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Re: Re: Re: To Tom Guerry

Posted by: BatMan () on Tue Dec 11 08:01:46 2001

On 12-7, regarding the outside pitch you said "For the outside pitch,torso acceleration is slightly delayed relative to the inside location allowing top hand torque to swing the bathead out a little farther before the hips transfer momentum to the torso." Can you explain what might be the specific technique you would recomend to slightly delay the torso acceleration? Thank you
> >
> > Batman-
> >
> > As Mr. Lau says,"the act of hitting has to be consciously learned,then subconsciously performed."
> >
> > Nyman (see link/clip below) says:
> >
> > -Do not confuse principles and technique.Principles are used to develop technique.
> >
> > -For power[NOT contact] hitters I see no real attempt to do anything different other than letting the hands move out further and letting the ball get deeper[for the outside pitch].
> >
> > -There should be no[conscious] change in stride timing/direction.
> >
> > -Make no significant change to your swing to avoid learning and maintaining multiple mechanics/timings.
> >
> > -Most hitters don't have any idea of what their hands are specifically doing.They do what they do as part of a preprogrammed motor program that "plays" with very little if any conscious intervention.
> >
> > -Totally different swings when player hits stationary ball vs moving. ball.
> >
> > -The "physicist" in me would be upset if I did not point out the possibility that the act of extending the swing radius(moving the hands out)would in itself slow the swing(figure skater "spin effect")and that possibly there is no "conscious" attempt to "lag."
> >
> > -Keep the swing as constant(same)as possible.Always swinging level around the spine does this.Then it's a matter of posture to address pitch height.Hands in or out to address inside out location.And timing to adjust for speed variation.
> >
> > -You "go out and get it"[the outside ball] or "turn on the ball"{the inside ball.You don't think about it,you just do it.Hands get where they are supposed to be by learning how to through trial and error,and repitition
> >
> > -Analysis[coaching] and application[hitting]are 2 different worlds.
> >
> > And as Jack says "With rotational mechanics,timing is probably more important in determining the contact point than ball placement."
> >
> > Which is why I would not consider Jack's response to Ray about contact point a "cop out." Sometimes the question can not be answered as specifucally as one would like because the wording of the question reflects assumptions that don't apply in the mind of the person trying to answer.
> >
> > The main goal is to learn mechanics that minimize the amount of time it takes to swing and make contact.
> >
> > Drills are used to make this happen and may include stationary ball work to teach the feel of body positions that need to be learned to reach the goal,but contact point is not so closely related to the goal.
> >
> > Having said that,in the world of analysis,it is useful to see what successful hitters are doing,so let's take a look.
> >
> > A couple of clips you might want to look at are the Aaron ones at beabetterhitter(Shawn made these clips available first)and the Nomar clips at setpro
> >
> > www.setpro.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000394.html
> >
> > I particularly like the Nomar clips because they show more of a difference,and they have insightfull commentary by Paul(considerably less insightfull by Tom).This is hard to interpret,because the outside pitch(clip on left)may have been a movement pitch at lower speed as well.Another correction I like to make for comparison with Nomar is to synch the clips up for front toe touch rather than contact,assuming that the hitter is going to start the swing the same way and have it underway pretty much the same up until this point or perhaps a little before,so in these clips,Nomar's toe touch is in the first frame on the left(outside pitch) and in the third frame on the right.If the swings are the same up until this point,then how long before contact?Answer-for outside(?slower)he takes just under 8 frames to get from toe touch to contact.For inside,he gets from toe touch to contact in just under 5 frames.
> >
> > How does Nomar adjust?I don't know what his thinking is.I believe Shawn or perhaps Larry(who put on a few Doyle clinics may have heard Nomar explain his approach,so jumpin).Hitting is a ballistic(accelerating through full range of motion)high speed activity that is accomplished by the body learning and storing motor program/instructions that are triggered by visual recognition,then automatically executed.As Jack says "a ballistic motion,once initiated,produces trajectories that can only be efficiently changed at its margins." Things need to be in motion correctly when you "go ballistic."
> >
> > How about a couple of more observations on the Nomar clip.When does torso rotation really get going? One way to estimate this is by watching the last name on the back of his jersey blur as torso rotation really accelerates.The third frame after toe touch is blurred for the outside pitch.For the inside pitch,blurring starts in the first frame after toe touch.Somehow he has delayed the start of torso acceleration for the outside pitch.
> >
> > When do the hips decelerate?.Ideally,the kinetic chain works by the hips linking up to the torso when angular hip velocity is maximum,then decelerating the hips rapidly.This deceleration is what triggers momentum transfer to energize the torso.You don't want to transfer energy out of the torso to the bat prior to this point or you are cutting off the power supply prematurely(hands and bathead/mass should not get much away from center of rotation prior to this.So when does this happen?The best marker for this(if the back leg isn't bearing much weight)is when the back toe starts to drag behind the front foot.When momentum is transferred from the hips up into the torso,reactive torque goes down the back leg and the back toe starts to drag(if the batter doesn't have weight on it).Back toe drag starts in under 5 frames after front toe touch on the outside pitch and in about 3 frames in the inside pitch.
> >
> > When do the hands come away from the body?Soon after the hands come away from the body,the torso turn stops.The hands move the entire mass of the arms and bat away from the center of rotation which sucks the torso dry of energy,rapidly stopping torso rotation which starts up again as the ballistically launched bat pulls the attached hands with it.It is very important for hand torque to have fired the bathead well out before this happens or this final big demand for momentum transfer from the torso to the bat will not be transformed well into batspeed(angular velocity of bathead)instead energy will be wasted pushing the bat handle out(push swing).Determining when the hands "release" can also be estimated by looking at back foot motion.The casting of the hands away from the torso sends a second wave of reactive torque down the back side which turns the hips and the back foot back(first wave-back toe drags;second wave-back heel turns,back hip falls back).Once you start looking for this you will see it over and over.This happens at contact for the outside pitch and more than 1 frame after contact for the inside pitch.
> >
> > How much does the torso turn before contact?Hard to tell in this angle.The torso seems to have rotated slightly more at contact for the inside pitch,but not much.However,the torso turned this far much quicker for the inside pitch-blur to contact in 4 frames vs almost 6 frames(with torso decelerated at contact)for the outside location.
> >
> > When I have looked at other video to compare,these findings are consistent.Torso rotation accelerates later and proceeds more slowly for the outside location.A fairly consistent way to do this(keep swing as similar as possible would be to start every swing out the same,then once the pitch is recognized,have the hands demand support(trigger learned motor program matching pitch)so that posture(bend at waist) is set and timing of torso acceleration is executed to put sweetspot on ball as quickly as possible from launch to contact.The later torso acceleration starts,the higher the load since the bathead has swung out some.It is very important to have the bathead coming out from hand torque,not from the hands getting away from the center of rotation.Contact is an easy point to see.When to define launch is much more unclear.Remember that adjustment becomes less and less possible as acceleration proceeds.The last possible moment you could consider "launch" would be when the hips start momentum transfer to the torso(back toe drag if you can see it).For Nomar,this is just under 2 frames for inside and just over for outside.So you need to think in terms of principles to figure out what technique and cues you want to use.Then you look at results and video and see how you are doing.Lots of things are important like bend in front leg and when it straightens and when the heel drops and when the hips snap.In any case you want to get from launch to contact as quickly as possible.Batspeed is most related to this.Length of swing is next.Things like contact point are farther down the list.The learned programs may be thought of or cued by things like "turning on the ball" or "going out and getting it" or "letting it get deep."
> >
> > How do you think of it?
> Gees, Tom, that just about says it all! Really great analysis. This is like a precious gem that should be preserved.
> [Jack, would you consider adding a page to your site with the clips and this explanation? IMO, this is beyond 'just another post', its more of a 'Hall of Famer']
> For those who are newer participants on this board, you occasionally here some posters complain that if someone has a different opinion, they get shot down and not listened to. If you read Tom's post (above) you hopefully will notice that there is an extraordinary amount of knowledge, a wealth of concepts. A very thoughtful analysis emerges as a result. Only a tremendous amount of study and thought will allow such an analysis.
> For those who pop in and simply challenge things with the "its my opinion, and my opinion is as good as anyone else's", you will have to go a long way to top what Tom has provided everyone on this board to read and study.
> I recommend that the newbies and the backbenchers reread Tom's post as many times as necessary until they understand what he is saying.
> If you don't have questions, if you don't understand some of what is said (for instance 'reactive torque', etc.) then ask questions.
> Batman, I think you got quite an answer to a very good question. Sometimes having a question taken seriously can do that.
> Tom, thanks again.

Tom, I appreciate your response and it is quite evident that you have put in a lot of thought over a long period of time in developing your theory. However, the question was not answered.

This was the question: ""For the outside pitch,torso acceleration is slightly delayed relative to the inside location allowing top hand torque to swing the bathead out a little farther before the hips transfer momentum to the torso." Can you explain what might be the specific technique you would recomend to slightly delay the torso acceleration?"

I'm sorry but that was a direct question that did not get a direct response. Again: "what might be the specific technique you would recomend to slightly delay the torso acceleration?"

The best that I could get out of your response was things like 'just do it', 'no simple explanations', 'look at some video clips/, etc.

It seems that "slightly delaying the torso acceleration" is a big part of your theory for hitting the outside pitch,and I don't think it's too much to ask how you do it. If you can't even explain some techniques in which to accomplish it , how can someone be expected to accept it as truth?

I have the clips of Nomar, Aaron and many others and even with the Nomar side-by-side clips it is impossible to do anything but guess what he might possibly be doing, if anything at all to "delay the torso acceleration"

I hope this post is not taken in the wrong spirit. True, you wrote a lengthy & thoughtful response, but: CAN YOU PLEASE ANSWER MY QUESTION, WHICH IS: what might be the specific technique you would recomend to slightly delay the torso acceleration?"

Thank You


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