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Re: Knuckle alignment

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Mon Jan 17 13:27:24 2005

>>> I'm coaching nine year old girls on a beginning travel team and trying to start them out on the road to rotational mechanics before they develop bad habits.
One thing I don't hear a lot about is how to grip the bat. Which knuckles should be lined up? <<<

Hi Mr.Burns

Welcome to the site. I recently wrote a post (below) discussing the requirement of the grip with rotational mechanics. If you have additional questions, feel free to ask.

Jack Mankin

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com on Sat Dec 25 13:35:07 2004

>>> Jack,
Based on your description, would you agree proper grip with bat held in the front of the hands (knocker knuckles) is imperative to THT being implemented properly?

Your description where the bat remains in the palm of the hand as "less productive" in producing batspeed, leads me to believe the knocker knuckle theory, or something close to it, IS an essential component to not only THT but also the swing phase.

Similar to a pitcher who throws a change-up with the ball in the palm of his hand, a bat in the palm in effect will be slower.

Your feedback would be appreciated. <<<

Hi Geo

Describing the ‘grip’ and forces applied by the hands is very difficult with the written word. With that in mind, my description will be a little wordy. – Regardless of the mechanics used, the bottom-hand never pushes with the palm. It is always pulling on the handle with the fingers from initiation to contact. However, the direction of force the top-hand applies to the bat handle varies with different swing mechanics.

As I mentioned in the post above, the average hitter’s vision of the swing does not have the bat-head accelerating rearward. He applies forces that accelerate the bat-head in a forward arc toward the ball. Therefore, as the elbow lowers to the slot, he is pushing on the handle with the palm of the top-hand to accelerate the bat-head in a forward arc from initiation to contact.

Hitters who apply Top-Hand-Torque to first accelerate the bat-head rearward (toward the catcher), have the top-hand pulling back on the handle with the fingers during initiation. However, the pulling back with the fingers only occurs during initiation. As the shoulders start to rotate and the elbow lowers to the slot, the force applied to the handle switches from the fingers pulling on the handle to the palm pushing as the forearm rotates and lowers toward the horizontal contact position.

Geo, with the average hitter’s mechanics, the relationship of the hands remain fairly constant. The bottom-hand is always pulling with the fingers and the top-hand is always pushing with the palm. Therefore, a fixed grip like the “knocker knuckle” can work fine.

When a batter applies THT, the top-hand switches from pulling back with the fingers during initiation to driving forward with the palm at contact. With most grips, the top-hand must rotate around the bat during swing. This requires the top-hand to have a loose grip on the bat. – Bonds uses a unique grip to avoid this problem. Describing it is beyond the scope of this post.

Jack Mankin


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