Re: Lead Arm/Barred Arm
> In a well timed baseball swing the lead arm will be extended and the upper part of the arm (bicep) will be close to or even touching the batter's chest at the point of contact. The only time you'll see a hitters front arm bent at the point of contact is when they've been beat (late on a pitch) especially on pitches inside. The later they are the larger the bent in the lead arm.
> Major league hitters are so well practiced that they can be beat with a fastball and still make the subconcious on the fly adjustment and hit the ball hard. I once saw Chase Utley hit a homerun on a pitch where he was beaten so badly that his front arm was bent at a 90 degree angle at contact. That's what happens when baseball becomes a job that you dedicate yourself to instead of just a game that you play... you become really good at it.
> Anyway the point of this post is that ideally the front arm will be extended or "barred" regardless of pitch location (outside or inside). On inside pitches hitters need to really get their hips open to allow there hands to get to where they need to be to hit the ball out in front. Young hitters try to hit the inside pitch by tucking their hands in (bending the lead arm). Bending the lead arm will be the natural reaction if you're beaten on a fastball, but that shouldn't be the hitter's natural approach to hitting inside pitches. A hitter's approach to hitting inside pitches should be to start early and get a full 120 degree rotation in the hips so that rest of the body will be in position to hit the ball in a relaxed, extended position.
i don't believe you have been watching the best hitter in MLB ICHIRO take a swing at an inside pitch.. his hands are in tight whenever he gets the pitch he is looking for on the inner half... pitchers are usually going away on him because he will end up poking the ball to LF, a much better option than having him turn and burn on a knee high pitch inner half.. he absolutely murders that pitch, & his front arm is bent at contact.. the thing that seperates ICHIRO from all others is his superior batspeed. talk to him about a front arm bar.to have a front arm bar means your arm is extended..you look like a backhanded tennis player.. you are pulling the bat through the contact zone rather than using your power side to push. the LAWS OF PHYSICS state that the greater the extension on the arm, the slower the bat speed... try this:
sit on a bar stool which will rotate.. have someone spin you around...after a few seconds extend your arms as though you are an airplane..what happens?.. YOU WILL SLOW DOWN. now put your hands back in your lap... YOU WILL SPEED UP!.. yes,after you have slowed down, you will speed up again!!
the lesson to be learned is that if you extend you arms during the swing, the batspeed will be diminished.. if BOTH your arms are bent as you fire, with your hands inside the ball.. this will generate the greatest batspeed.. right up to contact.
you should watch some topflight racquetball players..if they have a chance to set up, THEY NEVER HIT THE BALL WITH THEIR POWER ARM EXTENDED & STRAIGHT. instead they keep their ELBOW BENT & hand in tight to their body..ALL THE WAY THROUGH CONTACT AND BEYOND!!! in this way they generate maximum racquet head speed.
if you are close up on the plate, where you belong, the tucked position becomes the normal position from which to fire.. then you will not have the need to extend you front arm.. in some cases guys that are extending their arm are doing so in order to reach an outside pitch.. it's a matter of alignment in the box.. you can preclude that by being positioned in a location where that is not necessary.. also a straight arm means you will not be getting any power from snapping your wrist just prior to contact..it's pretty hard to snap your srist when your arm is straight.. if the elbow is bent, is becomes much easier to impart force with your front wrist..
as the term implies the arm becomes a bar, with no flexibility or movement on the end of the arm.. not an action which will augment batspeed.. a good hitter is always looking to eliminate any actions which result in diminished bat speed.. a straigh arm bar is one of those actions.. in my world.
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