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Re: Re: bottom and top hand torque?

Posted by: Joe (joe.flowers@nofreewill.com) on Sat May 1 19:30:58 2010

> I seriously doubt if most MLB hitters, especially the older ones,
> ever heard the term "torque" used in describing swing mechanics. A > few may have heard the term used in reference to hip rotation, but > I would bet that, few if any, MLB hitters associate "torque" with
> forces applied to the handle of a bat. -- At least, not until
> recently.

Hi Jack!

I can't argue that point. But, it seems that they would/may be able to describe a "feeling" in their hands that could be indicative of a torque.

On the other hand, I have seen a highly respected hall-of-fame MLB baseball player for his hitting as well as other talents, teach that you should swing "level". Yet, when he was demonstrating, he was hitting anything but level - the bat-head was always significantly lower than the handle on an upward rise at the point of contact and with a body twist.

I have also seen young coaches who can hit a ball very far teach little leaguers how to swing "level" or even "down" for God's sake, yet when they demonstrated a long hit, you could see the bat-head well below the handle of the bat on an upward path and a strong twisting motion with the hips. And, like what you are implying about the MLB players, I don't think they realized what they were doing. It seems that some people can hit like that by luck and cannot even see or tell what they are really doing.

If you cut and paste every single hit on the 2006 World Series DVD together and study them, every single hit at the point of contact had the bat-head below - mostly well below the handle of the bat - on an upward rise. There was no hit on that DVD that showed a level swing at contact. I had also noticed that the physically stronger players in their upper body's could mask their swings by their strength, but still, all of the swings across all players had major elements and points that looked identical. It was shocking and a revelation for me. Swinging level is not the objective!

The "masking" I am talking about by the physically stronger hitters reminds me of politicians masking out problems by throwing more money at it.

Like you, I am an engineer, by degrees and by natural being, as well as having taken many graduate level mathematics courses, so I understand the term.

> Until I presented findings from my study that 'torque applied at
> the handle' was a 'major' factor in the generation of bat speed,
> all noted batting authorities had concluded that torque was a
> 'none' factor. Professor Robert Adair, auther of "The Physics of
> Baseball," was a consultant to the National League for scientific
> topics. He wrote in his book that any force applied through the
> hands to the handle would have "negligible" influence on the bat's > acceleration.

From what I have been able to study and research so far, the hands and wrist are a critical factor. They are a link in the chain. Is he implying that we can hold the bat in the exact same position all through the swing and get the same bat speed at contact, all other forces as a function of time being equal?

I'm also curious to know if THT can be proven by the velocity of the bat-heat moving forward toward the pitcher, long before the point of contact.

When I am demonstrating BHT, you can clearly hear a louder pop on the punching bag.

> It was not just "torque" that was discounted. All rotational
> principles were presented negatively to young hitters. -- Taking
> the hands in a circular path (CHP), was called "Casting," or taking > the hands "outside" the ball. -- Bat on an up-slope at contact, was > called "Looping." -- Rotating about a stationary axis, was called
> "Spinning." -- Etc. Etc.

Your research is by far the closet theory I have been able to find to describe what I am seeing when I am watching the successful MLB players' swings. Even when I am studying other hitting videos and books, I often see elements of your theory coming out in these other works.

> When these MLB hitters were forming their thoughts on hitting, they > were being taught linear principles -- straight motions are good
> and circular motions are bad. So when they are asked about their
> mechanics, what terms would we expect them to use?

I would like to find out if they "feel" something in their hands that may be evidence of torque. Of course, if they are not, then that doesn't mean they shouldn't be trying to improve their swings too. Perhaps there is a masking of the ideal, most efficient swing here too.

> Joe, invoking the term "cookie cutter" can be counted on to raise
> some eyebrows. They will tell you that there is no one way to hit a > ball - successful hitters can exhibit many different styles of
> hitting. -- What are your thoughts on the post below.
> <a href="http://www.batspeed.com/messageboard/10085.html ">Style vs > Absolutes</a>

If you look at all of the hits on the 2006 World Series DVD, how can one conclude that there is not a cookie-cutter at work there?

As stated above, I have not been able to find any other research that describes what I am seeing, certainly not in an as extensive or more complete theory.

As for me, my sons will be young only once, and I am doing everything I possibly can to teach them your swing. I am also a Little League coach and am teaching everyone your swing as fast as I can and at every opportunity. I am seeing energy losses in their swings otherwise. Your use of the punching bag is an incredibly helpful tool. I cannot thank you enough for your research. I cannot image the hours and hours of hard study and work you have given all of us for basically free. You are a high-caliber professional to say the least.

I cannot thank you enough, Jack. How can I put a price on the smiles of my sons?


P.S. As I have said before, I will buy and study every video you can make.



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