Phreak what's a good way to measure bat speed? I just got a playsport. Maybe with the 60fps I can make some calculations, just need to figure out where to start and stop the "measurement"
One other thing Rich you asked about, big kids vs. smaller kids: For the younger ages especially girls do not use their sources of power. By chance when I first started teaching lower body mechanics to an 8U team the under-age 6 yr old paid the most attention and proceeded to hit the farthest ball I had seen hit in that league for 8U up to that point. That was an eye-opener. Yeah that was a tough athletic little kid but size and strength can easily be outdone by technique at the younger ages.
Or, to put it another way, thinking about bigger kids and weights and such, concentrate on mechanics first. IMO if you take a girl who you consider to be on the weak side, and get her mechanics right, you will probably be blown away and I wouldn't consider it impossible for her to as much as double her previous distance.
OTOH if you take a strong girl with bad mechanics, and she works her tail off lifting weights to get 20% stronger, she will likely only hit with 20% more power, if that, as she probably won't even be able to apply that 20% correctly.
That said, for much older and competitive girls weight training becomes important, sure.
Last edited by Mr T; 06-30-2011 at 12:43 PM. Reason: added content
I think RichK's question is what can be done to make a difference in power assuming the mechanics are correct. And how physique and conditioning plays into that formula—long arms, weight, strength, etc.
I would like to hear specific areas to work on and how. Proven, softball-specific, muscle-targeted techniques would be great.
Swing Speed Radar Unit. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=bl_sr_sp...nsors%2C%20Inc Many on the market. We use one made in Cincinnati Ohio. Anyone that plays golf knows all about these devices. Yes we have tested grip with the correct grip you add 2 to 4 MPH. What was interesting with about 80 some kids we measured this at the beginning and the end of a Bustos hitting Clinic at Columbus, Ohio. The results were impressive when you train kids to swing a bat correctly. There are many that read but don't post on here have seen this device used by her and Howard Carrier at camps.
Think back to those big hits you've had ... when you likely felt the swing was 'effortless'. I bet you thought the swing was 'effortless' because your usage of your arms to power the swing was minimal in relation to tapping into the swing's more optimal power source. The reason it felt 'effortless' was because the effort level with your arms was minimal. If you tried to hit the ball further, by engaging the arms, then you likely failed to hit the ball further ... because you changed the firing sequence.
What takes place in transition largely determines how one powers the swing.
And SBF ... to answer your question ... my reading was that of greater hit ball distances (and improved ball flight) with an increased focus on transition mechanics. I've never hit the ball so far as I have when I'm focused on transition mechanics.
Last edited by FiveFrameSwing; 06-30-2011 at 02:28 PM.
One way to add power is to add bat head speed as has been mentioned. Creating a hand path that increases bat head lag is a sure fire way to increase bat head speed into contact. As with golf, and inside hand path builds lag into the club head / bat head. Coming over the top or casting eliminates the chances of creating lag - Power has to be manufactured through brute strength....
A Great American Truth Seeker, Friend of Raffy
Me: Hey... New pitcher.. ya see her warming up
DD: yeah dropballer... i know up in the box
Me: yeah watch you've been casting a little lately
DD: I know... hands inside the ball
First pitch way clears 220 centerfield fence
Next at bat
Me: know what they will throw you now?
DD: yeah off speed or change... she's pretty good with it too
Me: I know the coach set on a change till you get a strike on you
Sure enough change up first pitch and DD sent it to to left field fence for standup triple. Thing was a little low but she set on it and pulled it down third base line about six feet of the ground and 3B barely had time to flinch.
I think the "effortless" thing comes about when the batter guesses right on what to expect, gets what they were looking for and fires from the feet up. DD seems to do better when thinking more about the pitch and less about the swing.
Now im no scientist or anything when it comes to the power/speed analysis like some people are. I only commented that for my DD over the past few months she seems to have gained power, measured in HR as the bats she has used have gotten heavier. This spans several months, since Feb 28, and a variety of pitchers faced and tempratures played in. Early with the -10 it was terrible cold, and now with the -8 to is warmer so maybe that played into it a little. Like i have posted before DD is a strong athletic girl who loves to bat but has had trouble staying back on slower pitchers but is getting better with work.