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Re: RQL's story

Posted by: rql () on Tue May 29 11:39:01 2001

> I think one of the most interesting posts ever on batspeed was the story of the mechanics adjustments you had to make over your career-your post of Sept 23,2000.I don't know how much your analysis of this evolution has changed,if at all,over the intervening months,but I would be interested in your opinions and the opinions of others,such as Jack,Major Dan,grc,et al concerning the diagnosis and changes to address the diagnosis.
> At first there was a lot of emphasis on batting left/throwing right and muscle imbalance,and later more emphasis on mechanical change,and then more ideas about specific mechanical adjustments.I wonder how much agreement we can find about the diagnosis and fixes?
> My summary of your story(?accurate)-
> Your story sounds like one you hear a lot now that we are tuned in to these ideas,but at the highest talent level.You dominate in high school hitting drives to the opposite field and ground shots to the near side.You are told you have to be able to pull the ball.You don't seem to be able catch up or stay back for the major league stuff.You teach yourself to pull,but get lots of dead pull foul balls.You learn to keep these fair,but you end up with different mechanics for away(weight-shift) and inside and your strategy has to be look away and adjust in more than you would like.
> Analysis/diagnosis
> Your initial diagnosis was an incorrect bat angle.Too much downswing from a dominant bottom arm and not enough hip turn to get the bat around.Also lots of emphasis on needing to develop more top hand backside strength to overcome a dominant bottom hand.We called the handpath a chopping a-c type.
> In looking back and using Jack's ideas as a frame of reference,it seems likely that one basic problem may have been the tophand pushing the handpath out(premature extension of handpath or what Lau would call overdominance of top hand).This would make for a linear/weight shift type swing and inhibit shoulder rotation.In addition to hampering body rotation by early extension of the hands,the swing would also be out of plane with the shoulder turn,limiting the chance of solid contact.
> Do you still think of this as a bottom hand dominance problem?Do you think what Jack describes as bottom hand torque with hooking of the handpath is what keeps the dead pull fouls from happening?Do you think tophand torque at initiation(instead of pushing with the top hand) can give more similar mechanics for the away pitch?How would you now use cues/instructions to make the transition-does the grip need to be changed,is pulling back the front shoulder a good cue for bht on the inside pitch,how about lean back?One point I really learned from was your description of getting the back elbow down at the SIDE,as opposed to letting it continue in near the belly button where you "get behind the power curve" and prevent transfer of momentum from the torso.
> Also how do you improve hip turn?Jack has done a great service by pointing out the importance of ongoing torso turn.For the inside pitch,you must learn to use the lower body to assist torso turn as much as possible,while avoiding using the arms to extend the handpath to avoid shutting down torso turn early.There is also the necessity of a "stationary axis of rotation" from initiation to contact.The more recent bug squishin posts have been enlightening.Ideally,the legs need to be used to create rotation around the spine.Too much backside pushing tends to make the back arm want to extend and also pushes the axis of rotation more around the front leg which inhibits torso turn.I think being overconsciuos of the backside may also limit separation(andquickness and power)at initiation-degree of upper/lower separation being the power generator.You had mentioned more back hip action to help get the hips around.Is this still what you use as a cue?
> This also begs the question of whether front shoulder pull back accentuated for the inside actually shifts the axis of rotation more over the back hip and assists ongoing torso rotation late in the swing as opposed to this just happening because of the rduction in radius of the hooking handpath.
> I know this is a lot of stuff,but it might help pull things together to think of these things together.Any input would be appreciated.How do you now diagnose and treat the problem? >>>>>Tom,thats alot to chew on so I will try to wittle it down a little at a time.I won't say that my mechanics were the best idea because I like the idea of 1 mechanic and wait longer away but mine were set in stone and the best I could do to adjust was on the new pull field.Now the way I hit to opp. field I do believe allows more room for timing error,but less power,once you get your bat on plane on an away or middle pitch and your hands move consistently forward so to keep the bat angle the same longer you can hit liners and grounders up the middle more consistently and for some reason many balls to shortstop seem to elevate into the gap for me.This is how I think Gwynn and Boggs built up many of their 6000+ hits. Now the balance idea of front and back I believe was important because rotation is smooth and circular and one dominating the other disrupts the circular motion,creates drag.Fred McGriff told me he feels balance is most important part of mechanics,Epstein speaks of 50/50 feel of front and back,so this is still the beginning of the change for one who leads with the bottom hand and drifts the rear,but it is not the whole solution,more later rql


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