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Re: Re: Re: Re: Questions

Posted by: Torque (roscoethewestie@comcast.net) on Thu Dec 3 06:17:35 2009

> >>> By square I mean the hips and shoulders start out square or facing the plate until the last minute just before contact. The lead foot remains closed and facing the plate.
> A lot of hitters release the lead foot after contact but it happens so fast it is hard to see.
> I'm thinking the closed front foot shortens the distance of rotation of the hips. This seems to make for a faster rotation of the bat where it really matters and that is across and just out in front of the plate.
> It seems as if the rear hip acts as a gate and the lead hip acts as the gate hinges. If you slam a gate hard and it has a long rotation the velocity slows down whereas if you can shorten the gates distance it will have greater velocity when the hinge is pressed as far as it can open. A closed front foot seems to shorten the gates rotation and lead to more aggresive rear hip rotation.
> I communicate with my son on hitting and am always looking for better ways to communicate. I've been travelling a lot and have been letting him go to a pretty good hitting instructor once a week but hit with him on a field this weekend and his power was down. He had lost some focus on using top hand torque and a circular hand path. We fixed this after a few rounds and he added 30 feet in distance instantly by refocusing on THT and Circular Hand Path. He is using some new vocabulary with his hitting and a lot of it is causing him to lose focus. My question is really one of simple communication to a young hitter. I'm sure you have established preferred simple communication with the hitters you work with and am wondering what that communication is. <<<
> Hi Torque
> My first objective with a new student is to communicate the point that the hands should stay back at the launch position and allow the rotation of their shoulders to bring the hands around to contact. The more their arms get involved in advancing the hands, the more the swing becomes disconnected from the major muscle groups of the legs and torso. -- Note: The arms aid in apply THT but should got be used to advance the hands.
> In other words, it is the initiation of shoulder rotation that should start the hands around the swing plane. Therefore, the shoulders rotate from the initiation of the swing to contact. If I interpret your post correctly, you may hold a different view. Take a look at the video below. I would be interested in your thoughts.
> <a href="http://www.batspeed.com/media/Rose_hip_shoulder_rotation.wmv">Rose - Bat & Shoulder Rotation</a>
> It appears we may also have different views on what constitutes the most productive hip rotation. Some of my new students exhibit the lower-body mechanics you advocate where their back-hip rotates about a posted front-hip -- like a gate swinging on a hinge. I advise them that this mechanic lend itself more to a linear type of transfer mechanics. Rotational transfer mechanics is better served when the lead-hip rotates rearward at the same rate the back-hip rotates forward -- like a revolving door.
> I outline the difference in the Giambi clip below. I would also like your thoughts on this clip.
> <a href="http://www.batspeed.com/media/Giambi_rotation_momentum.wmv">Giambi - Momentum & the Lead-Leg</a>
> Jack Mankin

Hey Jack

I agree 100% with the Rose clip. That is how great hitters initiate swings.

Now with Giambi I think there are a couple of additional points going on concerning the forward movement and hips. The forward movement does assist with him in generating bat speed. It allows him to separate his bat from his body and begin shoulder rotation. The forward motion is important in his swing in that it allows separation of the bat away from his body so his shoulders can begin their work which is rotation.

With many of the good hitters their front toe is often square/pointing to the plate at contact with the baseball. I think this creates a tighter turning radius for the hips which generates faster rotation. I think the lead foot pointing at the plate is important in the rotation. What are your thoughts on the lead toe?

I agree the rear leg is driving the back hip forward at the same time the lead leg is driving the front hip rearward. However, for most hitters the front hip is being driven rearward by a closed front toe (pointing at the plate).

One of the comments Bonds made after one of his knee surgeries was that he couldn't keep his lead foot and knee locked in the closed position but had to allow it to pop open because of the pain. Now the knee is slightly bent when the front foot hits and the bend is straightened to drive the front hip rearward. But the front hip is being driven rearward by a closed front toe. Bonds is one of the worst I've seen at describing his power but I will assume he has described what was bothering him accurately.

So my question is how important is this closed front toe in all of this at contact with the baseball?

Thanks for pointing out the initiation of the swing begins with the shoulder rotation. This is extremely important and something we have been working on. It takes a careful naked eye to notice if a hitter is failing to do this. I noticed my son making this mistake in the summer but I only caught it on the recorder. Didn't detect it but in slow motion. I can now see it with the naked eye. His solution was to bar his lead arm and take a Pujols or Griffey approach with the lead arm. They appear a little more exagerated than your average hitter in barring the lead arm early in the swing.

I've worked with a number of and been around some very good youth players. The hard hitters invariably bar the lead arm and use the shoulders to initiate rotation. It is very clear that is the case.

Thanks for your interpretation.


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