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Thread: 8 year-old swing

  1. #1
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    8 year-old swing

    Here is a new student of mine. This video is at the end of his 4th lesson with me.

    He just turned 8 a week ago, and the bat he is swinging is 29 inch, 23 ounce (-7). He is hitting 50mph pitches from an Iron Mike.

    When he came to me, he had huge lunging and balance problems, a lot of head movement and bathead casting. He still has work to do of course, but these are pretty good swings for an 8 year-old and he is learning quickly. I've been working on getting him to use his body and he's starting to get it. Not many 8 year-olds can swing a 29, -7 this well. This bat is probably a little too heavy for him, but it proves my belief that kids can swing heavier bats if they learn to swing correctly.

    I have my list of things he needs to fix, but I would like to hear what others see;

    BTW, he absolutely crushed the ball on the second swing in this video.

    8 year-old
    Last edited by jbooth; 09-16-2006 at 11:34 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbooth
    ... I have my list of things he needs to fix, but I would like to hear what others see;

    BTW, he absolutely crushed the ball on the second swing in this video.

    8 year-old
    jbooth, doesn't look like a bad start. Has a workable hip turn. I see a slight bit of bat drag. Also, he does not maintain connection but drops his hands to go after the ball.

  3. #3
    During his time away from the BP, roll a towel up and practise trying to " crack-a-whip".

    Just my thought.

  4. #4
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    Good swing for an eight year old: Several things I see

    1. His first swing falls off to his 1 o'clock instead of his 3. The rotational force he is developing in his upper body may be affecting his lower body. Part of this may have to do with his bat drag. Second swing is better.

    2. His swingplane starts well but seems to finish flat (below his left shoulder). I tried to slow it down, but could not see the ball. So I am uncertain as to whether or not he started flat or finished flat. It may have more to do with how he finishes with his upper body. (Although 20 oz. s/b fine for this age group)

    3. Arms (box) looks great for a 8 y/o.

    4. Feet start further apart than I would use for this age. This is not to say this is wrong - it may be just different teaching methods. With young people I have found anything outside the shoulders restricts rotation.

    5. Not certain how big he is. I would test his bat size to see if it's to large. This may be causing the drag??
    I have the batter hold the bat by the knob with his throwing hand perpendicular to the ground. If he can hold it 15-20 seconds without faltering or shaking then it should be fine. If he can't it may be to heavy.

    Jim, overall good swing.
    Last edited by Jake Patterson; 09-17-2006 at 08:50 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonny Schmidt
    During his time away from the BP, roll a towel up and practise trying to " crack-a-whip".

    Just my thought.
    Thanks for your suggestion, but that is not something I want him to do. I want him to learn to feel like his hands are locked to his back shoulder and keep them there as long as possible.

    By doing that the bat will whip out on its own from the tremendous rotation created by hip and shoulder rotation, and late release of the momentum that hs built up.

    Your drill will cause him to pull the hands away from the shoulder losing the power coming from the body. It will also cause the elbows to extend, which loses rotation and causes the bathead to decelerate causing a weak hit. This kid is probably going to be above average in size, and I want him to hit for power, not be an arms/wrist, singles hitter.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by jbooth
    Here is a new student of mine. This video is at the end of his 4th lesson with me.

    He just turned 8 a week ago, and the bat he is swinging is 29 inch, 23 ounce (-7). He is hitting 50mph pitches from an Iron Mike.

    When he came to me, he had huge lunging and balance problems, a lot of head movement and bathead casting. He still has work to do of course, but these are pretty good swings for an 8 year-old and he is learning quickly. I've been working on getting him to use his body and he's starting to get it. Not many 8 year-olds can swing a 29, -7 this well. This bat is probably a little too heavy for him, but it proves my belief that kids can swing heavier bats if they learn to swing correctly.

    I have my list of things he needs to fix, but I would like to hear what others see;

    BTW, he absolutely crushed the ball on the second swing in this video.

    8 year-old

    My son is 8 years old and big (I am 6'7 and he is 4'10 and 80 lb of muscle, wish I could look like him). Anyway, he uses a Combat C4 30/18 and crushes the ball very well. I think the 24 oz would cause a lot of drag for him and like to move him to a -7 in Major. Have you tried a composite bat with him and see the effects of his batspeed?

  7. #7
    He looks like he is long in the lead arm instead of having a triple pedulum effect of launching with a bent lead elbow and coc-ked hands. The clip is fast in media player.
    Last edited by swingbuster; 09-17-2006 at 06:03 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by swingbuster
    He looks like he is long in the lead arm instead of having a triple pedulum effect of launching with a bent lead elbow and coc-ked hands. The clip is fast in media player.
    Swing, can you further explain...
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  9. #9
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    Lookin good !!!!

    I'd like to see him counter-rotate more at the start of the motion.

    Not counter rotate in the false/excessive/strawman sense, but in the sense that all high level swings have some nice counterrotation/inward turn at the beginning to keep from being deadstop hitters.

    Vertical bat on deltoid is nice with lead arm in close as the inward turn is taken during a small stride. Show him how to lower the front shoulder a little and raise the back shoulder and hide the hands behind the body under the arm pit. This will get him a nice load/get the lead elbow behind the bellybutton with the shoulders/arms/bat staying in synch better.

    If he is going to stride like this he might load this way better with a slightly narrower stance.

    I like striding to the toe like this. I like the epstein approach a lot, of course which I know Jim is familiar with.

    In this light,keeping bat on deltoid as long as possible, I like to see the sequence:

    turn (back to load)
    step
    turn (forward,bat still on deltoid)
    swing

    When they are old enough to insert the more specific core moves, then you can add the drop and tilt/work lead elbow up type action.

    Turn(back),step (to toe touch), drop and tilt,work lead elbow up. Primarily with middle in and not high location (tee/front toss/pitch) with reward for hitting hard at pitcher or nonpull side.Torque and numbers drills are nice when even more structure can be tolerated.He will have to sit more for outside and high balls will make him want to lunge/cast.

    I also like the Hodge cues of hitting the inside seam and keeping the wrists coked as long as possible.

    The more difficult learning is the arm action and hip cok/muscle activation/offcenter balance/carry which I think is best learned as carryover from throwing which I would work on at the same time, highlighting what is similar (back arm load action/sequence,hip cok,handcok,carry.coil,etc) and what is different from (alternating back-front scap/arm action as opposed to symmetric,synching of weight shift) loading for the throw.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Witchdoctor
    My son is 8 years old and big (I am 6'7 and he is 4'10 and 80 lb of muscle, wish I could look like him). Anyway, he uses a Combat C4 30/18 and crushes the ball very well. I think the 24 oz would cause a lot of drag for him and like to move him to a -7 in Major. Have you tried a composite bat with him and see the effects of his batspeed?
    There is no offensiveness intended whatsoever by my following comments, and I haven't seen your son swing;

    If he's big and strong and swings a -12 he can probably crush the ball with any old swing. No need to have a good swing. That's my point. Put a -7 in your son's hands and see what he does. If he's big and strong and can't hit with it, then his swing has a problem. If he has a quality swing he'll hit it even farther with the -7.

    This is a whole different topic that should be in a different thread.

  11. #11
    Anyway, he uses a Combat C4 30/18 and crushes the ball very well.

    All you have to do with this bat is make contact. The Combat should be illiegal, the pop this bat has is crazy. I saw 10 year olds who could hit the ball maybe 150-165 ft. on a good day all of a sudden hit them over a 200 ft. fence - easily!

    I guess if it's legal use it but............

  12. #12
    Jim,

    Some good stuff but also bad bat drag. I'm sure you will get him where he needs to be.

    Sonny,

    You need to stop and really really go on a tear in terms of studying. Jim can give you an education little by little but it's not really his job. I suggest getting Steve's dvd's.

  13. #13
    Jim, good job on the kid's swing. He's amazing. And yes, as is noted, he's got some bat drag, as shown in this picture:


    Unfortunately, I think the size of the bat promotes the drag. Yes, a kid with a good swing can use a bat that size, but you need to get the swing right first to prevent the "cheating" with the elbow that kids that age are prone to do anyway. Also, too heavy a bat can lead to the head dropping before the swing really starts -- or, as Mankin calls it, top hand torque. And I'd worry about his ability to get the bathead up to hit pitches across the letters. For reference, some of the real studs in our 11/-12 y/o league use 30/20 Easton Stealth bats, although admittedly they are too "handsy". Anyway, that's all input for you to process as you will -- you know the kid and you've been doing this longer and with more success than any of us.

    It's funny, someone could post the clip anonymously and I could see right off that this was a "Boothian hitter", just by the emphasis on the kid's balance throughout the swing. You know, "chest over belly button over butt". Look at the balance here at contact and the straight line of his back and over his thigh and down to his knee. (And you thought I wasn't paying attention when you focused on this with Ursa Minor last November?):

    That is just a pretty, pretty shot.

    I guess it goes without saying that you're not going to be too concerned about the lack of counterrotation noted by TomG. What I do detect instead is something that is amazing in any kid under 13 --- dynamic loading/unloading! I've slowed down his first swing and watch what happens when you get to the frame with the asterisk (*). His front knee and hip turn in slightly as he's starting his stride. I'm becoming more and more of a mind that even the slightest loading of the front side like this can make a major difference in the pop produced.


    Again, nice work, Jim.

  14. #14
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    Ursa,
    What program do you use to modify and edit clips?
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  15. #15
    Swing, can you further explain
    ...

    I will try and maybe somebody can pick up a point or two that I have learned from others
    __________________

    The kid coils into his back side enough to carry his weight. At front foot block his still has his coil to explode with. I see some " yeager" push/ block push here also

    He also leaves nothing on his back side. When you see a dragging rear toe you will see a straighter back ( line UM drew). I like that look a lot.

    If you could work some BHUT with the hip coil , you would take the top hand out of the early swing
    ( eliminate bat drag the only way you can really totally eliminate it quickly) and have the bottom hand lead in the early swing and perserve the top hand for the whip. That would also make it possible to keep the lead elbow bent and the hands near the armpit instead of going out long. THis kid has the hard part down perfectly which is the hip coil/ carry. When you see one like this better arm action fits it so well IMO

    Making his first upper body move BHUT keeping the hands close to the arm pit and turning the knob around instead of pushing the lead arm long can make almost immediate results.

    When the lead shoulder/ arm pushes the bat back then the rear shoulder / arm often incorrectly brings it forward and we have named it bat drag. Most people take the wrong approach when " fixing " it. . It becomes a never ending cycle of lead arm pushes bat back and rear arm brings it forward.

    Bottom hand drills do not work very well and are not necessary if you pronate the top hand going to foot plant where it cannot lead at foot block.


    IF THE FIRST MOVE OF THE REAR ELBOW IS SLIGHTLY UP AND OVER( TOP HAND PRONATED) IN CONCERT WITH THE HIP COIL/ CARRY.

    THE BOTTOM HAND WILL LEAD AS THE BAT SEEKS THE PLANE


    THE REASON WE USE THE TERM B(HAND)UT IS THAT YOU WANT THE ARMS RELAXED AND FLOWING NOT TIGHTING THE REAR SHOUDLER. WE "THINK" RELATIVE HAND POSITION DURING THE LOADING PROCESS AND THE ARMS FIGURE IT OUT BETTER.

    As Tom so often points out ...it is the sequencing of the upper / lower body that matters.

    slightest loading of the front side like this can make a major difference in the pop produced

    The coiling of the hips and cocking of the hands out of plane is the active part of what appears to be any loading of the front side. The front side must relax and be turned back by the muscle contractions pulling from the back side. Even the front side "staying in " is a function of how the hands and the rear shoulder stay back. BHUT( arm action) loading mechanism to keep the back shoulder back and the front shoulder is in by default. Telling kids to keep their front side IN will not work. Showing the mechanism to keep their hands back will KEEP THE FRONT SHOULDER IN>


    JIm...he seems to have the bat closer to vertical ( splitting the helmet) " weightless" on the way to foot plant. FWIW he is close to perfect if the rear elbow could up and over and the top hand pronate a little during the " carry". As Yeager puts it maintain the " barrel loading over the helmet" for a few more hundreths of a second


    . Since nobody will understand what I mean ;we could also ALL buy some popcorn and just watch him play Good job Jim
    Last edited by swingbuster; 09-19-2006 at 03:32 AM.

  16. #16
    Jake asked: Ursa, What program do you use to modify and edit clips?
    For these, I just used Animation Shop 3, which has been part of the last three versions (i.e., 8, 9 and 10) of Paint Shop Pro by Jasc Software. If you haunt Ebay, you can usually get it cheap either as a part of Paint Shop Pro or as a stand-alone product. Here is a link to a current sale on Ebay where someone will sell AS3 for $10 and free shipping.

    It allows you to take an .mpg file and monkey with it frame by frame -- cutting some frames out, resizing the clip, slowing down the speed of one or more frames, and then saving the whole thing as a gif file, or even saving individual frames as .jpg's. And, as you see, you can annotate individual frames with arrows and text to highlight something depicted there. I think it's the program most folks use to put up simple .gifs here.

  17. #17
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    Thanks

    I think this may be second time I asked... Sorry
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  18. #18
    I think this may be second time I asked... Sorry
    No problem. I'm still in your overall, kharmic debt, I'd calculate.

    And, maybe others viewing the thread can use the information. If not, well, you're guilty of both hijacking the thread and introducing issues not in the interests of BBF and its forum members.

    ... sorry, couldn't resist....

  19. #19
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    Ursa-

    Very good posts and illustrations. I'll get back to you on the beauties of counterrotation before too long. You are right, the kid does start with some,probably due to something good Jim is telling/showing him.

  20. #20
    Very good posts and illustrations. I'll get back to you on the beauties of counterrotation before too long. You are right, the kid does start with some,probably due to something good Jim is telling/showing him.
    Thanks, Tom. I was not intending to say that the kid was counterrotating -- which is what I think you're saying that I said. Rather, I meant that he was loading/unloading with his hips. I think of counterrotation as something that mostly involves (or seems to involve) an inward turn of the shoulder. And any such turn of his shoulder in this kid is negligible, at best. If anything, the kid is a poster child for the idea that you don't need to counterrotate to get power if you're doing everything else right.

  21. #21

    8-year-old swing

    I don't profess to be a hitting guru, but I'm studying and learning and ahead of where I was 4 months ago . . . I hope this helps. I'm going to post on this swing on the theory that another pair of eyes may help, even if the vision is only 40-100.
    Query whether the swing is too long--e.g., barring. The left arm seems to straighten out too much. Is he maintaining the box enough? (I think no). To me, the straightened left arm is more apparent in the second swing--the one he crushed. My son had same thing at that age--long arm swing can really generate leverage and power, and it often works at that age level, but eventually will need to shorten up to handle better pitching.
    Is there an early disconnect (hands drop?)--I think yes. Does he seem to re-connect at/just before contact?--I think maybe, but it's above my pay grade.
    Long stride: OK for now, like long arms, but probably shoulld shorten/quicken it as he moves along.
    I'm thinking instructor was working on foundation of balance/posture/middle first, and arms/upper body stuff will get tweaked soon . . .
    Do you have "before" video?
    "Some of my wildest pitches were right down the middle." -Sandy Koufax

  22. #22
    Hawaii,

    I questioned that too.

    I think another factor is " how the arm got long".

    If the player pushes the arm back and then strides to hit then trouble abounds.

    If the player coils, carrys the weight still coiled, and the lead arm straightens from torso linkage due to the hips rotating open then that is a better more acceptable connection.

    THe advantages of a bigger bat might be more resistance to segment the hips/ shoulders

    A disadvantage might be the longer lead arm ( double pendulum; shoulder wrist) vs triple pendulum; shoulder , elbow , wrist) Guerry.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawaii
    I'm thinking instructor was working on foundation of balance/posture/middle first, and arms/upper body stuff will get tweaked soon . . .
    And you would be correct. I teach from the ground up. If you can't maintain balance and head position, and rotate on a steady axis, you don't have much chance of even hitting the ball. So, I start with that, then I work on arm/hand/bat action.

    There is a difference between setting and turning, a long box, and barring the arm.

    If the front elbow is bent as the shoulders start to turn, and the elbow straightens during the turn, that is a bad thing.

    If the front elbow is extended and the hands stay with the shoulder during the turn, you are OK. Dave Winfield, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams later in his career, turned long boxes.

    If the front arm is extended back and then the hands move away from the shoulder during shoulder turn, then you have a REALLY bad thing.

    Arm angles are not the critical element. The critical element is to keep the hands near the shoulder as long as possible during the rotation, and keep whatever angles of arms that you started with, intact, as the shoulders rotate.

    Keep YOUR box intact (whatever shape that is) and keep your hands back at the shoulder as you turn the shoulders. THAT is the important element. Things go bad when the elbow angles and/or hand position change during shoulder rotation.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by jbooth
    There is a difference between setting and turning, a long box, and barring the arm.
    If the front elbow is bent as the shoulders start to turn, and the elbow straightens during the turn, that is a bad thing.
    If the front elbow is extended and the hands stay with the shoulder during the turn, you are OK. Dave Winfield, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams later in his career, turned long boxes.
    If the front arm is extended back and then the hands move away from the shoulder during shoulder turn, then you have a REALLY bad thing.
    Arm angles are not the critical element. The critical element is to keep the hands near the shoulder as long as possible during the rotation, and keep whatever angles of arms that you started with, intact, as the shoulders rotate.
    Keep YOUR box intact (whatever shape that is) and keep your hands back at the shoulder as you turn the shoulders. THAT is the important element. Things go bad when the elbow angles and/or hand position change during shoulder rotation.
    jbooth--thanks, I had not focused on this distinction before--I basically thought all "long-arming" was bad. I'll go look at some siggy stuff and check it out. Again, thx for taking the time to point this out.
    "Some of my wildest pitches were right down the middle." -Sandy Koufax

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