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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Back Elbow Down

Posted by: Joe Hernandez (coach2hit@yahoo.com) on Wed Jun 28 16:29:03 2006

> > >>> Hi Jack(!),
> >
> > I don't see where we disagree with regards to the "correct" biomechanical movement of the elbow during the swing. I was referring to keeping the elbow up and staying there through the entire swing. As far as I'm concern, a hitter can start his stance on his head with his elbow's crossed and his palms on his face as long as he is able to be in the "correct" mechanical position as the hitter approaches his phase of the swing. Look at a Julio Franco for a case in point. Yet despite his unique batting stance, he manages to be where he needs to be prior to his swing. Despite his rear elbow near the top of his head and the bat pointing towards the pitcher, he is able to, when he launches his swing, to bring and keep his elbow close to his body...from that moment on, most of his mechanics are almost identical to all great hitters.
> >
> > Each player has their own style that works best for him. For most youngsters, keeping the elbow (and leaving it there) up does not allow a hitter to be able to tuck his elbow as he begins his swing...what happens then is that the hands are forced away from the body because the rear elbow, having been kept up, extends prematurely.
> >
> > All great hitters "slot" their rear elbow "tight" against their body. Doing so allows the hitter to elevate their front elbow, which facilitates him to get on the plane of the pitch. You will also notice that all great hitters stabilizes their weight on the inside of their rear thigh which further allows him to match the plane of the pitch.
> >
> > My concern is when we are "dispensing" advise to younger players (the initial question refers to a youngster). The younger kids tend to "copy" the hitters they see on MLB. This is good but it can also be bad...they see a good hitter with his rear elbow way up, not realizing that most ML players can make last minute adjustments or how they make it on a consistent basis. They are also the best. Their exceptional talent also allows them to get away with certain quirks in the pre-swing. Some like Gary Sheffield, with his lightning fast hands, allows him additional time to get his swing started.
> >
> > Bottom line is this...if a hitter is able to keep his elbow up in his stance and is able to "tuck" his rear elbow by the time he reaches the launch position, then leave him alone. Just understand the difference between the elbow up during the pre-launch phase and where it needs to be during the actual swing.
> >
> > Whenever I work with youngsters I try to keep it as simple as possible...respect the hitter's style as long as the the "technique" is correct.
> >
> > My Best,
> >
> > Joe Hernandez <<<
> >
> > Hi Joe
> >
> > I agree. The elbow should be lowered to the slot as the swing is being launched. I would only add that both great and poor hitters slot the elbow. The key difference being the rearward acceleration of the bat-head to the lag position they attain while lowering the elbow.
> >
> > I have not found that performing a Sheffield type pre-launch movement requires great athletic talent. It is more of a finesse movement that requires little strength or hand speed. I demonstrated to a group of scouts that the bat-head could be accelerated from pointing at the pitcher back to the launch position by pulling back with just one finger of the top-hand (the bottom-hand providing a pivot point).
> >
> > PS Thank you for the many helpful suggestions you provided to the questions asked on the board.
> >
> > Jack Mankin
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Regarding Sheffield's full technique, it definitely helps with regard to the athletic ability. Usually when players fall off balance or overswing, they do not hit well. Sheffield like Vlad Guerrero manage to do so.


Let's not forget how difficult the "mental" aspects is of hitting the ball. It's hard enough as a hitter to "focus" without all that bat movement regardless of skill...but to do so and still be able to make contact in a "real" game, under pressure, is, in my opinion, something "extra" that a player like Sheffield has...this type of finesse, as our resident hitting guru Jack refers it has, is a subtlety in skill and performance that requires a discriminating mind to be able to handle the bat in such a fashion and succeed.

Even if it is just showmanship, it makes for interesting entertainment and ML ballplayers are entertainers as well. There is a huge world of "mental mechanics" difference to what can be done on the field in "practice conditions" vs. what can be done under "real game conditions". Not every aspect of hitting can be measured with the ruler of science...the mental component is equally important and far more difficult to measure, which is why hitting is both science and art. To the degree that a hitter can implement and combine the two is to the same degree that he will succeed at the plate....just a "subjective" opinion.


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