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Re: Re: Re: Do MLB hitting instructors know it all?

Posted by: Quinton () on Thu Nov 30 08:54:47 2006

> > >>> Hi all,
> >
> > I have engaged in a ceaseless debate on a local forum regarding an old subject...whether or not hitters swing down or up to the ball. Most instructors and coaches in my area definitely fall into the "down to the ball" camp. In entering the debate, I provided detailed videos showing MLB hitters clearly swing up to contact at a 5-10 degree angle..not the diagonally down path that everyone seems to teach.
> >
> > In responding to this debate, one "advisary" claimed that his son takes hitting lessons from a current MLB hitting instructor, who, in fact preaches to swing down...and regardless of my video analysis, his credentials as a MLB hitting coach trump anything I could possibly present.
> >
> > Jack, I hate to make a request, but I believe that you were once in a similar situation in debating Reggie Smith. If possible, could you share that experience and could anyone give their opinions on how much weight pro credentials carry when debating these topics...how do you feel about the idea that a non-professional coach could not possibly be as knowledgable as a Pro coach... <<<
> >
> > Hi Axis
> >
> > It has been my experience that although video analysis clearly shows the best MLB hitters exhibit rotational transfer mechanics, most will still define their swings with old linear principles and cues. As the following experience of Don Slaught had with Bonds reveals, Bonds actually believed his bat should be angling downward at contact (as mentioned in Melvin’s post).
> >
> > "Always, when this conversation arises, I remember a story Don Slaught told me about talking w/ Barry Bonds about his swing. Bonds said he "was hitting all right, but didn't think he was swinging down sharply enough to contact." Slaught told him that in fact, like all MLB hitters, he swung UP to contact. Bonds vehemently denied the possibility of this. Slaught used RVP {Right View Pro} to convince Bonds, and later heard him walk up to ARod at the All Star Game batting practice and say, "Alex, you know you don't swing down to the ball, right?"
> >
> > I have had similar experiences with MLB players and coaches. When I met with Reggie Smith (Dodgers batting coach) to discuss Strawberry’s batting problems, VCRs with frame-by-frame capabilities were just becoming available. It quickly become evident that Reggie had not had the opportunity to study the swing frame-by-frame. He was so locked into linear principles that he could not accept what saw.
> >
> > Regardless of what the frame-by-frame revealed, he would not accept that Strawberry’s axis did not move linear forward during the swing nor would he accept that his hands followed a circular path (over-head view). He insinuated that I must have “doctored” the tape. At that point, I lost my temper and called our meeting to a close.
> >
> > Jack Mankin
> I was at a batting clinic in 1978 during which Reggie Jackson, then at the height of his career, told us all to swing down. We all went to lunch and that afternoon Ted Williams spoke, telling us that "Up is best, level is ok, but never, ever swing down". There were some nervous titters and Ted asked what was up. Someone said "Reggie told us this morning to swing down" and Ted laughed, saying "Well, Reggie may THINK he's swinging down, but he's swinging UP". He went on to say that in fact the hands are coming down at the first part of the swing----otherwise you couldn't hit anything below shoulder level. But for "high average power hitters" (Ted's term) they are coming UP at contact.
> The animation of Ken Griffey's swing on this site under "Rotation and the Stationary Axis" shows the hands starting "down" as the swing is launched. But they are clearly coming UP at contact.
>I personally know that the UP swing is generating the TORQUE. But you must come down to get to the ball this means that the point of contact is imparitive. Griffey's stance is straight up ,so his swing moving up cause he comes down to the ball. He is at his best when he is on the ball at a certain point , this is when he is hot. At the point of his contact he is pulling through the ball so his torque is greater tham the average hitter. His hips also generate a powerful pendulem motion which in return adds to the pop of his bat. Griffey is a genuine power-hitter.


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