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As to THT.
No disagreement that it exist. No disagreement on the two phases. No disagreement that some use prelaunch tht and some don't.
However, a LARGE disagreement exists over what it is that you actually see.
"The second phase of THT occurs during initiation as the bat sweeps into the plane of the lead-arm and shoulder rotation is being initiated."
...can not be supported by video of the best mlb hitters.
1) Go to www.recruit.hittingillustrated.com/RunningStart.htm. There are several clips of today's best players.
2) Watch the barrels of most all of these hitters blur rearward and downward, behind them, in a plane that is not in the rotational path of the shoulders. Their swing plane is "diagonal". The Ortiz clip. Pujols clip, Bonds clip, JD Drew clip, among many others, are outstanding examples. Yes, the plane eventually "rounds off" and appears to be in the plane of the shoulders. However, the path it took to get there indicates that something other than shoulder turn and something other than THT is going on.
3) The blur represents speed. If THT was applied by the fingers pulling lightly on the barrel, as you demonstrate in your video, the barrel wouldn't blur from that movement. It doesn't generate enough energy to cause the speed...the blur. All it does is create the direction that the barrel moves....back toward the catcher instead of forward. (which I agree with and is clear in the video) But the bigger point is not just the blur but the direction of the blur. The barrel blurs not just rearward but downward. It creates a "diagonal swing plane" that is behind the hitter. It occurs before any shoulder turn. How can the fingers applying pressure to the handle create this diagonal blur behind the hitter? How can this blur occur before shoulder rotation, since your theory says shoulder rotation is the real generator of the speed?
4) Here's how. The handset of these hitters is such that at "go", they torque the handle. Immediately. This torque produces that rearward and downward, "diagonal" blur. This is "early batspeed" that is created by what I call the Second Engine. The Second Engine is an engine other than the hips. It consists of that barrel being turned between the hands, the top hand supinates, the bottom hand pronates, the lead elbow "juts" upward, the shoulders laterally tilt (a MUCH better, faster and quicker producer of energy than shoulder rotation), and as the shoulders laterally tilt the hips project forward, weight shifts and their rotation begins.
Pay REAL close attention to the shoulder action of the great hitters. The lead shoulder does not go backward as if they are rotating. It goes upward first, for a frame or two, and then they turn. However, they are not turning on their own. They have laterally tilted and it's the hips that turn which, of course, turns the entire body. So, what you "see" as shoulder rotation, is in fact, lateral tilt of the shoulders, a very aggressive move, much more aggressive than shoulder rotation, and extremely more quicker than the "chain".
5) The Second Engine technique is so much quicker delivering energy to the barrel than the so called "chain" (the hip to torso to shoulders to arms to hands to barrel) that it is really almost unbelievable that people buy into that.
6) The problem with arguing over the internet is the proof is in the batters box. A place that I have spent very much time over the last 3 years. The technique you propose is so slow developing that you literally have no chance against good pitching. It offers next to 0 adjustability and the bat drags.
7) The bat drags because no degree of rotation going up the chain from the hips and eventually to the barrel can "beat" the hands torquing the barrel at go. The challenge of the hands delivering energy at "go", instantly, to the barrel, can not be matched by the chain. It is literally impossible. There should be no argument about that.
8) If the "quickness of the force to move the barrel" is won by the hands/foreams/Second Engine technique, the only question that remains is what is the quality of the force. Is it enough? Does it generate enough speed? The answer is not only yes but "hell yes". Why? Because the shoulder rotational swing theory does not allow quality separation to occur between the upper and lower body. Without that quality separation you will not have the cusp at "go". Without the cusp at "go" you simply have "how fast can I turn my hips/shoulders". You have a small horsepower engine. What you don't have is you don't gain the "mechanical advantage" of the upper and lower body's working against each other, building up energy, so as to be released at precisely the right moment....that instantaneous moment...."go". That instantaneous moment that the "chain" can not create. Set a marble on the table. Push it with your forefinger without loading the forefinger against the thumb. Now, load the forefinger against the thumb and flick the marble. Which one generated more giddyup? It's not even close. The forefinger loaded against the thumb wins hands down. There was a mechanical advantage gained. Your technique, without quality separation is the first marble example. There is no mechanical advantage gained. The Second Engine technique, with the quality separation, is the second marble example. An instantaneous launch and spend. An instantaneous delivery of maximum energy that the "chain" can not do.
How do I know that your technique won't create quality separation? Other than failing over and over trying it? Because there is no quality separation without handle torque. The handle torque, of the barrel, rearward, produces the necessary resistance the body works against to separate it's upper and lower halves. THT as you describe it will not create any resistance. Not near enough resistance to enhance separation. Therefore....no quality separation.
For separation to lead to the "immediate launch and spend at go"...or...the "stretch and fire" mechanics, that our late great friend Donny Buster always referred to, there must be two moving parts and they must be moving in opposite directions and they must be aggressive movements. While THT is in the opposite direction it won't build resistance for the lower body to work against, so that it can achieve quality separation, so that it can create the cusp.
The cusp is the answer to the "chain". While many biomechanical experts say the chain is the way the body develops power, no one has said definitively that that is how the body devleops power in the batters box. Yes, a discuss thrower works the chain. But, he can throw whenever he wants to. He has no time limitation. The hitter must be able to reach his max speed, his max quickness in an ungodly small amount of time. The "chain" is not capable of doing that.
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