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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: bug squashing

Posted by: Major Dan (markj89@charter.net) on Fri Apr 13 05:49:05 2001

>>> jack...i made the following comments at tim olson's site and i would appreciate your comments as well........since the last bug squashing thread i have made some observations and have drawn some conclusions.....my observations started when i noticed on film that when my son was taking dry cuts his back foot was simply spinning & the back heel was hardly getting off the ground......however in his game swings he was not at all spinning on the back foot and in fact was somewhat "dragging" the "bug".......and what was the difference in his dry cuts and his game swings?....well, for some reason in his dry cuts he had a medium-width stance and was striding only about 3 inches....in his game swings he had a medium-width stance but was striding about 9 inches....my tentative conclusion was that how narrow or how wide you end up after the stride will be a facor in how much your back foot "spins" vs. how much your back foot drags ( and on film the back foot dragging a moderate amount "looks" much more correct than a back foot that is simply spinning)...............then i went back to my old video clips (most of which were downloaded from setpro).....i noticed that weightshift hitters and rotational hitters alike DO NOT SPIN ON THE BACK FOOT, THEY "DRAG THE BUG!!!......and i also noticed that at launch position their two feet are fairly wide......my conclusions (finally): (1) a hitter who ends up too narrow will spin on the back foot, which means that anti-bug squashers have a valid point, much more so than i had previously thought ...(2) it seems that almost all major leaguers (based on my non-scientific sampling) end up wide and do not squash the bug...THEY DRAG THE BUG!!!.......will yanyone agree or disagree with my conclusion that there is a connection between distance of the two feet (at launch position) and back -foot dragging vs. back -foot spinning?.......all comments, negative and positive would be greatly appreciated....respectfully, grc.... <<<
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Hi grc
> > > > > >
> > > > > > It might surprise you to know that I recommend “bug squashing,” for no-stride or soft-stride hitters. But with one major difference, the squashing is done with the lead-foot. --- After foot-plant, the batter should have the lead-heel off the ground with the knee at the plate or first base. Many of those batters using no-stride or soft-stride will use an inward tuck of the lead knee (along with an inward turn of the hips and shoulders) as a timing trigger. Hip rotation is initiated as the lead knee and foot rotates back around toward the pitcher the heel lowers. The lead knee will continue to turn and straighten until at contact the lead leg is fully extended. --- So I would have the lead toe squashing the bug.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > I have found that teaching this lead side mechanic causes the back-knee and leg to naturally form the proper “L” position at contact. It just seems to automatically happen. To rotate around a stationary axis (axis not fading back or forward) the batter only needs to have good weight balance (about 60 – 40) as the mechanic is initiated. The bat’s momentum during the follow-through will still cause the weight on the back-toe to become light. But normally the toe will not drag forward as much as seen in hitters with longer more aggressive strides.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Jack Mankin
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > >i thank you and tom for your responses but now i have some more observations and comments.......after careful observation of players ranging from aaron to palmeiro, i have noticed that not only is there toe drag but also there is a FORWARD SHIFT OF THE BODY IN THE DIRECTION OF THE PITCHER (not much, perhaps 6inches or so )during the swing and while the hips are rotating.....whereas hitters (mostly ameteurs) who "spin" off the back foot do not have this forward body movement (anchoring the back foot into the ground restrains the forward body movement).....i point this out because one of the major tennents of your philosophy is that such a forward body movement (which is quite evident in many of my clips) is linear and therefore not compatible with rotational mechanics....i disagree that this forward body movement is incompatible with rotational mechanics............and i would like to point out that there are many ameteur coaches who teach rotating off the back foot (which is really spinning) as rotational mechanics (which it is not true rotational mechanics, it is poor mechanics)....comments please...grc....
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > grc,
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > i'm inclined to agree. before, i was strictly against(sorta anti-lau). denying and not keeping an open mind (eyes). still though, have reservations. believe, different strokes for different folks.
> > > >
> > > > an observation and some examples:
> > > > there is a weight shift, however, to varying degrees and TILTS.
> > > > -some batters transfer more weight (on stride leg lift-off) to the rear leg than others (tino martinez vs. palmiero).
> > > > -some let head drift forward with stride (palmiero and griffey)
> > > > -some don't let head drift forward with stride (mcguire, sosa, garciaparra)
> > > > -all however, have hips shift forward with stride.
> > > >
> > > > what do i mean by TILT?
> > > > go to http://www.setpro.com/usb/Forum1/HTML/000013.html
> > > > if i'm right with the web page address then you should see clips of griffey, mcguire, sosa, palmiero, and garciaparra.
> > > > put the point of the mouse pointer on each batter's ear.
> > > > then, put the point of the mouse pointer on each batter's belt buckle.
> > > >
> > > > some are similar, some are way different. one thing is the same though - they all hit.
> > > >
> > > > ray porco
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > .
> > > >ray.....you're right....there is varying degrees of tilt among the hitters, if by tilt you mean how vertical or slanted the upper body is at contact....but from what i can see,slanted or vertical, these hitters have forward movement...to be specific in my observations, IN GENERAL, slightly before the front toe touches the back heel rises off ground....then, with many of these hitters it seems as if they quickly roll their weight from the back foot to the inside edge of the back foot (or in some cases the inside edge of the little toe of the back foot)....from this point the back foot drag or slide begins, and this is the point where i am seeing the forward upper body movement....does anyone else see what i see?
> >
> >
> > grc,
> >
> > made a mistake on the web address (ubb not usb).
> >
> > "...where i am seeing the forward upper body movement....does anyone else see what i see?"
> >
> > i see forward body movement in all batters, BUT not forward UPPER body movement in ALL batters.
> > like i said -mcguire moves his hips forward, but not his head.
> > palmiero moves his hips AND head forward.
> >
> > regardless of how they move forward, the strong hitters move their weight (here we go with the old adage) INTO their front leg not OVER it. the first thing these hitters do after contact is catch themselves with their rear leg (directly below their body mass). the first thing "lungers" (rh) do is step toward first base.
> >
> > "dragging the bug" - i really like that! i've seen a lot of instances where "squashing the bug" has led to back side collapse (including my kid). do you think frank thomas is TOO extreme with his rear foot?
> >
> > ray porco>
> >
> >
> >
> >ray...there does seem to be some general agreement that major league hitters have some forward body movement of varying degrees....whixh brings me back to one of my questions for jack...because jack, you have always seemed to equate forward body movement with "linear" movement and you have alwats said that any linear movement excludes the possibility of good rotational mechanics.....jack, perhaps you could draw a distinction between linear body movement (which i think it is present in all good hitters) and in a linear hand path....respectfully, grc....

grc, Ray, et al-
Paul Nyman is always talking about converting energy from linear momentum into rotational. I think what is being discussed here is exactly that. There is forward movement, with or without a stride, in good hitters. The clips in the 1999 thread that Ray referenced are really good. They show exactly that - forward movement of the hips being converted into rotational energy.
If you look closely at McGuire's and Nomar's clips (and probably some of the others) you can see the quad muscles of the front thigh bulging at contact. I was discussing this with my son last night. The concept of hitting against a firm, rigid front leg (Lau terminology) is not the best way to describe what those clips show IMO, but that phrase is aimed at that 'moment of bulging quads'.
The hips / torso shift forward first. The front leg starts to straighten and push the front hip back while the back leg turns over and drives the back hip through. IMO the center of the hips (bottom of spine) has moved forward during this hip rotation.
[hitnut said this in the March post Biomechanics to coach Tom and Paul:
>when a player rotates they move the center of gravity around their center of mass, taking weight from their back side to their front side. On weight shift platforms a player's weight is back as much as 90% (when the stride ends),with out jumping at the ball or moving center of mass. At contact a player will "rotate" 110% weight into his front side. Simply put there is a dramatic weight shift during hip rotation. Very few good hitters and power hitters push off w/their back foot, this would change center of mass. "
[edited by me for readability only]

The front leg does double duty: it adds hip torque in pushing the front hip back AND it catches the body after weight shift to stop drifting and accelerate the conversion of linear momentum to rotational energy.
Put together hitnut's findings that the player has 110% of body weight on front foot at contact AND look at the bulging front quad of McGuire, Nomar and others at contact. That front leg is doing some heavy duty work. IMO it is converting linear momentum into rotational energy.
This line of reasoning and observation leads to a question.
My current line of reasoning: I suspect but have not measured this, but it seems the bottom of the spine is pretty stable but with some forward movement as the hips rotate. The forward movement comes from the back hip traveling farther forward than the front hip goes back AND that the hips are wider than they are deep (front to back) so turning from sideways to forward moves the spine (center-back of hips) a few inches forward.
The spine at the upper body / shoulders end moves backward. The staight line from front foot through shoulders of the hitters in the clips shows counter balance / counter reaction of shoulders moving back as hips move forward.
My question: the spine is the center of rotation but it is flexible and capable of complex motions. Can it rotate (or the body rotate around it) while at the same time it is flexing or whipping along its length - hip end forward, shoulder end back. Is that what happens to get maximum batspeed and power?


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