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Thread: Toe Touch and Heel Plant

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    Toe Touch and Heel Plant

    Why are these used as checkpoints? Where did this come from?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tewks View Post
    Why are these used as checkpoints? Where did this come from?
    Don Slaught at RightViewPro.

    You need to land on a soft front leg, so thinking toe, then heel helps. There is dang little time elapsed between toe touch and heel plant, so it's hard to call each a check point, but your hips start to turn as the heel plants, in power swings. Also, the back elbow starts to come into the hip, at heel plant.

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    So what if the pelvis starts to turn before heel plant?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tewks View Post
    So what if the pelvis starts to turn before heel plant?
    It's not exact. If you have your hips coiled at negative move/load, then they naturally start to turn as you push the toe out. They are in the process of turning already, but the main drive into rotation doesn't start until the heel starts to go down, and by the time it's down, the hip drive is in full force.

    You just don't want the hips to be open before toe touch. The transfer of linear momentum to rotational is done once the heel is down. If your hips are already starting to open before heel plant, then less energy is transferred into rotation when the heel gets down. You've bled off some energy, as some say, if you open too soon.

    Note that starting to turn, and starting to open, are two different things. If you coil, they start to turn before heel plant, but they shouldn't be OPEN before heel plant.

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    Isn't the bleed or non-bleed argument a matter of power source? The heel plant argument is a due to ground reaction force, correct? So Barry and Ted are bleeding power here?






    The root of my contention here... is what if rotation isn't the true power source of the high level swing? Not saying a turning/rotation component doesn't exist, but as a power source there is something else there.

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    I love this clip of Babe Ruth... and ignoring the fact that he goes onto his heel (just in case anybody is still teaching bug squishing)... is Ruth bleeding his power?




  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Tewks View Post
    Why are these used as checkpoints? Where did this come from?
    For me when I played it was a control and power thing. I always wanted my legs underneath me before go time. Without it I felt vulnerable to certain pitches.

    Do You believe in balanced weight distribution at go time?
    Last edited by TDS; 11-30-2011 at 06:40 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tewks
    what if rotation isn't the true power source of the high level swing
    Is rotation more of a result?

    Rotation of what?

    Can one over rotate? / Emphasize rotation too much?

    Have you had students that simply don't "rotate" well? Why do you think that is?

    Do high level hitters have no choice but to rotate or said another way....
    "become rotated".?

    The question might really be....what is rotation as it relates to the baseball swing?
    With all the twisting / torquing / turning / tilting / overall articulation----- occuring in various body parts in both an overlapping and simultaneous fashion the question of "What if rotation isn't the true power source of the high level swing?"....becomes very fascinating.

    I see lots and lots of questions asked and very few answers or even opinions...but if rotation isn't the primary source then why the "gear picture (gif)" ? Or has that theory gone by the wayside?
    Last edited by LClifton; 11-30-2011 at 09:01 AM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Tewks View Post
    I love this clip of Babe Ruth... and ignoring the fact that he goes onto his heel (just in case anybody is still teaching bug squishing)... is Ruth bleeding his power?



    If a HS player came to you with this swing, what would you change?

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    To the question: Would you change Babe Ruth's swing?


    No.

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    LC, I have been trying to describe the directional component to the swing. Been doing a lot of writing, sharing, explaining. Again, I am not saying the body doesn't turn, but a rotation-based swing IMO is not high level. I don't think a linear push being transferred into rotational power is a good model at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by LClifton View Post
    Is rotation more of a result?
    Result of what? If I said rotation is leveraged, would that make sense?

    Rotation of what?
    Pelvis, torso, shoulders. The whole x-factor separation as a process of having the hips open when the shoulders are closed.

    Can one over rotate? / Emphasize rotation too much?
    A hitter can over-rotate and/or emphasize rotation too much.

    Have you had students that simply don't "rotate" well? Why do you think that is?
    Often. How about the kid who comes in saying their coach says their lower body isn't finishing (or some variation of that.)

    Why? Lots of reasons really. Most commonly because they are trying to power the swing with their arms. But a lot of kids don't have basic body awareness and don't know how to generate force.


    Do high level hitters have no choice but to rotate or said another way....
    "become rotated".?
    OK... I understand this. There is a cleanliness to swing paths with high level hitters. They get very clear. The barrel path is true. Is this a product of becoming rotated? Does the weight shift forward or with rotation? Can a hitter get "open" without shifting their weight?

    The question might really be....what is rotation as it relates to the baseball swing?
    With all the twisting / torquing / turning / tilting / overall articulation----- occuring in various body parts in both an overlapping and simultaneous fashion the question of "What if rotation isn't the true power source of the high level swing?"....becomes very fascinating.

    I spend a lot of time thinking and working on it. Very fascinating.

    I see lots and lots of questions asked and very few answers or even opinions...but if rotation isn't the primary source then why the "gear picture (gif)" ? Or has that theory gone by the wayside?
    As you know, I can talk about this for hours on end. Making something that is incredibly complicated simple is fun. I've got it down to about 40 min in a clinic setting. Do the gears represent rotation, opening, turning, "clearing"?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Tewks View Post
    To the question: Would you change Babe Ruth's swing?


    No.
    No, I am not asking if you would change Babe Ruth's swing. If a random player walked into your clinic with that swing what would you change?

    That does not look like the swing we are trying to develop in players today. Is that the mechanics you are looking for in the players you coach? From my very ignorant point of view, his head is moving three feet in that clip. That looks closer to a mens slow pitch softball swing. Hard to argue with the results though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by real green View Post
    No, I am not asking if you would change Babe Ruth's swing. If a random player walked into your clinic with that swing what would you change?

    That does not look like the swing we are trying to develop in players today. Is that the mechanics you are looking for in the players you coach? From my very ignorant point of view, his head is moving three feet in that clip. That looks closer to a mens slow pitch softball swing. Hard to argue with the results though.
    Bold above... my point exactly. The question you asked, to me, is would I change Babe Ruth's swing (mechanics.)

    The mechanics. The mechanics. The mechanics. See through the style.


    Who said moving the head is bad? Better tell Arod.




    And Pujols...


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    Quote Originally Posted by Tewks View Post

    The root of my contention here... is what if rotation isn't the true power source of the high level swing? Not saying a turning/rotation component doesn't exist, but as a power source there is something else there.
    Tewks, in looking at Pujol's swing above, if not rotation then what?
    Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

  15. #15





    And 100's of other clips with little to no head movement. Even the two clips you posted have different head movement than the clip of Babe Ruth. Pulos head moves about 6inches and Arod less than a foot.

    Again my ignorance is getting in the way. I don't study film like you but find it very interesting.

    If a kid walked in with Babe Ruth's swing off the street I find it hard to believe you would consider it a perfect swing and not suggest any adjustments to "improve it."

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by real green View Post
    If a kid walked in with Babe Ruth's swing off the street I find it hard to believe you would consider it a perfect swing and not suggest any adjustments to "improve it."
    Or, the flip side: If the Babe Ruth swing is good (very narrow stance plus huge stride) why would you not teach it to a typical 10 year old? Or would you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannonball View Post
    Tewks, in looking at Pujol's swing above, if not rotation then what?
    Rotation doesn't explain why..

    1. the hands work up and
    2. the barrel turns back

    when

    a. the knee goes down and
    b. the pelvis turns forward

    all happening prior to weight shift and swing commitment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbrages View Post
    Or, the flip side: If the Babe Ruth swing is good (very narrow stance plus huge stride) why would you not teach it to a typical 10 year old? Or would you?
    Length of stride isn't mechanics, it is style. I don't teach style. The feel of what they are doing, the feel from the mechanics... it allows you to do whatever you want with style.

  19. #19
    Tewks you have forgotten more than I have ever known and this is what I find so tough about coaching.

    Who said moving the head is bad?

    I would answer this yes. I have been coached, watched other coaches, and coached that you should limit head movement as much as possible. In your research you don't think it should be a goal of a hitter to limit the amount of head movement?

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    Quote Originally Posted by real green View Post
    Tewks you have forgotten more than I have ever known and this is what I find so tough about coaching.

    Who said moving the head is bad?

    I would answer this yes. I have been coached, watched other coaches, and coached that you should limit head movement as much as possible. In your research you don't think it should be a goal of a hitter to limit the amount of head movement?
    It isn't a concern of mine. With what I teach, it doesn't come up as an issue. I do not promote head movement. I think seeing the ball is incredibly important (and not stressed enough). If you do other things right, there is no reason for it to be an issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lc
    Is rotation more of a result?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tewks
    Result of what? If I said rotation is leveraged, would that make sense?



    Result of UP-stream movement that creates the environment where the hitter has little choice to “show / become” rotated. Which addresses only the "when" element.

    How is where students need an assist......
    Specifically, when a hitter coils, they will (almost naturally) uncoil.
    As they are learning the subtle nature of coiling it will be forced / ugly / out of sequence, initially. I'm going to use an analogy that works for my simple mind and the kids I train.
    I have ahold of the edge of a door. There is a bad guy approaching my house. My goal is to slam that door in his face as soon as he reaches the threshold. I do not want to “cheat” the door forward. With me? The bad guy approaches, I'm prepared. Just before he reaches the threshold I move the door back (open) a bit---- then slam it.
    Did I rotate or become rotated? We can discuss foot plant / heel plant / when, where, how, why or why not....OR we can give a task and work with a kid, and at times,,, stay out of the way, til it's achieved.

    So let's add one little element to the door slam analogy. What if during the last little bit of opening--- before slamming the door,,,there were a resistance placed on the door preventing it from swinging totally free on the hinges? Say the door had a little “snag” in it,,,my body would have to react a little differently to “un-snag” it. To keep it simple, “I'd have to put my “hind-quarters” into it. To use your words below, I'd have to clear, to accomplish the task, By doing this have I created some leverage..

    Let's do it this way, My goal is to slam the door but in order to do that I have to trip a release first. This release is locate near my right knee (visualize a right handed door slammer ).......
    Leverage works for me


    With month end where I work today....I will respond to the other things...later.
    Last edited by LClifton; 11-30-2011 at 12:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tewks View Post
    LC, I have been trying to describe the directional component to the swing. Been doing a lot of writing, sharing, explaining. Again, I am not saying the body doesn't turn, but a rotation-based swing IMO is not high level. I don't think a linear push being transferred into rotational power is a good model at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tewks View Post
    Length of stride isn't mechanics, it is style. I don't teach style. The feel of what they are doing, the feel from the mechanics... it allows you to do whatever you want with style.

    Do you ever help them find it? Maybe you grasp by what they're doing, that a certain style may get them to function more properly? Then they can evolve from there.

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    Tewks, I am one of those that says you can't coach "feel." No two people can "feel" the same. I understand what you are saying. I understand that some of this is "under the hood" stuff and that you might be able to describe that to another. However, I believe no two people will be able to feel the same since none of us have the same genetic make up, muscle structure, bone desnsity/structure, ...

    I am quite certain that you can ask someone if they "feel" what you feel and they will say yes. However, as a consistent and verifiable teaching method, I just can't buy it.

    Tweks, from a "feel approach" you could tell someone, "now you feel what Bonds feels." Sounds great but not very truthful.
    Last edited by Cannonball; 11-30-2011 at 12:40 PM.
    Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LClifton View Post
    Do you ever help them find it? Maybe you grasp by what they're doing, that a certain style may get them to function more properly? Then they can evolve from there.
    Yes, I make style recommendations all the time. It is mostly to disrupt timing. A local D2 coach who I know well recently accused me of teaching a high leg kick. A player who comes to AB tried it, found it to be a rhythm and feel he liked and it was something he stuck with. I don't consider that to be part of the mechanics I teach at all though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannonball View Post
    Tewks, I am one of those that says you can't coach "feel." No two people can "feel" the same. I understand what you are saying. I understand that some of this is "under the hood" stuff and that you might be able to describe that to another. However, I believe no two people will be able to feel the same since none of us have the same genetic make up, muscle structure, bone desnsity/structure, ...

    I am quite certain that you can ask someone if they "feel" what you feel and they will say yes. However, as a consistent and verifiable teaching method, I just can't buy it.

    Tweks, from a "feel approach" you could tell someone, "now you feel what Bonds feels." Sounds great but not very truthful.
    Tewks or Tweks?


    One of my softball players said to me yesterday that describing feel is like trying to explain what a color looks like. I think over time, language starts to match better and better.... but video should always be used to confirm the movements.

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