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Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Fri Mar 2 10:43:44 2001

>>> I have been working with my 10 yr old son using the bag drill, and I'm beginning to see that his form is close to that shown in the video. We are strictly working with the rotation, (including the 10 degree pre-swing rotation), and have not done much with THT or BHT.

Last night I had him work through about 50 dry swings while I video-taped him. After reviewing several of the swings in slow motion, it apears that his batspeed is somewhat improved. Even when advancing frame by frame with a 4-head VCR, it is very difficult to see the barrel of the bat as it crosses the plate area.

After an hour of review, I have a questions that I am not completely sure of the answers, and need help on. Should his stance, at the point of contact (POC) be such that his lead leg is at the same angle as the axis of rotation (i.e. straight line from heel through spine), or are other angles acceptable? Ken <<<

Hi Ken

No, after fully extending, the lead leg will not normally line up with the axis of rotation. The angle of the lead leg will mainly be determined by the width of the batter’s feet. The lead leg and axis angle will only line up for batters with narrow stances. --- My 65 years old frame is getting to stiff to work well with a wider more normal stance, so in my case the angles may be more inline. But your son’s probably will not.

Ken, here are a few points to keep in mind while working with rotational mechanics. --- Make sure he has a good inward turn to the launch position -- the lead arm is firmly across the chest -- you should not be able to see his hands from the pitchers mound as he initiates the swing – allow the rotation of the shoulder (not the thrusting of the top hand) to bring the hands – DO NOT ALLOW THE BACK ELBOW TO SWEEP UNDER THE HANDS – think about keeping the back elbow back and slightly away from the side. – think about holding the top hand back ( a form of top-hand-torque) and allowing front side rotation (through the lead arm to the knob end of the bat) to bear a greater share of overcoming the bat’s inertia.

As shoulder rotation is initiated, if too much of the load falls on the back side (top hand), the spine will tend to bend and the back elbow will sweep under the hands toward the bellybutton. This produces sort of a sidearm tomahawk movement of the arms. – Using the front side more tends to keep the spine straighter and the back elbow in a good position. This is another good reason why applying top-hand-torque (pulling the top hand back toward the catcher) at initiation improves the swing.

Jack Mankin


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