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Re: Re: Re: cue for weightshift


Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Thu Feb 22 11:30:25 2001


>>> Jack and RQL -
Jack, I agree with your assessment of back to center vs. rotational lower body.
You said "With the back to center model, the lead leg is more firm (or posted) at foot plant and the lead side becomes the pivot point (or axis) for the body to rotate around." This is a significant offset of the axis of rotation and results in what I call a backside hitter. They use their back side (right side for a righty) instead of both halves of the body.
Mike Epstein has an interesting variation on the rotational model. He pushes (or starts) the weight 60% forward, then uses the front leg to push the front hip back around, and the weight back to center (inside of the back thigh). This works well in my experience. Combining the front leg pushback with the back leg turnover (squish the bug or whatever), you get good leg action from both front and back sides. It also promotes front heel down as the swing trigger.
I have noticed many major leaguers, both striders and non-striders, who have that moment of weight forward and front leg pushback. The plyometric response (load/unload) of muscles says that a muscle fires stronger when it is first stretched. Jumpers go down to jump up.
Watch Sosa load and unload his front leg. Watch Bagwell pull his front foot back under him to load it. That has the same effect as putting some weight forward.
Any thoughts on this? <<<

Hi Major Dan

I also have wound it helpful at times to have more weight forward in my stance. It does seem to place more emphasis on using the lead leg for maximum hip rotation. But placing more weight forward means the body’s axis will be tilted forward or toward the pitcher. I do not think this is a good position to initiate the swing or start rotation from. To accelerate the bat into the proper swing plane, the body needs to rotate around an axis that is tilted 10 to 15 degrees away from the pitcher.

Therefor I think it more productive to set the axis angle prior to initiation rather than having the axis fading away from the pitcher during rotation. As I mentioned earlier, I set the angle during the inward turn, which allows me to then rotate around a fixed axis. I have found this to be true for most of the better hitters.

Note: In order to show that a “forward weight shift” was not an essential factor in generating bat speed, I spent a good deal of time looking for instances where a batters weight was “fading away” from the pitcher. I found that most (80 to 90%) of the better hit balls came from a stationary axis with a few where the axis drifted forward or back more than a couple of inches (about an even number of each).

Jack Mankin


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