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Re: Re: Re: Initiation, Jack?

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Mon Aug 10 13:25:44 2009

>>> I think this is the most important post on this great website of information. What Jack says about how the mind sets up a motor program to accomplish the body movements you envision a huge lightbulb goes off for me. I think this is it right here. This is what every hitter trying to improve their swing should think of. This should be the title of the "project". I think too many coaches and players try to train each individual body movement. Learning to use the hips correctly and everything else. It's all on autopilot if you are swinging the bat the correct way. That is with the hands. What the hands do dictates what the rest of the body does. This is so important to understand.

Looking at my swing on video I think that my swing is all in the arms. It looks as if I extend/push my arms straight to the ball and then snap my wrists to get the bat head around. I want to obviously take away any linear movement with my hands because what does that do to the bathead?? It just slides the bat head along. I want to train my hands to go in that circular hand path. I do think that is crucial. If I do this in slow motion sure enough my lower body will do something entirely different. It will look like the mlb hitter's body does for the most part.

If a player can just train their hands to work correctly and go circular and not linear than the body will do what it needs to do. I do think that this is the absolute of rotational hitting and it's all thanks to Jack. If there's any one drill that I am going to be concentrating on for now on it's going to be drills that put my hands in a circular path. I think it's time I get a heavy bag and start practicing this. I have your video Jack, but do you recommend any other drills such as what you recommended here with the top hand thumb touching the shoulder?? <<<

Hi Dave

Your post indicates you are on the right track. I will just add a few important points for you to keep in mind during your practice. -- (1) The rotation of the body rotates the arms and hands around the swing plane (CHP). (2) The push/pull of the arms and hands (Torque) induces bat rotation about a point between the hands. The two added together produces high level mechanics.

Two batters with equally powerful rates of hip and shoulder rotation can produce very different rates of bat speed generation. The difference is; 'Did the batter's transfer mechanics (use of their arms and hands) keep the angular acceleration of the bat in sync with their shoulder rotation?'

"Bat Drag" occurs when shoulder rotation and the advancement of the hands does not produce a corresponding angular acceleration of the bat. The batter's shoulders fully rotate and their hands arrive in the contact zone, but the bat-head remains lagging 30 to 70 degrees of rotation from contact. This results in little power to the opposite field and most of their better-hit balls being pulled foul.

As you pointed out, a key component to eliminating bat drag is the angular acceleration of the bat generated from taking the hands in circular path. To that end, it is imperative to understand that the advancement of the hands around the swing plane must be powered from shoulder rotation -- not the arms. The more the arms get involved in accelerating the hands (as a unit), the more the swing becomes disconnected from the larger muscles of the legs and torso.

Note: The role of the hands and arms is to induce the bat to rotate about a point between the hands -- not to advance the hands.

Shoulder rotation is generated from those larger muscles of the legs and torso we mentioned above. The key to great power and bat speed is mechanics that keeps the swing connected to that power source. As I stated above, when the arms advance the hands ahead of shoulder rotation, disconnection occurs and much of shoulder rotation is wasted taking up slack rather than applying force to generate bat speed.

Applying torque at the handle (THT) during initiation adds to the bat-head's rearward acceleration. This added rearward acceleration allows the bat to stay in sync with a higher rate of shoulder rotation. Great bat speeds are generated when the acceleration of the bat-head stays in sync with a faster rotating body.

Below is an overhead view of John applying PLT & THT. Note how he accelerates the bat-head rearward about a point while his hands stay back and allow his shoulder rotation to swing his hands into a CHP.

PLT/THT -- Overhead View

Jack Mankin


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