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Re: true role of hands/forearms

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Thu Aug 9 11:06:24 2007

>>> I have been thinking about the baseball/softball swing for a while now and I think I have come to conclusion (probably obvious to most of you) that the swing is a full body action. I know that sounds real obvious but you have to keep that in mind when thinking about good batting mechanics and the "science" behind a good fast swing. I have always tried to crush the ball because I was obsessed with the HR ball. I always wanted to hit one out and I am just obsessed with it. It seems to me the more I would try to crush the ball the worse I would do. There are a few reasons why but I want to get down to the main one here.

It seems to me that when you try to crush the ball the main thing that happens is you overswing or swing "hard" and not "fast". Would it be fair to say that when you try to swing really hard you swing with your hands/arms and your hip rotation and shoulder rotation really are behind your arms/hands so you lose connection. Basically I think the most important thing to practice and preach is very lax hands/arms and just a basic easy swing. The farthest balls I have ever hit have been on pitches that I "barely" swung at.

I hope I didn't babble on too much but basically what I am trying to say is it seems as if very loose arms (forearms and hands especially) throughout the whole swing process results in a faster swing. So the role of the hands/forearms or you can basically say "arms" in a swing is to more or less guide the bat and not swing the bat. If your arms stay loose you let the powerful muscles in your legs/hips/lower back/abs swing the bat. I think this is a HUGE problem for kids and some young adults that is often overseen because sometimes its just hard to tell if someone is overswinging. Everything should stay loose and let the bigger muscles swing the bat.

I tend to babble on in my posts so hope I got my point across. What do you all think about this?? I know most of you are probably thinking yeah it's obvious but it seems to me that this is a very important thing to address as I truly think most kids anyway are swinging for the fences and that takes away from the true power that they can be achieving. <<<

Hi Dave

I do not think you were babbling at all. In fact, you made some excellent points regarding the swing mechanics taught to most young hitters. Those mechanics rely far to heavily on the muscles of the arms to force the bat-head around. This produces that tense, jerky appearance in the swing. As you pointed out, keeping the arms more relaxed and allowing the larger muscles of the legs and torso to “swing” the bat around, produces that loose, smooth, ever accelerating swing.

Below are a couple articles I wrote on this topic.

The Illusion of Power

Swing For the Fence - Ruin Your Mechanics

Jack Mankin


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