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Re: Back Elbow - cont.

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Mon Aug 26 20:16:04 2002

Hi All

Note: This topic from the discussion below.

This thread brings up some valid and interesting questions that deserves discussing. But I think we can reach more clarity by discussing the topics one at a time. Some might say, “you might not see the trees for the forest.” So let us start with the questions surrounding the back-elbow. – Is there a value to having the elbow elevated or is having it up just a batter’s style with little or no effect on the swing?

Below are a couple of statements regarding the back-elbow from S. Procito, Bart and Derby Boy.

>>> S. Procito --- “I will end this argument. Then the swing starts the upper arm of the back arm goes to the side against the body elbow pointing straight down to the ground. This is where it belongs there should be no disagreement on this point. If you disagree on this point you really shouldn't be in this discussion.

So, the elbow goes to the side when the swing is launched. Therefore, before the launch it dosent matter where the elbow is. Unless you put it in a place that prevents you from getting where its supposed to be when the swing starts. The thing can be in you ear for all I care as long as it goes to the side in preperation to launch the swing.

When teaching younger kids it might help to have them keep the arm at the side in the stance to minimize the movement.” <<<

>>> Derby Boy --- As far as the high elbow is concerned, it is nothing more and nothing less than a cocking mechanism and a matter of personal preference. Delgado has a high elbow, Macgwire does not. <<<

>>> Bart --- "I will end this argument". I don't think the argument will ever end so I'll put in my 2 cents. I assume that no one argues that at launch position the elbow should be high;that would be rediculous. I also assume that no one argues that in the stance itself that the elbow should or should not be high; that argument would be rediculous simply because it would be irrelevant. Many hitters do elevate the back elbow somewhere between start & finish of the stride. For some hitters it is, as someone said a "cocking mechanism". For some hitters the bringing down of the elevated elbow adds power. I think this is a figment of their imagination. Truth is, as long as the elbow is back down where it belongs at launch, whether you use a high or low elbow does not matter a hill of beans. <<<

I think it is fairly obvious that all of the above feel there is no value in an elevated elbow. They are basically saying that hitters like Sheffield or A-Rod would hit just as well by keeping their elbow flat to their side. I will argue just the opposite. I would say that we may never have heard of any them if they never raised the elbow for better leverage in the pre-launch position.

So to get the discussion started, it would be helpful if they clarified a couple of points for me. --- Do you think a hitter can develop greater bat speed starting his swing with a stationary bat-head or if the bat-head is accelerating back toward the catcher as he starts his swing? --- Although most of the better hitters have the bat-head moving well before they fully initiate their swing, Gary Sheffield exhibits the most exaggerated form of pre-launch torque I have seen. We can clearly note his bat-head accelerating some distance back toward the catcher as his elbow lowers to his side. During this time, he has not yet initiated his swing. Although the bat-head has been accelerated, his hands are still back and rotation has not started. Do you think that the lowering of his elbow and the bat-head acceleration that was achieved was just “style” – or would you think it may have had an impact on his final bat speed?

Note: It is important for the discussion that you address the static vs accelerated bat question.

We are running out of room with this thread. So I will bring it to the top.

Jack Mankin


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