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Re: Re: Re: Pop-ups!

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatSpeed@aol.com) on Wed Sep 15 14:02:42 2004

>>> Thanks Jack!
I know you said you are speaking in general terms as you have no video of the swing motion. That being said, let me ask you more general questions about this. First, let me give you some details on his practice routine. I take him to batting cage where I pitch to him. He starts off swinging a wood bat, around 29/26, he then switches to an aluminum bat, 30/21, however in a game he uses an aluminum bat 30/17-19. Any thoughts on this?
Secondly, for this fall season, when this problem occured, he moved up an age group to where the field dimensions are much larger and the mound is two feet further away. I notice that he tends to stand further back in the box then he use to. Could this play a part in his problem? Note: I pitch to him just as fast if not faster than his peers, but of course I'm his dad.)
Thirdly, with this move up the kids have not only matured physically, but mentally as well. Meaning they now take playing much more seriously. I notice that when they dig-in at home plate they really dig-in, as in 2 to 4 inches below home plate. Could this change in perception of ones strike zone, even so slightly, add to his hitting problem? If so how can you overcome it?
Lastly, is there a rule of thumb as to where to stand in the batter's box when you are hitting pop-ups, weak grounders, or when the batter's box is altered by the means of a large hole?

Thanks again! <<<

Hi Tim

I understand that some coaches feel a batter can increase muscle response and bat speed by switching back and forth from light to heavier bats. However, I have never been a fan of using different weight bats to develop a hitter’s swing. The mechanics and muscle groups required to gain maximum acceleration of the bat-head changes as the load (bat weight – inertia) changes.

As an example, I can swing a 4 oz. plastic bat just as fast using my wrist (torque) with one hand as I can using Barry Bond’s mechanics. I also found that a batter swinging an ultra-light bat could attain almost as much bat speed using linear principles (relying mainly on torque supplied by the arms) as they can with rotational mechanics (a chp + torque). But, as the load (bat weight) increases, the more the batter must “swing the bat-head” by utilizing rotational mechanics that use the larger muscle groups in the legs and torso to overcome the added load.

Tim, in my opinion, it would be difficult for a batter to maintain his timing, rhythm and consistency with his mechanics when the load is substantially changing. – I do not think the other points you listed are major factors in his problem.

Jack Mankin


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