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Re: Re: Re: weight shift involvement....

Posted by: () on Thu Apr 26 22:39:44 2001

> >
> > Jargon about weight shift and insect crushing just goes on and on. It is such simplistic, artificial cause-and-effect thinking. I think a lot of it has to do with the big name weight shift gurus of the 1980s. People are afraid that just maybe there is something to this weight shift thing because so many famous people said there was. Folks are fearful of letting go of something they think might be beneficial.
> >
> > Angular acceleration of the bat head cannot be produced by shifting weight. Period. When someone demonstrates it from the blackboard, or with practical examples from elite hitters, we can modify that thereom.
> >
> > A weight shift should not be confused with striding or re-orienting to balance before body rotation accelerates the hands in an arc. That is not a weight shift as defined by the 1980s hitting authorities. It is simply a balancing of the weight between the legs. We don't say a basketball player does a weight shift when he comes to a quick stop before shooting a jumper. He is simply getting balanced. Same with what some people call a weight shift in hitting.
> >
> > Once good hitters get balance, there is no shifting of weight forward. It doesn't matter what the follow-through looks like. Some of them pose, some of them move forward after the swing, whatever. But none of them do it while the bat is accelerating. If they did, they would not be good hitters.
> >
> > I am starting to see many of the good ones take it even further, keeping the back heel down until body rotation pulls it up. Hip rotation, or killing insects, or whatever term is popular these days contributes nothing to bat speed. The back heel coming up is a product of torso rotation. How can spinning the hips at 2-3 mph cause any angular acceleration of the bat head? It can't.
> >
> > In fact, the best hitters take a page from what golfers have known for a long time: the lower body is best used to provide resistance to the rotating torso and then as a stable platform upon which the body rotates. Add some top hand torque, an slight upswing, circular hand path and unbroken wrists at contact, and you won't be killing bugs, you will be endangering infielders.
> >
> > Weight shift and bug squashing. Nonsense.
> >
> > Melvin
> >
> >
> Melvin-
> You are obviously very opinionated. However I cannot from your post decipher what you mean. You suggest torso turn rotation with the lower body as a resisting base is the key. Yet you say that hip rotation does nothing for batspeed. Does this mean that the hips are not part of the torso.? How do you define torso -shoulders only?
> I agree with you that good hitters do not shift their weight through the entire swing, that any shift ends before rotation and swing. Do you think that stride, weight shift, etc. done before rotation has any effect on the swing/batspeed? Or is ithat part just style without substance?
> Correct me where I am wrong but you seem to advocate standing still and yanking the shoulders around to swing the bat. I can't imagine that is what you intend. Can you clarify your position?


Well, it is a little more subtle than that. But not much.

I would not say standing still. I would say striding, or some sort of re-balancing, pre-swing movement even without a stride if that is your Nomar Garciaprra fascination. Then, torso rotation. I guess torso might mean hips, but I didn't mean it that way. I mean the part of the body that can be rotated with the muscles on the side of the belly. Beltline and up.

I don't say lock the back leg. The heel will come up, but it's coming up does not initiate the swing nor is it considered a something that moves the swing. I view it in reverse. A ballistic rotation of the knees and hips does not contribute to bat speed, in my view.

I am not the best player in world, not even close, but guys seem to want me on their teams hitting fifth. I have been around a little and hit a lot. I mean hit a lot.

And I can hit a ball almost as far with my heels on the ground as without. I would never do it in a game, but the back heel doesn't turn over until the ball is almost gone. It is is coming up, but it is not around all the way. Andruw Jones, Mark McGwire, Todd Zeile, Mike Piazza do the same. Lots of others do too.

Good hitters (defined by me as those that hit home runs and get lots of walks and hit for a decent average) create bat speed by rotating their shoulders (and hence the hands and bat, hopefully in a circular path) by turning their belly buttons on top of their hips -- not the other way around. That lower half is in motion, it is caving in toward the pitcher, it is in movement, but it is not shoving the back hip forward until the upper body's rotation (from the waist), which should create a ciruclar hand path with lots of bottom hand torque, pulls it up.

Good hitters rotate their upper bodies on top of a flexible leg platform that, by the sheer speed and force of the upper body rotation, turns into a straightening front leg and a bent, spinning back leg.

Bad hitters shove their hands and/or explode their hips, in addition to other errors.

Try this. Once you get a circular hand path with a little top and bottom hand torque in there, keep the knees soft and mobile and start the swing by turning the belly button to the left (if you are right-handed, that is). Try to keep the back heel down as long as possible. That hitter will crush.

Of course, it makes no difference if the hitter has a straight hand path and no top or bottom hand torque or cannot rotate around a fixed axis or breaks the link between the lead arm and the chest. Without those things, that hitter will never be dangerous anyway.

I should note that some of the best big league hitters do spin on the back leg or squash the bug, or drag it, or whatever, but in my opinion, their reflexes and correct application of the circular hand path and top hand torque more than compensate for it and they hit very well regardless.

But for someone such as me, I'll keep the back heel down as long as possible to keep the lower body from spinning me out and wasting resources that do not translate into bat speed.

(I will also note that by `back heel down' I mean that the shoelaces do not turn towards the ground. The heel itself is elevated to keep the knees soft and mobile; you could fit a kitchen sponge under there, but it does not turn over until the upper body pulls it over.)

Give it some thought. At the end, I, and Andruw, Mike and Todd look like everyone else. I am not comparing myself to them in production or talent. But the forces that initiate these swings are far different than this bug squashing and weight shift jargon we keep hearing about from people that who notice just the result, not the energies that start things out. That is what is important. How does it start, not how does it end.

And yes, bud, I am opiniated, because I got the blisters, the homework, the hours spent studying hitters with people smarter than me, and the playing record to merit it. I know what a good swing feels like because I came from what a bad one feels like. I got too much blood on my hands to worry about offending you with my opinions.
I am sharing them not for you, but for me, because I have gotten close to something deep inside of me every time I hit a line drive. Listen, ignore, whatever you want, but I will keep opining as long as it serves me. Should it serve someone else, all the better.



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   Single, double, triple, homerun
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