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When does full arm extension occur?

FJRGerry

Abby's Dad
Jan 23, 2009
202
0
Collegeville, PA
I used to teach my daughter that her arms needed to be fully extended at contact, but I now understand this is incorrect. Instead elbows are bent and extend after contact. My question is at what point? For a right handed hitter, assuming swinging at a ball over the center of the plate, would it be correct to state the arms are extended as the bat crosses the plane of the second baseman or the pitcher?

Thanks!

Gerry
 

May 7, 2008
977
0
San Rafael, Ca
I find it more useful to think in terms of the sequence of extension rather than work primarily by "position". Or at least work on sequence of positions, moving through the right positions in the right order with the right flow.

Back arm - For MLB swing pattern, there is "palmup" extension of the back arm/top hand with (ideally) the top hand wrist remaining "unbroken" (1- dorsiflexed/bent back toward forearm/wrinkling back of wrist and 2-cocked/aBducted) and definitely not "rolling" (pronation/twist of back forearm) at contact.

A good torso twist/load/unload/body torque is necessary to power this.

As the swing radius gets longer, there will be more back arm/wrist extension at contact with more extension at the back elbow,loss of dorsiflexion of the back wrist and aDduction of the wrist, but no roll that would start to turn the back palm down.

When you hear "he really got extended on that one", it means there was good back elbow extension/thrust through the ball without depletion of extension/wrist action or worse, forced rolling by contact.

The degree of extension in the lead arm/stretch of lead shoulder (scap) is set initially during load/stride to toe touch.

The bend in the lead arm at the elbow is then maintained for a period of time after "GO", then once the lead wrist starts to unhinge (aDduct/"uncock"), it is OK for there to be extension at the lead arm elbow while the lead upper arm must remain internally rotated (keeps point of lead elbow up in swing plane/prevents "chicken winging") in the shoulder socket. Again, the longer the swing radius, the more the lead arm will extend at the elbow prior to contact.

Ideally, for the bathead/sweetspot to be at maximum speed/escape velocity at contact, the bat will line up with the lead forearm and the lead wrist will be fully unhinged/aDducted/uncocked right at contact (swing like double pendulum, double pendulum=flail/"law of the flail").

You can practice these sequences by one armed then 2 armed swings.

Here is a nice video:

http://groundup.hittingillustrated.com/hitting/david_wright_hands.wmv
 
Jul 17, 2008
67
0
As the swing radius gets longer, there will be more back arm/wrist extension at contact with more extension at the back elbow,loss of dorsiflexion of the back wrist and aDduction of the wrist, but no roll that would start to turn the back palm down.
The bend in the lead arm at the elbow is then maintained for a period of time after "GO", then once the lead wrist starts to unhinge (aDduct/"uncock"), it is OK for there to be extension at the lead arm elbow while the lead upper arm must remain internally rotated (keeps point of lead elbow up in swing plane/prevents "chicken winging") in the shoulder socket. Again, the longer the swing radius, the more the lead arm will extend at the elbow prior to contact.

Ideally, for the bathead/sweetspot to be at maximum speed/escape velocity at contact, the bat will line up with the lead forearm and the lead wrist will be fully unhinged/aDducted/uncocked right at contact (swing like double pendulum, double pendulum=flail/"law of the flail").

FJRGerry:

This will undoubtably be useful to you, as I am sure all of the above will be obvious and intuitive to you and your daughter.

If she gets confused on dorsiflexion, abduction, and adduction, then she just isn't motivated. An unfortunate problem, but at least you'll know. I'm sure she understands a double pendulum, and they probably teach her all about flails in intermediate school.




I used to teach my daughter that her arms needed to be fully extended at contact, but I now understand this is incorrect. Instead elbows are bent and extend after contact. My question is at what point? For a right handed hitter, assuming swinging at a ball over the center of the plate, would it be correct to state the arms are extended as the bat crosses the plane of the second baseman or the pitcher?

Some good questions, There are a lot of variables that will affect the position hitter-to-hitter, and pitch-to-pitch. And it all happens when the bat is traveling its fastest, and within 0.05 seonds (or less). Meaning there isn't much you can do to change it near the point of contact. And further meaning that extension will be what it is, and pointed in the direction that it is.

What you CAN do something about is to set up well. Begin rotating even as you transfer momentum to the front side. And STAY CONNECTED until you are around the corner. After that, the swing unloads almost as if it is on auto pilot, and a part of that is the extension of the arms. It will just happen if you are mechanically sound in your setup and launch, and if you stay connected.
 
Jul 17, 2008
67
0
Tom:


Great to hear from you again. Happy Easter.

What do you think of the Wright video ?

Have a GREAT day.

I don't know what video you are talking about. Who does Wright play for? Is she a college hitter?


Sorry, I shouldn't have been sarcastic in my previous post, and I'll lose that going forward.


However, I do believe that your explanation - however technically correct it may be - is lost on the typical hitter / parent. I say this because it is lost on me, and I coach hitters in college.

You probably could really help some hitters, Tom, should that be of interest to you. If it is, I believe you'll need to learn to communicate to them in terms they'll find understandable and meaningful. THAT is what it is about working with young hitters, IMO. But to be successful, you'll need to use VERY simple terms. And you'll need to actually work with hitters to see what really works in building a swing, correcting flaws, and meeting the challenges of the game today.

JMHO. I fear you'll reject it, though that is certainly your perogative. But I wish you wouldn't. . . .

Hope you have a great day as well.
 
May 27, 2008
106
0
Indiana
Hi Skeptic,

Tom isn't writing to the hitter, but to the parent who, after all, asked for help. There is a lot of detail in what Tom writes, but you need that level of detail to really gain an understanding of the movement/sequencing. I think you really know that.

IMO, Tom's post was a lot more helpful than yours. I don't mean any disrespect when I say that. I give adults a lot more credit for being intelligent enough to understand what Tom writes. And if you (or anyone else)aren't familiar with a term, look it up.

I coach HS and younger hitters. I like reading what Tom has to write, just as I enjoyed reading Paul Nyman for several years. It helps me better understand what's going on in the swing and therefore - better explain it to hitters in simpler language.

Mike
 
Jul 17, 2008
67
0
If the information is helpful to you, you should use it. If it is helpful to the parent, he / she should.

Personally, I don't understand it on the surface, and I am paid to work with hitters. Do pretty good at it too, but hey maybe I just am more limited than I'd like to believe.

It isn't that I don't know what abduction means. I suppose if I cared enough, I'd have to figure out if his frame of reference is abduction when viewing the hitter from the front or the rear, but as you say, I could probably firgure it out. In the frame of reference of hitting, it could mean a thousand different things, and no parent is a mind reader. Nor are they going to grasp the totality of hitting advice that STARTS with having to look up several of the foundational terms.

Buy an Epstein tape. Buy an Englishbey tape. Buy RVP. Buy SOMETHING. Listen to someone who actually personally works with hitters. Get some instruction from somenone who has PERSONALLY successfully caused a variety of female FP hitters to improve. That's my advice for someone who wants to play in college.



There is a lot of detail in what Tom writes, but you need that level of detail to really gain an understanding of the movement/sequencing.
Couldn't disagree more. MLB hitting instructors don't have that kind of detail. College coaches don't. Parents almost certainly don't, and players never do. And I am at a loss to know why ANYONE would accept it from a single source, even if they did think it valuable. Particularly a single source who is not involved in hands-on instruction. May be the nicest guy in the world - obviously, you and he are friends, and that's great. May be the most well-intentioned guy in the world. MAY even be right - I truly don't know, because as I said, I don't understand it. But where is the credibility if the author doesn't actually work with hitters?


IMO, what a parent should do is get with an instructor who intuitively / actually understands athletic movement, and how to apply it to the softball swing. Or learn a lot personally REALLY quickly, because the window of opportunity for the female hitter is so amazingly short.


One thing you are correct about is the sequencing - how to load, how to unload, etc. Very important. Doesn't require kineseological terms to UNDERSTAND it though, and certainly not to teach it.


I'm not ascribing motive to anyone. But the goal of a teacher SHOULD be to impart knowledge in terms understandable to the audience. NOT to show how smart you are. Giving Tom the benefit of the doubt here - he's really trying to impart the information - he is missing the mark. IMO, VERY few people - even professional hitting people - would understand the above. And about one parent in a thousand might.
 
Jul 17, 2008
67
0
I coach HS and younger hitters. I like reading what Tom has to write, just as I enjoyed reading Paul Nyman for several years. It helps me better understand what's going on in the swing and therefore - better explain it to hitters in simpler language.
I've heard of Nyman, but don't know much about him.

Rather than criticizing me for criticizing Tom, would you consider this?

How about describing the simpler language you use to communicate with hitters after distilling down his comments? I would sincerely be interested in that.

What drills do you use to put a hitter in good extension position? Are they the same for every hitter? Is there a sequence of drills (where do you start, etc., where do you progress to?).

Etc. I AM interested in what you say as it relates to hitters you actually work with. THAT is relevant.
 

Cannonball

Ex "Expert"
Feb 25, 2009
3,795
48
I don't know if the vast majority of parents get it or not. I trudge through it. But then again, I'm from Kentucky (born) and so, when someone says "abduction," I grab my 12 gauge. That usually stops em!;):D
 
May 7, 2008
977
0
San Rafael, Ca
skeptic -

The video is linked at the bottom of my post above.

David Wright is a major league hitter. Since I am describing the MLB swing pattern, he is a good model.

Here is a nice source to understand the joint motion terminology.

Joint Articulations and Movements

You need a systematic way of describing actions of the body/limbs and these accepted kinesiological terms can work well to support communication and analysis of the swing.

thanks again.
 

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