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Re: Re: Batting Average

Posted by: tom.guerry (tom.guerry@kp.org) on Thu May 16 13:10:41 2002

The biggest thing to watch for, in my opinion, is (1) event timing, and (2) lunging, sliding forward during the swing, or casting the hands outside the ball.
> Event timing for "Linear Mechanics" (LM) directs the player to drive his hands to the ball in a relatively straight path (e.g. "knob of the bat on the ball"), and to drive his/her hips through the ball just before impact. Opening the hips too early (i.e. while initiating the swing) results in a loss of power. (Too late, same thing, which is why we like "Rotational Mechanics" (RM)).
> RM directs the player to open hips first, and use rotation of the hips and shoulders to pull the bat through the ball. Because these actions are 180 degrees opposite, my kids were doing the worst possible thing, i.e. moving their hips, shoulders, and hands in the same direction, at the same time. That's poor mechanics for both RM and LM styles of hitting. It's important that all forward motion halts before the player initiates movement of the hands. (Epstein directs players to drop the front heel, and raise the rear heel as the "signal" to begin moving the hands.) If they don't set the front foot, their "axis of rotation" (i.e. spin) will move, and they will have little torque in their swing.
> Since RM hitters keep their hands back longer, and swing the bat in a arcing path to the ball (versus the direct line to the ball for LM hitters), there also seems to be a greater tendency to "cast", i.e. where the hands are in an arcing path outside the path of the ball. The large arc resembles what we used to call a "Little League" swing, i.e. long and slow.
> In fact, the first thing my daughter said when we tried this was "No way, I'm NOT doing the 'Little League' swing.". I scratched my chin, and when back to studying RM for another month. When we got her hands inside the ball again, she picked up batspeed.
> With due respect to Jack Mankin, we are using Mike Epstein's drills for reinforcing lower body mechanics. The description of the bag drills were a bit too vague (or I was too dense), and didn't seem to help. However, I think Jack's drills for the top hand are something Epstein doesn't cover, and I agree with Jack, that the proper use of the top-hand is essential for developing sufficient torque to hit an outside pitch.
> Regards.. Scott

You are a quick study !

The knock against rotational has always been that it creates one-dimensional pull hitters who will pull off the outside pitch.Lau Jr. states this most recently in his book to tout his method over Williams.This comes,however from a misunderstanding of the principles underlying rotational mechanics.Another popular method that comes out of this misunderstanding is the typical method of instruction,exemplified by Hudgens for example,where you cure the ills of rotational hitting by learning to push the hips open against a firm froont side to therefore avoid pulling off the ball or flying open,etc.Sounds logical.Real easy for some one with actual big league experience to sell.......however- not the way things work and just the wrong kind of fix.

Good rotation/timing/consistency of swing speed and duration come from good separation,not from limiting separation.Thinking of the front foot heel drop/pulling from the front side is a much better way of teaching what works as Epstein has shown.


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