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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hands back,then stride VS stride as hands go back

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Thu Nov 17 23:02:55 2005

>>> Jack,

You speak of the first movement of the hands being a circular path away from the pitcher as the swing is being initiated. This seems to be what we refer to as upper body twisting (away from the pitcher) during the negative move. This movement can be detected in our pro clips among about 75% of the players. Some pros twist more than others, however even the most radical twist is still what I would term as very slight.

Our experience is that excessive twisting among young players would be when the act of twisting the upper body causes the head to rotate (toward the catcher), making the back eye loose sight of the ball thus killing depth perception. Since this movement begins as the pitcher is releasing the ball, good depth perception during this time is essential.

The pros who exhibit the negative twist do not twist enough to cause this detrimental head movement. What I am seeing in the pros is twist that causes the hands to move in very small arc that would be no more than two or three inches depending their location when the negative move begins.

Have you been able to quantify the optimum amount of negative upper body twist that is desirable? <<<

Hi Jim

Your first sentence reads, “You speak of the first movement of the hands being a circular path away from the pitcher as the swing is being initiated.” – I need to clarify that a little. -- During the inward turn, the hands may be rotating back (counter-clockwise for a right-handed batter) to the launch position. But during initiation, rotation of the shoulders rotates the hands clockwise. Their first movement (top of the circle) is perpendicular to the flight of the ball – or parallel with the catcher’s shoulders.

What I term “inward turn,” you “refer to as upper body twisting (away from the pitcher) during the negative move.” I agree that the problems you describe can occur with to much negative rotation of the shoulders. However, by “shrugging” the lead-shoulder, a batter can attain plenty negative lead-shoulder rotation without placing pressure on the head to also rotate. Below is a post from the Archives I wrote on this topic.

Jack Mankin

Re: Anyone???

Posted by: Jack Mankin (mrbatspeed@aol.com) on Tue Jan 13 13:36:07 2004

>>> Can anyone give feedback from my previous thread? What are your thoughts?

"Here is some food for thought! In relations to BHT and THT, you stated in a previous thread that upon reaching contact, the front shoulder will be pulled back to the catcher causing BHT.

I want to take this a little further. Wouldn't you say that this pulling back of the front shoulder also causes shoulder torque (front shoulder being pulled back towards the catcher and the rear shoulder being pushed towards the pitcher)? Also, wouldn't you say the same holds true for the hips, beings that they work in sequence?

If this is true, then which torque application training process would you think could have a greater impact for hitting with power - hand torque or shoulder/hip torque? I think that if you focused on the shoulder/hip torque training, it will cause greater rotational forces." <<<

Hi Kajun Coach

Since the hips and shoulders are rotating around a fixed axis (the spine), it would seem logical that the back-shoulder would be rotating around toward the pitcher at the same rate the lead-shoulder is rotating back toward the catcher. However, this not actually true because there is an added dimension to lead-shoulder rotation.

From the Archives: -- “Each shoulder has 90+ degrees of movement independent of the spine or other shoulder. As the batter extends the hands back toward the back-shoulder to set up the launch position, the lead-shoulder rotates inward about 60 to 70 degrees from its straight away position. I have referred to this inward rotation as the “Shrugging of the lead-shoulder.”

As the rotational batter prepares to launch the swing, he can almost rub his chin on the shoulder. (In fact, Matt Williams does just that as he waits for the pitch.) It is very important that the “shrug” remain in the shoulder during initiation. If the batter fires the hands forward, the shrug will come out of the shoulder and the lead-arm will be forced away from the chest too soon resulting in a loss of linkage and disconnect to body rotation.” --

Therefore, during a good rotational swing, the lead-shoulder rotates through 60+ more degrees than the back-shoulder. The rotation of the body supplies most of the energy for the swing, but as you practice to perfect your swing, your primary focus should not be concentrated on the mechanics that rotate the hips and shoulders. I seldom find the lack of hip or shoulder rotation to be the root of a batter’s problem.

It is important to keep in mind that the ultimate purpose of all swing mechanics is to attain maximum acceleration of the bat-head into a predicable swing plane. Our concentration at initiation should be focused on accelerating the bat-head into its arc back toward the catcher. --- Below is a portion of my response to an e-mail I just received regarding a problem of rotating the lead-shoulder back to the 105 degree position.

“There are a few things to keep in mind when initiating the swing that will allow the you to bring the bat to contact with the back-elbow still at your side (“L” position) and the lead-shoulder pulling back to 105 degrees.

You must retain the shrug (inward turn) in the lead-shoulder as you initiate body rotation. If you direct your hands back toward the pitcher, the shrug is gone and a more linear hand-path will develop. The hands will be too far extended to get the 105 – BHT – or the “Hook” effect.

You must keep the hands back and think about accelerating the bat-head back toward the catcher – not your hands (or knob) at the pitcher. Think about holding the top-hand back (or pulling back) and letting the pull on the knob (toward 3ed base) from the rotation of the lead-shoulder to first accelerate the bat-head back toward the catcher – then around toward contact. When initiated correctly, the balance of the mechanics will just happen in the proper sequence. – This is best practiced with a heavy bag.”

Jack Mankin


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