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Palm Up, Palm Down Question

Sep 11, 2008
74
0
caifornia
a guest hitting coach i worked with this weekend taught me "knob to the ball" then hammer at a downward angle straight to the ball.

what i normally do is do that, but as i hammer to the ball, i level off at the last second, before contact, so my bottom hand palm is palm down, with the palm parallel to the ground, and the other palm, palm up, also parallel to the ground. what i strive for is my palms parallel to the ground at contact.

this hitting coach actually wants me to be:

"palm up/forward, palm down/backward" at contact.

IOW, since she wants me to hammer the barrel downward at an angle at contact, the palms can't be parallel to the ground. they are almost at a 45 degree angle. so they are like palm up palm down, but rotated a little at an angle or maybe a little less. at least this is what i could get from when she demonstrated for me

this seems to make some sense to me and i am going to try this. it seems more direct to the ball. so i guess i wanted to know if "palm up, palm down" literally means that the palms have to be parallel to the ground??

also, since you want to go straight to the ball with the bat, does this mean the bat head will be traveling down at an angle at contact, and not actually be level to the ground? shouldn't your bat path be flat an inch or so before contact so you hit the ball flush and increase your chances of making solid contact, even though this will result in a longer bat path to the ball??

thanks!
 

May 22, 2008
351
0
NW Pennsylvania
I would not see that coach again- your palms need to be parrallell with the path you intend to drive the ball...inother words parrallell with the ground

in regards to your other post, I dont believe in making a second step either. after you make weight transfer, I believe you should put the same swing on the outside pitch as one down the middle, except your contact point should be deeper in the strike zone...thus you should take that pitch to the right side.
 
Dec 28, 2008
393
0
1. Don't confuse her abilities to hit and her offers with her ability to teach the same thing. If you tossed her 5 quick pitches you might see her do something completely different than she teaches.

2. There are coaches that teach coming down at angle to the ball and just try for a ground ball single up the middle.

3. I love the fact that you mentioned that you felt like you were able to focus and learn something from her even though you weren't sure she was saying everything just right. That ability in you to learn something that was way different than what you were accustomed to is going to be the quality in you that college coaches are going to love, and will hear about from any coach you play for so keep that up.
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,421
38
Mundelein, IL
What that coach was telling you is very old school -- information from about 10 years ago that's pretty much been discredited, even by the people who used to teach it.

I agree with Druer's point #1. If she uses the mechanics she's preaching, she hits in spite of them, not because of them.
 
Sep 11, 2008
74
0
caifornia
1. Don't confuse her abilities to hit and her offers with her ability to teach the same thing. If you tossed her 5 quick pitches you might see her do something completely different than she teaches.

thats so true. my hitting coach says the best players sometimes are not good coaches and the best coaches are sometimes not the best of players! he also says this baseball pitching coach he knows teaches one thing (drop your throwing arm real low awhile your leg lifts up) but he himself, a former pitcher for the Chicago Whitesox, does something completely different! he only thinks he does it, but he doesn't! so he is harming an entire generation of baseball pitchers.

2. There are coaches that teach coming down at angle to the ball and just try for a ground ball single up the middle.
she wants me to aim for the top half of the ball since i keep hitting under the ball due to dropping my hands/elbow when i throw the bat, and also my hammering my wrists a little loopy instead of straight to the ball (i am trying to be loopy so i can get palm up/palm down (linear)on and even a little before contact, even though this means my bat path does not go straight down to the ball). she says if i aim for the top half of the ball i will hit line drives and line drives will result in more homeruns.

3. I love the fact that you mentioned that you felt like you were able to focus and learn something from her even though you weren't sure she was saying everything just right. That ability in you to learn something that was way different than what you were accustomed to is going to be the quality in you that college coaches are going to love, and will hear about from any coach you play for so keep that up.
thanks! i always try to learn something new at every camp or clinic i go to!! i keep a journal after every clinic or private lesson a write down everything i leanred!
 
Jan 14, 2009
1,591
0
Atlanta, Georgia
2012-

The swing is a shallow "U" shape. It starts off down, levels out some and then sweeps up. The advantage of a "U" shaped swing is that if the hitter is late they will contact the ball on the down slope portion of the swing and likely hit the bottom half of the ball hitting a fly ball with backspin, giving the ball more carry. If they are early they will contact the ball on the up slope portion of the swing and likely hit the top half of the ball hitting a ground ball with top spin, giving the ball more speed. This is pretty much what I have seen with my dd.

Ideally, the plane of the swing should match the plane of the pitch. Or as Ted Williams would say, "swing level to the ball". It sounds like your coach is teaching a grooved swing plane. Have you ever tried swinging down on a ball moving down like a peel drop? How about swinging level to the ground at a pitch at the knees?

In a proper rotational swing the plane of the bat will be steeper on lower pitches like drop balls, and more level on higher pitches like rise balls. The goal is to always swing level to the ball.

JC Heir- also makes an excellent point about using the same swing pattern for outside pitches as you would as pitches down the middle. In other words, the commonly taught cue of throwing the hands at the ball on the outside pitch to hit it to the opposite field should be avoided. Fight the urge to extend the arms on the outside pitch and instead let the ball get deep. If you've never played pinball, go play sometime (Do they even make pinball machines anymore?). Anyways, working the flappers on a pinball machine will give you an idea of how you hit the inside and outside pitch.
 
Sep 11, 2008
74
0
caifornia
2012-

The swing is a shallow "U" shape. It starts off down, levels out some and then sweeps up. The advantage of a "U" shaped swing is that if the hitter is late they will contact the ball on the down slope portion of the swing and likely hit the bottom half of the ball hitting a fly ball with backspin, giving the ball more carry. If they are early they will contact the ball on the up slope portion of the swing and likely hit the top half of the ball hitting a ground ball with top spin, giving the ball more speed. This is pretty much what I have seen with my dd.

Ideally, the plane of the swing should match the plane of the pitch. Or as Ted Williams would say, "swing level to the ball". It sounds like your coach is teaching a grooved swing plane. Have you ever tried swinging down on a ball moving down like a peel drop? How about swinging level to the ground at a pitch at the knees?

In a proper rotational swing the plane of the bat will be steeper on lower pitches like drop balls, and more level on higher pitches like rise balls. The goal is to always swing level to the ball.

JC Heir- also makes an excellent point about using the same swing pattern for outside pitches as you would as pitches down the middle. In other words, the commonly taught cue of throwing the hands at the ball on the outside pitch to hit it to the opposite field should be avoided. Fight the urge to extend the arms on the outside pitch and instead let the ball get deep. If you've never played pinball, go play sometime (Do they even make pinball machines anymore?). Anyways, working the flappers on a pinball machine will give you an idea of how you hit the inside and outside pitch.

this is an excellent post. yes i do believe i have a shallow U swing. i want to be linear or level a little before contact, at contact, and after contact for as long as possible, before finishing up high, so this increases the chance i have of making solid contact. the problem with this tho is that since the bottom of the U is more or less level, my bat path of the sweet spot to the ball is not a straight line, and therefore not the shortest possible path. the shortest path would be chopping straight down to the ball.

my coach also says the more level you are before contact, the greater the chances of the barrel head dropping and you hitting under the ball, since it is very hard to control the barrel of the bat when it gets parallel to the ground due to gravity. it is easier to control the barrel when it is above your hands. so my coach emphasizes "barrel above the hands" and "hands above the ball". that is why he does not want me pointing the knob directly at the ball ("knob to the ball") like crystl bustos teaches, with the bat level/parallel to the ground. indeed, i watched crystl at a clinic, and all she did was pop up and foul off during her demo, except for 2 good dirves she had. she taught all of us to have the bat parallel to the ground as you point the knob at the pitcher. and then when i saw her pop up so much during the demo, i knew exactly why and felt bad for her.
 
Oct 29, 2008
166
0
my coach also says the more level you are before contact, the greater the chances of the barrel head dropping and you hitting under the ball, since it is very hard to control the barrel of the bat when it gets parallel to the ground due to gravity. it is easier to control the barrel when it is above your hands. so my coach emphasizes "barrel above the hands" and "hands above the ball". that is why he does not want me pointing the knob directly at the ball ("knob to the ball") like crystl bustos teaches, with the bat level/parallel to the ground. indeed, i watched crystl at a clinic, and all she did was pop up and foul off during her demo, except for 2 good dirves she had. she taught all of us to have the bat parallel to the ground as you point the knob at the pitcher. and then when i saw her pop up so much during the demo, i knew exactly why and felt bad for her.
I'm confused by what you mean here, because if the barrel is above the hands, and the hands are above the ball, you have NO CHANCE of contact.

You wiull not mfind an elite BB or SB hitter who EVER has the barrel above the hands at contact, or near contact. The bat is always slightly below the hands, wehcih are themselves below the front elbow.

This is NOT a small thing, and you are NOT getting good advice from your hitting coach. There are hitting videos all over the net which can be viewed frame-by-frame. Or TIVO Sportscenter some night, and watch all the highlight clips frame-by-frame. However you do it, take some time and watch a few video clips to study this question (and the others you have posted about).

Once you determine the consistency of elite hitters in this mechanical area - or any mechanical area - discuss it with your coach. Maybe you can learn together. But if your coach won't study video of the best hitters in the world, or if your coach wants you to do something different than what can clearly be saeen to be consistent mechanics as demonstrated by the best hitters in the world, find another coach. Your window of opportunity to learn the swing is FAR too short to afford a mis-step on basic mechanics.

There are about a dozen reasons why the swing plane should be slightly upward to the ball, and why the hands should be below the front elbow, with the bat below the hands. Happy to discuss those as you desire, but I think the first step is for you to verify (througfh video) that what I am describing is accurate. You need to KNOW this for yourself, based on video evidence, rather than merely accept what I say. Or a coach says, etc. It is YOUR swing.


As for "palm up / palm down," that is basically accurate. But swinging down to the ball is horrible advice. The path of the bat should basically be something like a Nike "swoosh." Meaning it is initially down slightly, levels briefly, then is upwards towards the ball (matching, in reverse, the downward plane of the pitch). The hands will be palm up / palm down parallel to that swing plane, NOT to the ground.

Best regards, and good luck,

Scott
 

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