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Re: Theory vs Reality

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MRBatspeed@aol.com) on Mon Mar 19 23:35:59 2001

>>> THROW AWAY THE COOKIE CUTTERS and let's get real.
Ballplayers are as different in phyiological make-up as the coaches who teach them are in mental make-up. There frankly is no one way to analyze / correct / teach / learn that fits all. Some coaches and players will appreciate Jack's analytical approach. Others will benefit as much, or more, or just differently, from how Charley teaches.

(And as a side note I agree with Charley, can we all please get past this Jr. stuff? Charley Sr. deserves our respect and appreciation as a groundbreaker in hitting instruction. But so does the next generation. Charley has more than advanced his father's teachings, he has proven its worth and also proven that his new approach is equally valuable with a whole new generation of hitters including some household names.)

I get 'ask the coach' questions all the time at WebBall - and sometimes I might suggest something out of the Charley approach, or the Jack theories, or Wilkinson, or even my own original thoughts (yes I have them) - and when I hear back that something worked, then I know that the real key to good coaching is understanding the player's problem and fixing it - not trying to fit the hitter into a predetermined mold.

So please everyone, tone down the rhetoric and get rid of the cookie cutters. Let Jack and Charley and the rest do what they do best which is work from their strengths and let us as coaches put our kids ahead of the debate on what may be right or wrong. Think about each hitter as an individual and teach in a way that helps that player change for the better. And remember before you get hung up on the arcane issues that there are still coaches out there - and players as well - who think the solution to their hitting problems is to get the back elbow up. Sad but true. <<<

Hi Richard

Welcome to the site. Richard, I see some real benefits to a well-designed cookie cutter approach. Batters can set their own style by how they stand in the box, how they prepare their launch position, how they hold the bat and etc. But once the hands are in the launch position and the swing is initiated, the bat speed the batter attains from the mechanics he has adopted will be governed by the same laws of physics that govern all swings. And the reality is, all the hopes and dreams and hours upon hours of devoted practice will not change that fact.

Jack Mankin


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