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Bringing Jan post forward


Posted by: tom.guerry (tom.guerry@kp.org) on Sat Feb 2 11:31:26 2002


Charley Lau made an interesting post late last month.Could we bring that forward for discussion.

I am particularly interested in the concept of "release".This is often the feel of maximum acceleration/beginning of deceleration and regardless of pitch location/handpath shape/degree of torso turn with relation to handpath shape,contact should come ,ideally, at release.This is one of the great benefits of the heavy bag.You should be coasting into the bag.

If you believe that hitting is primarily a timing task,timing error is reduced by shortening the swing(path of contact portion of bat from launch to contact)and by traversing this path as rapidly as possible.Theoreticaly this is because hitting is a ballistic activity that depends on the automatic/subconscious/too fast for conscious control execution of learned and stored motor programs;and when you swing as fast as possible,the accuracy of the necessary duration of the swing to the predicted contact spot is better.Swing duration must be accurate to permit precise timing.Maximum batspeed requires among other things,swinging the bat in the plane perpendicular to the spine in line with torso/shoulder turn.Matching the plane of the pitch by adjusting posture to match the swing plane to the pitch plane gives more room for timing error.The ideal contact spot for the shortest possible swing with the most room for timing error(early or late still makes contact and keeps ball fair)would be contact perpendicular to the line of the pitch.Timing error can also be reduced by minimizing the diversity of motor programs that the brain has to master and store.Jack has described what the successful practitioners appear to do in this regard by learning to cover the strike zone with mechanics somewhere along the continuum of full torso turn + bottom hand torque(Williams/Epstein theory) to less torso turn top hand torque(Lau theory).In any case timing error is minimized by making contact at maximum acceleration.

Two types of flaws would then be:
1- early deceleration-most commonly from loss of connection before contact,often due to the front upper arm casting away from the torso(chicken-winging) before contact with extension of the handpath and loss of connection.This can be related to the undesirable top hand dominance-top hand pushing too much too soon encouraging the front arm to cast/lose connection.

2-late acceleration-not at max batspeed in a contact zone that would keep ball fair.This is most commonly the "one-piece"swing where there isn't much upper/lower body separation.The top hand pushes the handpath outn early,then maintains tight connection but has to use the sweeping swing where the bat extends and then pulls across the chest with maximum batspeed for contact on the inside pitch way out front giving the dead pull."Striding while swinging" also results in this lack of separation.


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