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May 12, 2008
I was wondering what your thoughts were on elbow positioning. I had a coaching clinic with a former major leaguer (Mario Ramos) who advised to keep the elbows in a downward position. Ralph Weekly also advises the elbows to be down. Those two sources repeated the same information frequently. However all of my parents are teaching their kids "elbows up". Also when I researched it online I got a "elbows up" results but without any real reason why.
May 7, 2008

Often what I see with those who use the "Power V" (Elbows Down) in young hitters is the inclination for the hitter to start moving the back elbow as the initial move to the ball. Then the hands cast out and go to the ball.

This movement creates a bat drag position with the bat. The hitter will often be late to the ball or hit the ball to the right side on the ground. (Righty)
Against fast pitchers they will not catch up at all and will be late on the swing.

The raising of the back elbow can accomplish a couple of things for a hitter. One would be it loads the scapula complex in the shoulders which can as the hitter starts rotation create additional batspeed when that tension is released around the corner of the back shoulder rotation.

Also, if the hitter doesnt drop that back elbow but maintains that position with the back elbow and just turns to the ball the elbow will "Slot" correctly without creating a bat drag situation.

Hope this helps your understanding.

May 7, 2008
San Jose, CA
In a perfect world I teach the elbows downward. I feel this helps primarily the back arm and hand position for contact. That being said I have two students who elevate their back elbow then drop it into position during their weight shift. Although I have discussed this with them and they are aware that I would prefer them to set with the back elbow downward. But after watching their video and working with them I am reluctant to make a mandatory change as I see no problem it creates in their swing and no overall benefit. Both students are older and play “Gold” level softball.


Softball fan
Feb 28, 2008
Montreal, Canada
Elbows up is the biggest myth of all time. Even when I was playing little league 20 years ago... when I would miss a ball - parents and coaches would yell in unison, get your elbows up as it was some form of magic pill - kinda like a "viagra pill" for the swing. Unfortunately, that "viagra for the swing fix" doesn't work and it is the biggest urban legend of all time!

Elbows in downward positions - arms should form something that looks like an inverted V, a triangle or a house top - whatever you want to call it.




May 12, 2008
I really don't find it that simple. Some elite hitters start with the elbow higher or lower than others. Where are they at shoulder rotation launch and why. As I said, I see it as a question of function rather than form.
May 5, 2008
I don't find it necessary to have the elbow at a mandatory, specific/particular position prior to the start of the swing. Elbow up isn't necessarily "wrong" and down isn't really a "must do."
May 7, 2008
Stacey is right. But....

Ken Griffey, Jr. is one of the very few big league hitters starting with his back elbow up. Joe Morgan is another hall of famer who hit that way. It's rare. Teaching it, I think, would be a mistake. The position has to be vacated soon after the swing process begins anyway.
May 7, 2008
Its the function of the elbow that becomes a problem.


There are way too many hitters out there that look like this:


They start with the inverted V and then drop the elbow into the side and slide the hips forward. Next they then lunge (Hip Slide) at the ball as the barrel of the bat drops down tilting towards the catcher.

Or they look like this.


What they really need is something that looks like this:


This hitter has the back elbow up and maintains that position around the corner into the slot without creating bat drag. The back elbow being up creates tension in the scapula complex if applied in the correct manner. That tension can be used to generate bat speed to the ball once the hitter understands the application and can maintain the hinge angle of the wrist in a sufficent manner until centrifical force realeases the bat and the shoulder tension at the ball. In other words a whip into the hitting zone.

This is the function of having the back shoulder up. This is also what a large number of elite hitters do in todays game. At the college (Men and Women) , MLB, and professional fastpitch levels.


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