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reply to RQL Pt 2

Posted by: tom.guerry (tom.guerry@kp.org) on Fri Dec 14 09:05:28 2001

Alot of talk about the away pitch so I went and just hit away today off my tee.What I found at least in this 100 swings i that if I take the same approach away as inside meaning my lead heel pulls back and turns the lead toe forward driving the front hip back then I can hit the os corner pitch hard to center,I could even hit it between ss and 2nd base bag when ball was on os corner and in line with back tip of plate[that's way back there].I also found that for me it was tougher to go the other way unless I let my axis drift forward just a little til my rear foot started to lift up from weight coming off it then used mostly rear knee drive to turn the hips.This kept them at contact[hips] pointed at opp field.Top hand torque then extension as shoulder started turn.This gave me pretty good speed but know I was losing some from the different hip turn.I also had more trouble making perfect consistent contact away.When I went linear like hudgens preaches I did have more control of liners and hard grounders in the 6 hole but could tell the ball jumped better off the hip adjustment rotation style.Tom with your clips do you see any weight shift with lower body that helps get the upper body in a better position to hit away with rotation,or something that keeps the hips from opening too much, keying on the lead leg,I was a little lost but felt I could swing the same and take the os pitch to center and all others center to pull.Opp field seemed to be where I had to set up differently,otherwise it was to center field.
> RQL-
> I think you said it well in aprevious post.For the outside mechanics,things bunch up and you have a much smaller margin(range of muscle motion to contract/stay connected over)to get the energy sequentially from the lower body,then to the torso,then to the bat without shortcircuiting things by sucking enegy out of the torso before the lower body has transferred its momentum.For the middle/in bottom hand torque type swing,keeping the axis back,the torso gets energized earlier and stays energized until you fire the bathead(you can fire the bathead anytime after back toe drag-if you can see it)and before contact.
> I teach mostly young kids,so they can't get very good plate coverage,so they like to(prematurely)extend the arms for everything.I like to focus on the bottom hand torque swing for these kids because they will get better and better plate coverage as they grow.
> Bonds doesn't change very much,and he can choke up on a 34" bat and cover well.He is very disciplined about the strike zone,almost never giving in to the outsidepitch.Sounds like you are big enough to cover the outside corner too.


I reviewed a number of setpro threads and clips after reading your question.Paul's comments are especially worth reviewing in the McCarver thread(hitting forum507)and the setpro knobball(549).This is where he gets more into the top down neural control of a bottom up motor program.The lower body is not initiating the action(even though it may be the first to exhibit movement)it is supporting the "intent" of the upper body.As the swing proceeds what the hips and legs are doing( via an automatic series of programs with built-in/learned/automatic/subconscious corrections that put the barrel on the ball consistently)are reactions to managing the torque produced by upper body/torso rotation which in turn is controlled by hand path.

This confusing concept is more than just word games because it is the key for not confusing cues and reality so you can focus on good hitting instead of perfecting intermediate actions(described by cues)which are not satisfactory parts of the desired swing dynamics.

It is important to optimize weight shift so it is a fully contributing part of the overall swing,but keep the overall swing axis/timing/contact as the focus rather than slavishly making your body resemble some image of its position(remember the thousands of words on the "L" of the back leg?)

At a slightly deeper,more real level,I think we see that torso turn is relatively delayed for the outside location creating a higher load once rotation starts as the hands swing the bathead further out as part of the generic start of each swing.The body needs to have some mechanism of rapidly getting hip turn velocity to a maximum then link up to the torso then decelerate to best transfer momentum.For the inside pitch "heel drop" weight-shift/etc give the feel of maximizing hip-turn acceleration/more of an opportunity for front leg "pull" sensation.If the hands are demanding this a little later to get the sweetspot on the ball via some extension/lead arm casting prior to contact,this hip turn will get to max slightly later but before the body gets too much out on the front foot-this may give you the feeling of the axis drifting forward before getting set with the launch of the swing.

Epstein breaks the body drills into pieces where weight goes forward with the stride with the feel of it coming back with rotation,more for the low pitch,less with the high pitch which requires a more upright axis.?another approach versus an example of how the piece drill may be different from this portion of the full swing while still teaching a similar feel(which is ultimately more important).

So you want a consistent swing where the lower body can react to the demands of the hands by alterring the initiation of maximum hip turn velocity.For the outside pitch where this is delayed,this could give the feel of the axis drifting forward,depending on how your body has learned how to respond to the demands of the upper body.


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