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Thread: Follow-Through

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    Checking out the clubhouse Trojans29's Avatar
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    Default Follow-Through

    You'll have to bear with me for a minute to understand my question as I am not arguing that follow-through is a bad thing, or advocating a swing with minimal follow-through, just trying to understand the purpose. Some hitting coaches teach the importance of follow-through to the point of having batters hit their own back to show they are "swinging all the way through". Scientifically, the moment a ball leaves the bat, the maximum amount of energy has already been transferred.

    Given this, is follow-through just a way to teach not decelerating the bat prior to contact or a way to dictate swing path, or both? Secondly, is it possible for a girl to have a "good swing" with minimal follow-through so long as there is no deceleration prior to contact?

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    I can talk softball all day Work=wins's Avatar
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    Follow through is a result of a good swing. Just another case a of cue being over baked , over done and most likely will suck athleticism out of your players swings. Same thing with extension. It is a result as well. Not something you strive for. Teaching follow through is not what I would key on ever. If that is your PHC I would go somewhere else.JMO.

    I don't think you can have a bad follow through/ bad extension in a good swing.imo . Let me add, if timing is good.

    Ps. No good college/pro hitter hits there back on their follow through. IMO .
    Thanks in advance.

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball FiveFrameSwing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trojans29 View Post
    You'll have to bear with me for a minute to understand my question as I am not arguing that follow-through is a bad thing, or advocating a swing with minimal follow-through, just trying to understand the purpose. Some hitting coaches teach the importance of follow-through to the point of having batters hit their own back to show they are "swinging all the way through". Scientifically, the moment a ball leaves the bat, the maximum amount of energy has already been transferred.

    Given this, is follow-through just a way to teach not decelerating the bat prior to contact or a way to dictate swing path, or both? Secondly, is it possible for a girl to have a "good swing" with minimal follow-through so long as there is no deceleration prior to contact?
    Technically, in a good swing, maximum barrel speed is realized just prior to impact. Peak barrel speed is virtually 'at impact', but technically it is just prior to 'impact'.

    A swing with a poor follow-through will often have the barrel decelerating more than is ideal prior to impact ... hence the reason follow-through should not be ignored.

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball FiveFrameSwing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Work=wins View Post
    Follow through is a result of a good swing. Just another case a of cue being over baked , over done and most likely will suck athleticism out of your players swings. Same thing with extension. It is a result as well. Not something you strive for. Teaching follow through is not what I would key on ever. If that is your PHC I would go somewhere else.JMO.

    I don't think you can have a bad follow through/ bad extension in a good swing.imo . Let me add, if timing is good.

    Ps. No good college/pro hitter hits there back on their follow through. IMO .
    It is true that the 'follow through' is a result of a good swing. It is also true that extension 'can' be the result of a good swing.

    Sometimes it helps to come up with an approach that helps cultivate the 'follow through' or 'extension'.

    Let me give an example.

    This past weekend I was working with a young developing hitter. This young player's full focus was on making 'contact'. Against a live arm she would get to contact and her swing would pretty much stop. Many issues abound ... blocking, etc.

    So we reviewed portions of the swing ... sequence ... core/engine action and how the lead lat pulls ... how the barrel is arc'd/orbited/turned/worked ... and how the barrel is released into and through impact. After getting this kid reasonably decent at the basics, I could see that I needed more oomph ... so I told the kid that I wanted her to stay with these mechanics, but I wanted her to alter her mental approach. I asked the kid to swing hard into 'extension' (... sometimes I use 'follow through', but for this kid, and what we were working on, I felt 'extension' was better). Let me be clear ... I wanted the kid to go beyond swinging to 'contact', and instead to make hard swings into 'extension'.

    Viola ... the ball began jumping off the barrel with linedrives to the back of the cage. The sound was distinctive. The smashing of linedrives into the back of the cage was also rewarding. The kid could 'see' and 'hear' a distinct difference in the results.

    On occasion the kid would 'push' into impact rather than 'release', and I'd have her double up her efforts on working/arcing/orbiting/turning the barrel so as to get the barrel up to speed so that she could replace the 'push' with a 'release'. In time it became fairly routine for her.

    After a series of blistering shots we stopped and talked. I explained that the body prepares for what it is trying to do next. By swinging hard into 'extension' the swing through impact was more of what I wanted to see. I explained that while the time between 'bat' and 'ball' collision is short ... on the order of 1/1000 of a second ... that the quality of that impact was essential ... and that simply thinking 'hit' or 'contact' was not enough ... I wanted her to think further downstream ... extension ... follow through ... ripping a linedrive to the gap ... decapitating the pitcher.

    Long story short ... you can cultivate a good swing by thinking beyond impact.

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    I can talk softball all day Work=wins's Avatar
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    A swing with a poor follow-through will often have the barrel decelerating more than is ideal prior to impact ... hence the reason follow-through should not be ignored.[/QUOTE]

    Not be ignored . Definitely look to make sure extension/follow through is optimal. But if there is a problem I would look upstream in the sequence not directly at follow through. I definitely wouldn't say get more extension or hit your back with your follow through.

    I wouldn't use an extension cue unless like you said power was lacking and the sequence was CLEAN .
    Last edited by Work=wins; 04-17-2018 at 02:59 AM.
    Thanks in advance.

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    Let's go a step further to the reason I asked in the first place. I coach a rec team that plays 5 or 6 travel tournaments through the year. The girl in the video below is one of mine in one of those tournaments. She has the most power on the team, is 13 (in the video, 14 now) and is only 5'2. You can see by the video her follow through is low and short. This particular ball hits the very top of a 200' fence (actually hits the top of an overlapping fence behind where there is an opening, ends up between the 2 fences and is ruled a ground rule double, but that part is irrelevant). Is she leaving that much power on the table? Seems like she already has more power than most her size. Also, not really looking for a super detailed swing analysis as the video angle isn't conducive to that, although if there are other super obvious things, feel free to point them out.

    https://youtu.be/-uQojI1cGsg

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    Certified softball maniac pattar's Avatar
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    As everyone has said, the look of the follow-through is due to stuff upstream along with pitch location. Sort of akin to looking at divot patterns in golf. I am not going to comment on young ladies swing other than to say a) her follow through is the way it is due to bat path and pitch location (e.g. on a higher pitch I doubt it would be low...) b) at 13 if she can consistently hit the ball 200' ft off of good pitching I would leave her alone for now.

    Two different swings from great hitters on low pitches. The bat path in the first swing by Ott is sort of similar to the young ladies for a similar (I think) pitch location.

    Last edited by pattar; 04-17-2018 at 08:47 AM.

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    Not a comment directed at the video.
    Some hitting coaches teach the importance of follow-through to the point of having batters hit their own back to show they are "swinging all the way through".
    I picture swinging 'around' their bodies. I also picture hitters with a pre-determined finish regardless of swing path.
    I don't know sh!t from shinola!

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball FiveFrameSwing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Work=wins View Post
    Not be ignored . Definitely look to make sure extension/follow through is optimal. But if there is a problem I would look upstream in the sequence not directly at follow through. I definitely wouldn't say get more extension or hit your back with your follow through.

    I wouldn't use an extension cue unless like you said power was lacking and the sequence was CLEAN .
    Not only would I not work directly on 'extension', but the type of 'extension' that folks look for is often improper. That is, they look for an 'extension' of the arms directed out towards the outfield .... when what they really should be looking for is 'extension' of the body. Many times I'll have a kid correct their body extension and the result is that the arms will become extended post impact.

    So while 'extension' of the arms is not something I would directly work on, 'extension' of the body (which often leads to 'extension' of the arms) is something that I will work on directly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiveFrameSwing View Post
    So while 'extension' of the arms is not something I would directly work on, 'extension' of the body (which often leads to 'extension' of the arms) is something that I will work on directly.
    Can you elaborate a little on what you mean by 'extension of the body' as opposed to the arms and how it is/isn't being used in the video above?

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