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Take the fat part of the bat to the ball

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,470
48
Mundelein, IL
One of those hitting cues that has been around for years is "take your hands to the ball," or its cousin "take the knob of the bat to the ball." The idea is to give hitters something specific to do to get online with the flight of the pitch as it comes in.

Unfortunately, it doesn't really work. Unless you're planning on hitting the ball with the knob of the bat -- what I call "pool cuing" the ball -- taking your hands or the knob of the bat to the ball actually puts you in a poor position to hit the ball. It leads to dropping the hands among other things, and actually does more to take you off-line than put you on line, particularly since it will cause the barrel of the bat to be above the hands rather than below.

A better cue is to tell hitters to take the fat part of the bat (the barrel) to the ball. It sounds simple, but it makes perfect sense. Of course, there are several things that occur prior to that point, but when it comes to how to take the bat to the ball, the focus is on the fat part. Do that and you'll find you hit a lot more.

More...
 
Aug 4, 2008
2,364
0
Lexington,Ohio
Many colleges teach what we call Bam Bam. Elbow to my hand, Hand to my Hand to get a good first move. You are right casting the hands or knob to the ball is a terrible first move. For those that don't understand what this does. Simple test. Have you hitter take her hands to the ball and stop at contact. Now take one finger on the end of the bat and you can actually push the bat all the way back. Now as Ken is talking about , take the elbow, then the hands and keep the hands inside of the ball and higher than the ball. We use the inside of the plate on a pitch over the plate. Same drill. You will not be able to push the bat back. Now tell me which is a stronger position! We do this wilth each student, because we want them to feel and observe what we teach. We use a tool called the Whiphit and hit balls off the T. If you cast, you cannot hit the ball off the T. It helps teach a good first move.
 
May 12, 2008
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The strength at the point of contact argument would seem to be undercut by the studies that show the ball has left the bat before the shock wave of bat ball contact has reached the hands. IMO, the kinetic chain has done it's work by contact and it's all about how fast the bat head is moving, how accurately it hits the sweet spot moving in what direction.

I think I hear Ken saying don't do this? Photo 18 of 31, Analysis

But rather do these Fastpitch and these ULL vs. UNT
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,470
48
Mundelein, IL
Yes, Mark, that's definitely what I'm saying. I still hear that "hands to the ball" cue all over the place and I cringe every time. It's just not what good hitters do, nor does it makes sense if you really think about what they're saying.

SBFamily, that's a good explanation of the mechanics of it, and the differences. It's a question of how to deliver energy to the point of contact -- and to make sure you actually HAVE a point of contact.

Mark, I understand your point, but I think the discussion SBFamily has about strength at the point of contact is an indicator of what led up to contact more than an absolute fact. Also, watch girls hit off a pitching machine. For those with weak mechanics, you can actually see the bat get knocked backward by contact with the machine ball. Seems to be an indication of poor delivery of the bat head throughout the swing. Those with better mechanics tend to hit through the ball better. So I guess what I'm saying is regardless of whether it has any actual impact on the hit, being strong to the point of contact as is discussed here delivers a better swing overall.

Hope that makes sense. I'm doing this hurriedly at work.
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
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If the wrists uncock/the bathead whips/gets thrown in a timely fashion, the bathead won't get knocked back because it will be moving fast at contact. A late whip or no whip will cause the knock back because the bathead isn't moving fast enough. An example of late whip is the kid who pushes their hands forward like the clip, though probably a little more subtly, creating a late whip far out in front of the front foot. She hits monster pull foul ball home runs and yet can never seem to create much power between the lines outside of the occasional hard hit ball barely fair. If the powerful static position you demonstrate to your hitter includes a good bend in the top hand elbow, fine.
 

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