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Softball Swing vs. Baseball Swing - 2

FastpitchFan

Softball fan
Feb 28, 2008
496
0
Montreal, Canada
I think the discussions about the differences between the baseball swing and the softball swing is quite interesting. I think it goes into female vs. male differences as well.

Since I had to do a major clean-up in the previous thread because of inappropriate posts, the flow of the previous is not smooth and might not make sense at times.

So, I thought we could start fresh here and discuss it.

A few thoughts...

It is a known fact that female have less upper body strength than male do. To add to this, female are closer in strength to men in the lower body than they are in the upper body.

To make sure you get what I am saying.. let's say you have a male and a female of the exact same height (5'8'') and exact same weight (150 lbs).

In the upper body, that female could have only about 45% of that male strength where in the lower body, she could have 60% of that male strength.

By the way, the percentage are just symbolic figure, i have no real numbers or stats. I just made them up to prove a point.

My point being that overall... women have strong legs but less strength in the upper body.

Does that make a difference in their ability to swing?
 

Jul 17, 2008
54
0
Troy, Illinois
Marc, I often take my dd's team to a local facility to hit. (I don't know if it is appropriate to provide a link to that facility but it is very nice.) One of the instructors is a former college softball hitting coach. He has often remarked that FP is in a transition wherein the arms hitters and no weight shift hitting techniques of old are being replaced by techniques emphasizing the core. He has often remarked that if you had watched the college game as recent as 5-8 years ago, you'd see hitters finishing their swings with their belly buttons directed in the area of 2nd base. Now, he believe that when you watch the CWS, the majority of hitters hit with authority and can drive the ball. Of course he is the first to note that there is a long way to go in our area (Midwest) to catch up with what is happening on both coasts with regards to hitting.

In presenting this topic, perhaps the best way is to compare and contrast. I'll leave that to some of the people a lot smarter than I but would mention a few thoughts. First pitch release points are different. I don't buy into the rise ball actualy rising. I've been influenced a lot by some stuff SSarge posted on other sites. Yes, before anyone ask, I've played FP before. However, not for an extended period of time and I estimate about 4 years. I think that the strike zones are different as well. We recently played in a tournament where the Umpire had anything approaching the hands in height as a strike. Very good ump and very consistent. However, in baseball, he'd have been run out of the tournament on rails. This then also should reasonbly be discussed when talking about the swing mechanics. I recall this past spring one local parent who is also a FP pitcher getting some of the girls together for BP prior to tryouts. He has his own barn. My dd stepped up and the first thing he mentioned what that with her "tilt" she'd never be able to hit fp. He asked about her reaction to the riseball AND mentioned that he'd get her out throwing it. Fortunately, she has done a lot of adjustment drills and can do so in the box when reacting to pitches. Besides, the best thing to do with most rise balls is to take them for a ball. Finally, the bats are different. There is a lot of difference in swinging a -3 bat for hs baseball and bats that have serious drops with a "standard" of around -10. Well, I hope this give some food for thought and will spark this discussion onward on a positive track.
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
Yeah given the differences in female upper body strength it never made sense to teach the girls to arm swing. A good swing is a good swing.
 
May 7, 2008
977
0
San Rafael, Ca
marc-

there are few high level swings in fastpitch that, high level meaning in the MLB pattern. bustos is in and out. nelson from cal was high level. there are a few each year that get in the pattern, but they can lose it in a hurry, flipping back and forth between several patterns/sequences.

one of the best "flips" I saw was Finch her senioir year. she has a great natural pattern in part becasue she has great overhand throwm mechanics. her senir year, she got into one of the worst looking/low level swings i have ever seen and then was in a high level pattern again by the end of the year. I'm not sure what she was trying to do.

another way of "flipping"/losing consistency is to try to master different patterns for different locations. different patterns are OK for different "situations' like power hitting vs placement, but if you take a power cut in MLB, for example, it should always be the high level pattern as best described by Williams, with hip and wrist emphasis producing a "slight uppercut".

the high level pattern requires a high level overhand throwing pattern and usually early experience with heavy bats, neither of which you see very often in fastpitch.

also, almost any instruction you are likely to get early in fastpitch will kill the high level pattern because of the nature of the information out there.

the disconnected arm swing info is very prevalent still, left over from the 90's national team/asa sponsored stuff.

candrea and enquist/rightview have progressed since then with much better info. there is still a big problem in their interpretation which is the wrong sort of understanding of how to match swing to pitch. they think of the swing in spatial/short to/long through the zone which involves the flaw that "board member" calls fulcrum push.

this old Mankin video shows the desired non push of the fulcrum at contact. Mankin calls this "BHT at contact" and traces the ability to do this back to forces developed and then applied earlier/at initiation (THT);

http://www.batspeed.com/media/Burrell_Bonds_BHT.wmv

the candrea cues tend to encourage pushing the handpath at contact/"fulcrum push".



the highest level typically seen in fastpitch is a stretch and fire type pattern with the upper body resistance provided by "wrapping the bat" or "excessive backswing/counter-rotation" much like a classic 2 plane golf swing. Benyi would be an example.
 
May 7, 2008
977
0
San Rafael, Ca
For background,PLT,THT,CHP,BHT are the main Mankin principles.

More BHT at contact comparison:

http://www.batspeed.com/media/Good_v_little_BHT.wmv

CHP is “keeping the hands in”/ keeping the bathead accelerasting to contact as the torso unloads/untwists. this is the pendulum portion of the swing.

before this and during this, the handle is also being torqued, first prior to the shoulders tilting/turning, which is prelaunch torque/PLT, then as shoulders start to (tilt then) turn/THT at launch/THT at initiation, then when pendulum effect kicks in as torso unloads/BHT.

CHP, see:

Bat Speed -- Baseball Hitting Forum

demo of PLT and THT from side:

Bat Speed -- Baseball Hitting Forum

http://www.batspeed.com/media/Sosa_Launch2Lag.wmv
 
Jul 14, 2008
1,722
38
Well, Well, Well Tom. I'm glad to see we've come FULL CIRCLE in your education......

Most Recently: My assertion that Candrea is "behind the hitting curve"........and you of course lauding me for making that assertion, and now you finally confirming you agree.

Coupled with your education way back when (late '06) on Eteamz when I introduced you and Richard to the failure of "the fulcrum push".

Coupled with my explaination of "activation of the lead shoulder" to complete the swing and keep the bat head continuing it's journey through contact as I also pointed out back in '06, in the "fulcrum push" thread, which Mankin began refering to as BHT.

It's all still there if you care to search for it under HazeCoach or OBM........
 
Jul 10, 2008
381
0
Central PA
I might be a novice, but . . .

When I look at the final frames of both hitters in the video link of the two high school hitters provided, I see less problem with the front elbow position (they're relatively the same, but I'll agree the kid on the left is getting more backward pull with his shoulder) and more with the body position. That kid on the left drove the ball 100' further because he had a firm front side, his shoulders are behind his hips which are behind his knees ("power line"). The kid on the right collapsed his front side and his shoulders are over his hips. There is less torque because he his hitting off of a collapsed front side, and his momentum is forward and down, rather than forward and "up."
 
May 7, 2008
977
0
San Rafael, Ca
OBM/Hazecoach/John/etc-

Thanks for contributing.

Mankin has been describing things the same way for >5 yrs.

I think you are catching up, but recently you continued to mischaracterize tht as push, not pull with top hand. Your quotes here do NOT represent what mankin is describing:

"Mankin is famous for his THT. A feeling which is gleemed from the intertia of the bat, not initated from the hands..."

"What I believe, and have ALWAYS believed, is that THT (forward active force) is available from the point the hands release from the rear shoulder..........."

I would not describe Candrea as not up to speed. he gets good results because he teaches enough of a high level pattern to get a version of the natural stretch and fire pattern to take over learning.

He understands, after Slaught how the throw is like hitting. When you get the upper body right, the lower body tends to fall in line well if it's close enough.

You do not have to get everything right to let the natural pattern take over. Nature does the teaching, not you.

Mankin has very little lower body emphasis and does not appreciate shoulder tilt vs turn, BUT he still gets good results because the high level pattern is an adjustable stretch and fire via synched upper and lower body progeams with upper in control. Since he gets the upper body/transfer mechanics right, the rest falls in line well.

Another thing you could improve on with regard to what happens in the high level pattern is how the back forearm layover needs to occur.

I am impressed that you like the front foot open 30 degrees, that would go against the PCR blueprint of keeping front foot closed.

The PCR blueprint actually forces the single plane swing which does not work for MLB, so it helps to be aware of the differences like the open front foot that encourage the 2 plane type swing you need in MLB.
 
Jul 17, 2008
54
0
Troy, Illinois
Exactly what is the PCR footprint? Tom, when was the most recent date that you've been on the private portion of either SE's or PN's site to see what they are discussing. SE tries to suggest drills via trial and error and of course a lot of video work and discussion on the private portion of his site to create resources that will enable a parent or coach to help their players out and create a repeatable swing. As Paul Nyman recently said, "...there is no such thing as teaching PCRW." (The W being whip.) He went on to suggest that PCR(W) is more the end than the means. In understanding this concept, the rational then is to create those drills that deal with typical swing deficiencies to enable players to create a higher level swing. You cite the toes closed as an example. However, in the scope of one of the first drills one would be exposed to on SE's site, the statement is made early and often that this is a beginning stage of breaking down the body into segments for the purpose of isolating small portions of a larger swing process. When that initial segment is completed, SE makes the same assertion again for clarity. In fact, no one THAT I KNOW asserts that all MLB players keep their front foot locked in place during all swings.

Now with regards to training softball and baseball players, this is imperative to the training of athletes. Coaches have long understood the benefits of "breakdown drills." For example in basketball, putting the off hand behind your back and tossing in freethrows while watching spin. Teaching hitting is no different. In the example of the toe/foot ridiculed by Tom, now imagine that video of Elvis where he has the microphone and does that knee action. Elvis the Pelvis! The toe turned slightly inward enables a hitter to get to that phase quicker as they learn. What has really happened is that a portion of the load process has been achieved. Note a swing such as Soriano's now with this image in your mind. When everything comes together, then you'd have to determine if that swing incorporated Posture, Connection and Rotation in an efficient manner. If so, a high level swing should be the result.

For a little food for thought on that front foot:



MarkH or BoardMember, comments or errors in what I've presented?
 
Jul 14, 2008
1,722
38
tom.guerry said:
OBM/Hazecoach/John/etc-

Thanks for contributing.

Mankin has been describing things the same way for >5 yrs.

I think you are catching up, but recently you continued to mischaracterize tht as push, not pull with top hand. Your quotes here do NOT represent what mankin is describing:

"Mankin is famous for his THT. A feeling which is gleemed from the intertia of the bat, not initated from the hands..."
I have 2 comments on the above........

1.) Whether Mankin describes THT as a push or a pull makes no difference to me. TORQUE is a term that relates ONLY to rotational force. PULLING without applying forward force or the effects of inertia IS NOT TORQUE.

IF you've ever swung a 16 oz. framing hammer, you'd understand the feeling that THE INITITIAL TORQUE FORCE of the swing of the hammer on the top hand is backwards due to the inertia of the 16 oz. head. NOT FROM THE TOP HAND applying forward force. In this case, the top hand IS THE NUT, not the wrench. It is feeling intertial torque, not applying it.

As the momentum of the 16 oz. head breaks inertia, and the head is propelled forward, the top hand gains an advantage over this resitance, and is then in a position to apply added forward force to the handle to snap the head into the 20 penny nail driving it home in ONE stroke. At this late point in the swing, the bottom hand IS THE NUT, and the top hand IS the wrench.

This action changing could be described as the "reciprocating" actions between role of the hands.

This is exactly what I feel when I swing. THEREFORE, I believe that THT only exists in the last 1/3 of frames to contact, where the top hand gains the advantage over intertia.

What you purposely (and constantly) leave out of the "push of the top hand" senario is role of the bottom hand as a fulcrum, (which you now understand and subcribe to thanks to me) that means the top hand is driving the handle around that fulcrum, NOT JUST FORWARD IN SPACE toward the pitcher as a separate action.

Hitting from the top (EARLY THT) that you imply is optimal, makes utterly impossible to square the 1 1/4" 16 oz. hammer head on top of the 5/16" nail head with enough direct LATE force insure ACCURACY WITH MAX POWER to drive the nail home WITHOUT bending it from a mis-hit.

2.) The following quote is a summary of ALL OF THE ABOVE..........

"What I believe, and have ALWAYS believed, is that THT (forward active force) is available from the point the hands release from the rear shoulder..........."

tom.guerry said:
I would not describe Candrea as not up to speed.
I will only quote from your previous post. You can back peddle all you like:

tom.guerry said:
there is still a big problem in their interpretation which is the wrong sort of understanding of how to match swing to pitch. they think of the swing in spatial/short to/long through the zone which involves the flaw that "board member" calls fulcrum push.
I agree, Candrea is behind the curve..........

tom.guerry said:
He understands, after Slaught how the throw is like hitting........
But does not understand the path, how to accuratly match the plane, OR how the lower body works...........Enough said.

tom.guerry said:
I am impressed that you like the front foot open 30 degrees, that would go against the PCR blueprint of keeping front foot closed.
And you didn't know what the heck a "fulcrum push" was until I showed you.

IF in fact that WAS a teaching point from either Paul or Steve, I've never once heard it in the past 3 years I've been involved in dicussing hitting in this venue. How long will you hold on to the skeletons in the closet?

Until the cows come home?..........

You should continue to tell others how/what you believe is optimal. It's healthy and promotes good discussion..........It also reveals how much you've learned over the past 2 years.........:D
 

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