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Dropping the back elbow

May 7, 2008
4
0
St-Lazare, Quebec
I have a couple of girls on my team that have a tendency to drop their back elbow as they start their swing, and therefore either pop the ball up or completely miss it. What are a couple of exercises I can do to correct this, and what can I tell the hitters to concentrate on, other than saying don't drop you elbow.

Regards

Mike
 

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
8,509
48
Tucson
Mike, where are you wanting the elbow? 90 degrees? or 45 ish or where? I ask because, if you are having them start out with it up, they are going to have to drop it. Or do you mean they are tucking it against their ribs?

How old are they?

OT - but I saw the replay of the USA/Canada game last night on TV. Canada looks good. I think they had a pitching problem in that game, but their infielders made some fantastic plays.

Bustros stepped up and knocked one about 300 feet though, to clinch it for the US. Boy, she has a sweet swing.
 

FastpitchFan

Softball fan
Feb 28, 2008
476
0
Montreal, Canada
actually, this might not be a bad thing depending... do they swing under the ball? If not, typically in softball, you want the elbow pointing down and as you swing the elbow comes into the slot (inside thoracic cage) before you extend through. So.. the elbow doesn't have to be "up".

Elbow up is the biggest myth ever in the history of baseball and softball.
 
May 7, 2008
442
16
DFW
???? Elbow comment.

[QUOTE
Elbow up is the biggest myth ever in the history of baseball and softball.[/QUOTE]

Marc,

I have seen you make this comment before and I would like to better understand your position on this comment. I do have a reason for the elbow being up, and I will explain, but I need to understand why you make this statement. I had a similar conversation with Ken Krouse about this a few weeks back on here.

Thanks,

Elliott.
 

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
8,509
48
Tucson
I can't answer for Marc, but I agree with him. Some confusion does exist though when we don't know what you mean by up. Do you mean straight back?

I want the rear elbow relaxed and the arm is almost exactly at the opposite angle of the front elbow. A V is formed with the 2 arms.

If straight out is 90 degrees, I would guess that both arms are at 45 degrees, as I teach it.


Here is video of Candrea teaching this. He mentions it at the 4:30 minute mark. http://www.sportskool.com/videos/hitting
 
May 7, 2008
4
0
St-Lazare, Quebec
actually, this might not be a bad thing depending... do they swing under the ball? If not, typically in softball, you want the elbow pointing down and as you swing the elbow comes into the slot (inside thoracic cage) before you extend through. So.. the elbow doesn't have to be "up".

Elbow up is the biggest myth ever in the history of baseball and softball.
Thanks Marc
Actually They both start with their elbows in a comfortable position, pointing toward the ground like an upside down "V", with their hands between their ear and shoulders. However their first movement is to drop their elbow into the ribs, therefore they generally swing under the ball. The girls are 15 & 16 years old, so it should not be difficult to correct. I just would like to know an exercise or 2 to help them out.
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
I'm going to sound like a broken record....but....here goes.

If you get the girls to concentrate on throwing the barrel with the top hand around a bottom hand pivot point....as the bottom hand attempts to be stationery (it won't be completely stationery)....but it attempts to resist moving....then you won't ever have to worry about the rear elbow again.

When are you suggesting this throwing action? At or before shoulder rotation begins as in Mankin's top hand torque or late in the swing as the bat whips out as in Mankin's bottom hand torque?
 
May 7, 2008
442
16
DFW
Spos

What your describing here is what is commonly referred to as Bat Drag. This is one of the reasons I do not advocate the inverted V position for the elbows. Too many kids start their first move with the back elbow getting in front of the hands during the swing leading to bat drag. The elbows down empowers this kind of movement IMO.

So you get something that looks like this.


Photo 24 of 31, Analysis

One of the things you can do to help your kids is have them set up in their stance without a bat but like they are going to hit. (Dry Swing) Place your hand about 4 inches away from their belly button cupped pointing towards where the catcher would set up. You tell your kids you want the back elbow to come into your hand as they turn to contact. When the back forearm hits your hand you should see the hand directly above the elbow. The hand should not be in front of the elbow and the elbow should not be in front of the hands.

This is the position you want the back arm to be in during the swing. Practice this with your kids and you will see immediate improvement in power and contact off the tee.

As for the position of the back arm. I teach my students to have the back arm up even with the shoulder. I do this to create loading of the shoulder complex. I want my students at the negative move (Using Candreas term here) to create tension in the scapula complex by adduction and abduction of the front and back shoulder. This loading will help generate more power to the ball when its unloaded going into contact from the bat lag position. I do not want the shoulders loose like Candrea states in the video Amy posted above. I would disagree with this as I have seen improved ball exit speeds with the shoulders loaded. This loading is created by having the elbow up even with the shoulder.

So I do not consider this to be a myth. It has a function in the high level swing.

Elliott.
 
Jul 15, 2008
1
0
Texas
Back Elbow

In my opinion, it has less to do with the elbow dropping and more to do with the bat head. Let me explain. Regardless where the elbow starts it eventually will make it down into some sort of "slot" position. In the situation you describe, or even better, look at the photo of the above post. Notice how the bat head has dropped into the plane of pitch, or possibly below before the hands have gotten through. This will cause all kinds of up-swing problems. The key is making adjustments in the "bat lag" position. For consistent line drive hitting it is imperative that the bat head reach the plane of pitch early and remain there as long as possible (staying thru the zone), however there is no reason for the bat-head to enter plane until the hands have passed the mid-section of body. This would be true for rotational or linear style mechanics.

How to fix? (these phases can be used regardless of linear (free hands) or rotational)

Have your kids master two phases of swing...
1) "slot" or "connection" (same thing)
- make sure bat head angle at connection has not dropped down, this is kind of the hands toward ball phase with barrel staying back and up.
2) "bat lag"
- as the hands pass in front of body the bat barrel should now be on plane of pitch and pointed towards catcher, if done correctly the barrel can now be released on ball aiming for very middle.


Break these down into moves that they must execute in a progression...example.

stance, load, stride (or positive move), connection, bat-lag, and contact.

If some of these terms don't make sense I suggest using Rightview Pro instruction models for explanations.

Hope this helps
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
In my opinion, it has less to do with the elbow dropping and more to do with the bat head. Let me explain. Regardless where the elbow starts it eventually will make it down into some sort of "slot" position. In the situation you describe, or even better, look at the photo of the above post. Notice how the bat head has dropped into the plane of pitch, or possibly below before the hands have gotten through. This will cause all kinds of up-swing problems. The key is making adjustments in the "bat lag" position. For consistent line drive hitting it is imperative that the bat head reach the plane of pitch early and remain there as long as possible (staying thru the zone), however there is no reason for the bat-head to enter plane until the hands have passed the mid-section of body. This would be true for rotational or linear style mechanics.

How to fix? (these phases can be used regardless of linear (free hands) or rotational)

Have your kids master two phases of swing...
1) "slot" or "connection" (same thing)
- make sure bat head angle at connection has not dropped down, this is kind of the hands toward ball phase with barrel staying back and up.
2) "bat lag"
- as the hands pass in front of body the bat barrel should now be on plane of pitch and pointed towards catcher, if done correctly the barrel can now be released on ball aiming for very middle.


Break these down into moves that they must execute in a progression...example.

stance, load, stride (or positive move), connection, bat-lag, and contact.

If some of these terms don't make sense I suggest using Rightview Pro instruction models for explanations.

Hope this helps
Rightview/Don Slaught redefined some terms from common past usage. His definition of connection is one of them. Linear is another.
 

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