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Hitting Questions?

Dec 16, 2008
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What are some of the best drills to keep the hitter from pulling their front shoulder off of the ball?

Are one-handed drills effective and what are some of the most common if they are used?

Also, what is the best instructional video that explains hitting philosophy as well as drills used?
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
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It's about better rotation and that's a long story. I like Englishbey's hitting materials.
 
Aug 4, 2008
2,364
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Lexington,Ohio
I like RVP softball edition and have learned from Don Slaught's hitting material, but as Mark posted many good hitting sources now. You can pick up some good information on this site and baseball 101.
In terms of fixing someone that pulls out on the front side. Went thru this with my daughter at 13,since she became a lefty. It wasn't safe being the first base coach. A couple of drills and tools we used. Read www.whiphit.com. This tool that Mike Bastian is shown using is very good at teaching the correct swing. You pull out you miss the ball on the T.You cast your hands and the rope hits the ball. Second we use PVC pipe and the one hand drill with the back hand. Hit tennis balls into a marked net. Have her hold out her front arm. Hold her hand as she swings, so she can feel and see what she is doing wrong. Takes some time, but they will fix this. I also like taking a 32 inch bat and marking it at 28 inch's with colored tape to let the girl know where the sweet spot is. You can then see better where they are making contact. The whiphit makes it easier, because you have isn't failure and feedback. The whiphit . Howard Carrier uses
it and I and infobuilt think is he is one of the better hitting instructors out there.
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
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I don't think whiphit should be used for finding the sweet spot. That won't transfer IMO to finding the sweet spot on a bat. What it should be used for is understanding the feel of connection and what Adair was talking about when he said a bat should be swung like a rock on a rope. If the makers think finding the sweet spot, avoiding casting etc is what the tool is good for that probably explains the awful pictures on their site promoting disconnection. The tool I like. Their use of it as shown on the website I don't. I suggest making yourself a rope bat like this instead. Photo 28 of 31, Analysis

Been there done that old news.

I do love the RVP software. Swing exposition given by Mike and Sue is completely Slaught's and I do have some problems with it though it's much better than their old stuff and better than most out there. Especially in the fastpitch world. Hooray for Slaught for getting Mike and Sue on video saying the fp swing is the MLB swing. Use the software for sure. If someone will be impressed by the big names endorsing it, use the swing exposition. It will beat heck out of what they have likely been doing before. My recommendation is still Englishbey though.
 
May 7, 2008
977
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San Rafael, Ca
My preference is to try to have them emulate the MLB power swing which requires among other things an upper body arm action that is similar to overhand throw.

This means it is important to teach a good overhand throw at the same time.

Golf information is also very useful in understanding the MLB power swing.

The best accessible program/info on MLB swing in my opinion is Williams SCIENCE OF HITTING and Epstein's material. See

mikeepsteinhitting.com

The best mechanical model of the swing is mankins blend of "CHP"/swing and torque/hitting. See

batspeed.com

This is similar to the golf concepts of swinging and hitting and hybrid "switting" in Homer Kelley's THEGOLFMACHINE (TGM) work.



Williams described this blend of swing and hit with an emphasis on the hit part with emphasis on the power hand being the top hand and describing the swing as a power/push/axe swing that was always a "slight upswing" that permitted long read time and late plane adjustment for a long matching "contact zone".

The "slight upswing" results from powering the swing with a well formed torso coil with the hands staying back so that the quick uncoiling of the torso starting the unloading sequence of the bat with the bat swinging down more vertically as it uncocks to contionue/control loading/stretch as the hips turn the body ina more level/opposing plane, then swinging up through the contact zone, more steeply for low ball, less for high heater.


This "2 plane swing" where body is stretched between level hip turn and initial swinging down of the bat keeps the shoulder in there and creates late adjustable stretch.

This is most similar in golf the the Jim Hardy "2 plane" golf swing (PLANE TRUTH FOR GOLFERS).



If you just try to swing with fairly passive arms and hands, the shoulder flies out and the swing is long.

The arms and hands need to resist flying out so the hands stay back as the torso coils.

The way mlb power hitters do this (different from golf, similar to overhand throw for loading arm action) is by torquing the handle of the bat early via twist of the forearms, turning of the elbows and tilting of the shoulders.

So when you do Epstein drills you have to make sure you interpret his "cues" so when you execute the GO move ("drop and tilt") you tilt the shoulders instead of turn them and turn the elbows retaining the reciprocal/elbow spread he describes and twist the forearms by "scooping sand with th top hand" and "getting the hands flat ASAP.

If you have a student who can not throw in a high level/related overhand throw pattern (CAndrea/Slaught if you can throw you can hit has same MLB goal) and they are not progressing with the MLB pattern, then the swing Mark likes is fine to try.

In this swing, you have to bend over at the waist and stick the butt out to steepen the torso plane so that when the bat turns, the shoulder stay relatively in.

This is a very different way of using the body and in general it is best not to mix the specifics of one pattern with another.
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
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I know most of that is inscrutable but for the record I of course think Tom is in serious error about what the MLB swing is and after years of internet posting it seems Tom has no students he actually teaches to prove out his theories. Carry on Tom.
 
Aug 4, 2008
2,364
0
Lexington,Ohio
If you know Don Slaught and what he teaches he and Epstein do not agree !. I'm not putting down Epstein, but if you were at the last NFCA meeting these two went at each other.
 
May 7, 2008
977
0
San Rafael, Ca
Good point SB.

My claim is that they are both seeing and teaching the same pattern and if you can "reconcile" what they have in common, then you have a likely candidate for a MECHANICAL swing pattern "fundamental"/"universal" that should be a part of the MLB pattern swing.

The same mechanical pattern may be executed with many styles and with a wide variety of intents and feels which is one source of disagreement. Another source of disagreement is that the swing must be mechanically adjustable and the variation from adjustment may be mistaken for incompatiblity.

Lau and Williams also disagree, but mechanical pattern/universals are same.

Lau claims Williams taught/encouraged a one dimensional excessively rotational swing pulling off/hitting around ball.

Williams claimed Lau ruined more hitters than anyone.

LAu started off trying to describe universals that would explain Hank Aaron's swing (front foot hitting), but he ended up with a combo of universals and specifics that fit with the brett off the plate/bat wrap/closed stance (lead arm extension/stride then swing).

Epstein describes a bellyup swing that fits with Aaron but is lacking in how to adjust for outside location power.

Mankin is best at explaining in/out adjustment mechanics.

As an example, we can take some contradictory claims and see if reconciliation can shed light on what is universal technique and what is individual style as Epstein would say.
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
If you know Don Slaught and what he teaches he and Epstein do not agree !. I'm not putting down Epstein, but if you were at the last NFCA meeting these two went at each other.
Wasn't it the meeting before this one or did they do it again? Doesn't matter. Tom will tell you what they really meant. ;)
 

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