just transfered more weight during the stride then most hitters.

This is what Aaron said he did, taken from his book.

This is what he said about the stride:

As the ball is pitched, you take a stride toward the pitcher with your front foot. Whether you realize it ot not, though, your stride involves more than just that foot or leg. In a way, your whole body is part of the striding motion. With the stride, your weight will shift somewhat to the back foot.

What happens as part of the striding action:

The reason you pivot your hips, shoulders, arms and hands backward as you prepare to swing is based on the same princple as that of a coiled spring. Wind iy up correctly and it can be released with lightning power.

The pitch is on its way. You've made your stride and coiled your power rearward. It looks as if the pitch is in your strike zone and you've decided to swing at it. You uncoil your power. Your hips begin opening toward the pitcher, as you push off your rear foot; your shoulders open and your arms and hands spring forward, drawn by your hips.

It just happens Aaron's way of loading and unloading (coiling and uncoiling) involved a weight shift in it. You can do the same thing without even taking a stride, with a small weight shift. Or a hitter might take a stride without very much weight shift.


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