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the knob of the bat to the ball?

May 11, 2008
1
0
This confuses the kids to me....Coachs say bring the knob to the ball, so the kids bring the knob to the ball...if the pitch is outside there goes the knob then they cast, if the ball is low they bring the knob down then they cop at he ball?? very confusing? We may understand the concept, but not the kids. I explain the concept to the kids and parents when I teach that, though I teach the knob to the pitcher, keeping hands close to the body, tucking rear elbow under. Any thoughts?? Thanks Marc for this site.
Coach Cindy
Orlanod Fl.
 
May 7, 2008
29
0
The object of the game

What you're looking for is for the kids to realize that their hands have to lead and the bat barrel has to follow. You don't want them extending their arms and pulling the bat across the plate at the ball. Make sure they align the finger knuckles (the ones in the middle of their fingers-- not on their hands). This will guarantee that when the bat impacts the ball, the top hand will turn over and help the ball jump off the bat.

Hands back with knuckles aligned.
Chin and lead shoulder close together, if not touching.
Turn shoulder and hands slightly backward as ball is leaving pitcher's hand.
Stepping is optional, but lead foot must go toward the ball if you step.
Don't let hips open before the hands start at the ball. Let the swing pull them open.
Keep eyes on the ball through impact. See the bat hit the ball.
Swing hard!

I hope that helps. You owe me 40 bucks.
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,463
48
Mundelein, IL
Telling hitters to take the knob of the bat to the ball is an old cue. It's been used for years. Unfortunately it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

I prefer to tell hitters to take the fat part of the bat to the ball. That's what you really want them to do. But honestly I don't know that it's any better than talking about the knob.

What I find to be better is telling them to take their back shoulder forward and toward the ball. This helps them get the idea of following the ball where it's pitched (which is what you're really trying to get them to do) and to avoid standing up straight when they hit, which just takes the bat away from the ball on low pitches.

One drill to help with it is to have them hold the bat evenly across their shoulders, with their arms crossed. Then set a ball on the tee and have them rotate their bodies and hit the ball off the tee. Setting the tee at different heights helps with following the ball. It also shows that the back shoulder will be lower than the front, even on high pitches.
 
May 7, 2008
29
0
and you wonder...

And you wonder why she's confused? Maybe she should read Softball Magazine. Her head might explode from reading more of that stuff and she won't have to worry about anything anymore. Good luck lady.
 
May 7, 2008
442
16
DFW
So these Cues are Good?

Grip - Line up the knocking knuckles

Keep Hands High

Squish the Bug

Throwing the barrel of the bat to the ball

Taking the hands to the ball

Taking the Knob to the ball

Staying inside the ball

Staying on top of the ball

Swing DOWN on the ball

Keep your head in

Stand TALL.

Roll your wrist

Take a long Stride

Front arm Down

All of these Cues could mean any number of things to an instructor or a coach. Myself included. AND I HAVE TAUGHT THEM TO KIDS. They dont work. They will not turn little Suzy into a high level hitter in softball. They only have meaning to the individual who is telling them to the kid and that is their interpretation. Which could be totally different from mine or Ken's or Marc's or any other instructor out there.

Taking the knob of the bat to the ball implies taking the hands to the ball. That will not produce a consistent swing plane to the ball and it wont generate power to the ball. It will create disconnection and weak little grounders to the 6 and 4 holes all day long.

If your going to teach kids how to hit tell them to watch the best in the world today. That should be their template. That template does not match any of those cues posted above. Either MLB, Professional Fastpitch, or Olympic hitters. If you study the best they do not take the knob of the bat to the ball. They certainly do not squish the bug.

Elliott.
 
May 7, 2008
29
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The best in the world

Elliot:

My post above IS what the best in the world do. I know this because I WAS one of the best fastpitch softball hitters in the world-- still am, actually. And I was one of the few baseball players capable of making the transition successfully from one game to the other and back ---often on the same day. I assure you, I've taught a lot of little girls (and boys) to hit.

I cannot, however, teach them to have top notch genes, or to be fearless at the plate. If you've got bad genes or you're afraid, then you need to find another game. I can tell in 10 seconds whether a 9-year-old (or older) has the potential to be at least a useful player--- and I won't lie to a parent who wants to know what I think.
 
May 7, 2008
29
0
Mark H/ Who I like...

I like the Marx girl a lot. She has a powerful swing and stays closed until she pulls the trigger. She has a short stride, which is better for hitting the good changeups. You'll notice they all have a few things in common:

1. They all start their hands backward as the ball is released (cocking their bats-- they call it "loading" now).

2. They all keep their eyes glued to the ball through impact.

3. They all (with one exception who bailed a little) step at the ball and keep their front shoulders tucked to their chins as they cock their bats and start to swing.

These are the same good habits that all the best baseball hitters employ.
I noticed one or two have a pretty steep upswing. Some of the gurus are teaching that now. It looks great when they hit it out of the park. It looks bad when they miss or pop up. Ted Williams, arguably the greatest hitter ever, said you have to have a little bit of an uppercut. I agree, though I never really thought about that. I just tried to hit it hard. Homeruns were an accident. Good hitters will uppercut low pitches and tomahawk high pitches. Where they get into trouble is when they start thinking too much and trying to do Geometry in the batter's box. Yogi Berra: "90 percent of hitting is half mental." You have to be fearless and confident.

Watch Manny Ramirez for a perfect example. He keeps it simple.
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,463
48
Mundelein, IL
Care to explain?

And you wonder why she's confused? Maybe she should read Softball Magazine. Her head might explode from reading more of that stuff and she won't have to worry about anything anymore. Good luck lady.
I don't see a factual discussion of what you disagree with in my post. I see posturing.

Please explain why you felt the need to make snotty comments instead of make a thoughtful post. On all good hitters the back shoulder moves toward the ball, and the fat part of the bat makes contact. Those are facts that are easily verified.
 
May 7, 2008
1
0
Wow

Not sure I agree with the rolling of the hands bit at contact. That was some old schools stuff that is rarely seen in College and Olympics settings. I think that if you will look at the slomo's of the top level power hitters, you will see the bottom hand palm up "thru" contact. I too have taught many kids and then gone and watched there performance in games. You can definately tell the difference in the different styles. I also teach my kids the importance of driving the back knee down. This helps keep them centered at contact as well as generate more power from the backside.
I also think there is a difference in mentallity from baseball and softball. There is a reason that major leaguers cannot hit a Finch rise ball. It's all about the plane of the ball.

Just my two cents. What the heck it's free!!
 

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