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Re: Re: Re: Lower & Upper Body Thoughts

Posted by: dan (dlong@speedracer.com) on Sun Feb 12 06:28:52 2006

> >>> This is my first post here. There is so much in the archived discussions that I feel like I've got to make a good faith effort to work through that stuff first before I can ask more of all the knowledgeable people on this board. But here, I can't resist.
> Jack, given my relative inexperience, it would be difficult for me to argue with you about the merits of the importance of THT as opposed to lower body action. But, assuming you are correct, isn't it extraordinarily likely that the folks on this board owe that misconception directly to you?
> I have reviewed The Final Arc 2 many times. In it, you say, and I quote, "Now I want to point out that this [THT]is an advanced mechanic, and John and I are not going to be working with the younger kids on this because really they should really have down their bottom hand torque -- be very proficient with that -- before they start getting into trying to add top hand torque to the swing."
> What am I missing here?
> I really like the dvd, really appreciate the work that has gone into this site (the reason I bought the dvd), amazed by your restraint and professionalism in dealing with this discussion board, which is online due to YOUR hosting (though it is valuable due to the diverse opinions presented as well). Keep up the good work. <<<
> Hi Dan
> Welcome to the site and, no, you are not missing anything. I did say that THT was an advanced mechanic and batters should be proficient with BHT before trying it. However, the more I work with young hitters, the more I find that in order for them to become proficient with BHT they still must learn to accelerate the bat-head rearward to the lag position during initiation. This requires the holding back (or pulling back) of the top-hand as lead-shoulder rotation pulls the bottom-hand around. BHT cannot be proficiently applied if the top-hand is driven forward during initiation.
> The important point to remember is that in a great hitter’s swing, torque applied through their hands aid the pendulum effect of their CHP in accelerating the bat-head from initiation all the way to contact. I refer to the torque being applied as THT or BHT to denote which hand is applying a rearward force at that point of the swing.
> Jack Mankin


Thanks for the clarification. I have been working with my 9 year old consistently for the last couple of weeks on lower body action and BHT. I introduced THT to him the other day, as suggested on the Final Arc 2. At the end of our session, we usually hit a bucket of wiffles as a reward and also as an intermediate step to try to move his "garage swing" to the field. I didn't ask him to focus on THT, figuring I would drill him some more over the next week, then try it live. All of a sudden, he starts really whipping the bat around and drills three or four balls hard. I asked him what he was thinking about on those swings and he said he was trying to apply what he learned earlier (THT). Looking at the video after, I think it not only started bat speed earlier, I think it kept his rear elbow from moving up towards his belly button during the swing as well, like you say, encouraging an efficient circular hand path. So, I think you are probably correct, as least for my son.

The thing about the THT mechanic that bothers me a little just in theory so far is timing. I guess it shouldn't add any problems in theory since it simply gets the bat moving faster, earlier. I guess I am concerned that at 9, the THT mechanic could turn into a pre-swing loop pretty easily if we don't watch it carefully. Any thoughts on that?


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