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  • #16
    Siggy:

    (Scott, I don't recall exactly how Jack describes BHT... seems to me it was close to the Nyman's fishhook/hooking of the hands?
    Good point. I think "hook the hands" was actually a term coined by Mankin. And I support the concept.

    With this caveat: Again, I think the hands hooking is an effect, not a cause. The shoulder continuing to rotate and the scapular load reversing sequentially will create the effect.

    Admittedly, to some extent, so will just yanking the bottom hand in.

    I just think the first method is better.


    Tom indicated:

    Mankin is pretty good at describing this hook for inside as being due primarily to front scap pinching action.
    Honestly, I didn't get that when watching his video, and this may be my limitation (haven't seen the video for a while). Will re-view soon.


    Best regards,

    Scott
    Last edited by ssarge; 02-13-2006, 02:26 PM.

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    • #17
      Tom:

      I DO believe in "tht"/"bht"/"hand torque" - torque applied through hands primarily through arm and scap action which permit the hands to control the swing trajectory. Hands have max feel/prorpioception and arm strength is very important to this.

      Do you feel arm strength is a significant contributor to bat speed?

      Regards,

      Scott

      Comment


      • #18
        David:

        I haven't had opportunity to see your swing, but really look forward to it.

        Without seeing it, I think your self-assessment is probably accurate - and not at all atypical.


        What IS atypical is how you are approaching the next step. Or even an acknowledgment that there should BE a next step.


        I am seriously rooting for you, dude. Hell, I'll even root for you against the Giants. And I'm not kidding. What a great attitude.


        Knock 'em dead this year! And do get down to see Steve.

        My absolutely highest regards,

        Scott

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by ssarge
          David:

          I haven't had opportunity to see your swing, but really look forward to it.

          Without seeing it, I think your self-assessment is probably accurate - and not at all atypical.


          What IS atypical is how you are approaching the next step. Or even an acknowledgment that there should BE a next step.


          I am seriously rooting for you, dude. Hell, I'll even root for you against the Giants. And I'm not kidding. What a great attitude.


          Knock 'em dead this year! And do get down to see Steve.

          My absolutely highest regards,

          Scott
          Well, Pride is the Downfall of man, and for that I am not exempt. But, in this game just when you think you have it figured out, it has a way of knocking you back into "humble land". And I have no shame in admitting I don't know it all and that there is always something I can learn.

          Comment


          • #20
            David,

            Sounds as if there is a spiritual dimension in your life, too. Another reason for admiration.

            Best,

            Scott

            Comment


            • #21
              Scott-

              As Mankin says,the ballistic trajectory once initiated can be modified very little.

              I do not think that arm strength has much to do with batspeed except as required to increase the ability to adjust/keep the bathead in synch with the rotational component of the swing

              Comment


              • #22
                Does anyone have an opinion on the Pathfinder bat that Mankin sells on his web-site?

                Since the price is kind of steep, I've been thinking of making one of my own. But I've yet to hear of anyone that improved their swing using this thing, so I'm reluctant to waste my time making one - especially if it's a useless product.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by ssarge
                  David,

                  Sounds as if there is a spiritual dimension in your life, too. Another reason for admiration.

                  Best,

                  Scott
                  Yes sir, as a matter of fact I was up early this morning speaking to large high-school christian group.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    GEM-

                    Another way to look at Mankin is his list of absolutes. He studied video of most mlb players for a year or two or three, at least 10 or 15 good swings for each, and compared the swings to each other and to the players stats,then used this to develop his theory. Here is a recent absolutes summary:

                    Mankin:

                    "As I pointed out in the "Thu Feb 13 16:04:42 2003" post, good hitters (those that can hit for both average and power) may have different styles in how they setup their swings. But once they come to the launch position and initiate the swing, I found that there are mechanical principles common to the swings of all good hitters. Adhering to those batting principles did correlate to a better batting performance and therefore I refer to them as "Absolute Principles."

                    "Here is a list I found to be "Absolutes" to a good swing and higher batting performance. All good hitters will: (1) Hide their hands at the back-shoulder as rotation starts; (2) Shoulder rotation initiates the acceleration of the hands into a circular path; (3) The bat will be in the plane of the lead-arm as the shoulders start to rotate; (4) If the lead-arm straightens, it occurs early in the swing; (5) The bat-head will first accelerate in an arc back toward the catcher; (6) The back-elbow will lower and rotate at the batter's side (in the "slot"); (7) The swing plane will remain smooth (no dips or rising above the plane of the lead-arm; (8) Other than on outside pitches, the lead-shoulder will be pulling back toward the catcher (105 degree position with lead-leg extended) at contact; (9) In the contact zone, the plane of the swing will be on a 10 to 15 degree up-slope to closely match the descending path of the incoming ball.

                    "And last, and probably the most important, if the batter's swing mechanics are efficient: (10) The bat will come to contact as the shoulders finish rotation. ---NOTE : The farther away from contact that bat is as the shoulders stop rotating, the weaker the swing."

                    ______

                    GEM mentioned in particular questions about lead arm action. Jack does not necessarily try to explain all the aspects of what is seen, but he does try to explain the consistent objective video findings as he sees them. Several absolutes are related to the lead arm action, including:

                    (3) The bat will be in the plane of the lead-arm as the shoulders start to rotate;

                    (4) If the lead-arm straightens, it occurs early in the swing;

                    These absolutes need to fit/conform/reconcile with some other principles, for example the CHP requirement that the handpth from "launch" to contact must be circular,not extending to avoid disconnection from the rotational momentum of the body (rotational swing component/pendulum effect of "transfer mechanics" as distinct from torque component of swing).

                    So how can/why might lead arm straighten "early" in the swing ?

                    Does this mean barring (locked in extension) or casting/dragging/lengthening swing ?

                    If it does straighten, it must do so before "launch" to avoid interfering with the "CHP." More specifically this is a means of setting swing radius where it then needs to be maintained until contact. Mankin further describes how the handpath can be hooked by lead shoulder rotation (absolute #8) and lead scap pinch (which he cues as /calls "unshrugging" the lead shoulder) on approach to contact. He specifically notes that flexing the lead arm at the elbow approaching contact is a bad flaw and he emphasizes the necessity of keeping the lead elbow pointing in the swing plane.

                    The long swing radius is often fine for the young kid who needs to get the arm pretty straight (not locked out) for any kind of plate coverage, but it becomes less necessary/desirable the bigger a player gets/the longer the arms/the more they belly-up. Much of his instrucction is aimed at the young ones, including keeping the lead upper arm glued to the chest on approach to contact so a card/towel can be retained. This can not apply to a big player with a short swing radius/belly-up type style.

                    The straight/extended lead arm/radius setting is NOT casting if it adheres to absolute #2, "Shoulder rotation initiates the acceleration of the hands into a circular path.".

                    I personally think things need to be made more clear by describing kinesiologically what the arms and scaps are more exactly doing. For example, how "THT" can be developed by back arm external rotation then lead arm internal rotation similar to the throwing arm/lead arm loading action in the overhand throw which almost every decent player uses.This understanding can then be used to explain the difference between the short and longer swing radius for in vs out location.Again, this is the same thing Lau is explaining by varying lead arm knob pull for in vs out swing radius. Mankin does not discuss up/down adjustment much (neither does Lau).

                    A clearer definition of "launch" and "initiation" is also necessary because some details relate to the fact that the body is still coiling (and the bat has typically NOT yet swung into the unloading/power swing plane) AFTER the shoulders and hands have started some forward movement. Absolute #3 needs a clearer definition of when shoulder "rotation" starts (bathead firing) vs earlier shoulder "tilting" (continuing to twist/coil before firing bathead).

                    Also, while flex at the elbow is a nono, many players do EXTEND the lead forearm at the elbow on the late approach/through contact without decelerating or shifting swing plane.

                    As with many others Mankin sees Bonds as a poster boy.
                    Bonds "sees" things in terms of his own feel in a way that can be interpreted as conforming to Most of the Mankin absolutes, but with other points of emphasis and using more traditional cues/language - see his lesson to a fastpitch player where he explains how he thinks his swing is done,This Week in Baseball, goto 5/29/04,Pitch hit and run with Jennie Finch -



                    IF you already have a fairly high level swing, you may benefit from trying to imitate Barry's style and see if you can feel things the way he does then experiment with applying them to your own swing.




                    In beginning to end of swing order - different from order on video, Barry:

                    Get in a strong balanced position with front foot down.

                    This will include having gotten the back elbow up with a good punching position for the top hand.

                    Square up to the ball/ go front shoulder to the ball ( front shoulder will vary inside vs out location).

                    Then quickest path to ball will be straight down with top hand,aiming at top of ball.

                    For this to work, you can not get lazy with the lead elbow.Do NOT use the lead elbow to lead with the barrell of the bat [do NOT drag the bat longitudinally /lengthwise/pulling with lead arm/flexing at lead elbow/chickenwinging lead arm].

                    Instead Have top hand up and throw batHEAD with top hand,freeing up back elbow to swing straight through [lead upper arm stays connected/retains CHP, lead forearm may or may not extend at elbow].

                    See also his arm/scap action from behind and swing from the side:



                    and

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      PGibbons said: Does anyone have an opinion on the Pathfinder bat that Mankin sells on his web-site?

                      Since the price is kind of steep, I've been thinking of making one of my own. But I've yet to hear of anyone that improved their swing using this thing, so I'm reluctant to waste my time making one - especially if it's a useless product.
                      I think the bat is useful in pointing out to students that a straight hand path to the ball negates any centripedal force that might be contributed to the power of the swing. But, I can do that with a regular bat held very loosely.

                      I don't like it as a training device -- at least the way Mankin uses it -- because it apparently is intended to be held in the TOP hand to show the benefits of rotation. Anything that brings attention to the role of the top hand is suspect. Also, the grip in which the bat is held is ninety degrees to the normal grip of a bat.

                      To be fair, I'm basing my conclusion on Mankin's use of it in his Final Arc video. I have not seen the instructional video that comes with the Pathfinder, and, since the Batspeed website claims a variety of benefits from it, he may indeed have developed new drills that overcome these shortcomings. He claims that the Pathfinder:
                      "Teaches back-side dominate hitters learn to use the lead-side leg and shoulder pull more efficiently;
                      "Teaches batters how to apply proper Torque during the swing:
                      "Pre-launch Torque (PLT) - accelerates the bat-head to the launch position;
                      "Top Hand Torque (THT) - accelerates the bat-head to (and through) the start ("lag") position;
                      "Bottom Hand Torque (BHT) - accelerates the bat-head from the lag position to contact."

                      For those of you who don't recall what it is, here's a picture:
                      sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        SSarge said: David:
                        I haven't had opportunity to see your swing, but really look forward to it.
                        Scott, you can download a short clip of one of his swings (from two angles) here:

                        http://s95294420.onlinehome.us/userfiles/DSamSwing0623.wmv

                        The clip is about 1.5 MB. The swing was taken a while back, to be sure, but it's a very good swing.

                        UM
                        sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          UM:

                          Tried - Getting a nasty response back from the server.

                          Any chance you could eMail to me at:

                          [email protected]

                          TIA,

                          Scott

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Yes sir, as a matter of fact I was up early this morning speaking to large high-school christian group.
                            Great!

                            And great that is where the kids were early in the morning, too.

                            God bless, David.

                            Scott

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              I do not think that arm strength has much to do with batspeed except as required to increase the ability to adjust/keep the bathead in synch with the rotational component of the swing
                              Thanks, Tom.

                              Regards,

                              Scott

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Then quickest path to ball will be straight down with top hand,aiming at top of ball.
                                Tom:

                                I know we all see what we want to see. Guilty, mea culpa, conceded in advance.

                                But in the clip you linked (catcher view of Bonds), I do not see this at all.

                                I do not see the hands move at all until the rear shoulder moves.

                                And then all I see is the hands keeping the box.


                                I believe the quickest path to the ball is to set the posture, then rotate the shoulders and keep the posture / box.

                                Is that what you are saying?


                                Again, and I know I am being stubborn on this point, I don't care what Bonds "feels" w/ his top hand. Everyone "feels" something a little different. And has varying language skills.

                                My personal theory is that hitters "feel" what their instructor tells them they should feel. That is the language with which they are most familiar. I see this all the time with the hitters I work with. And as an instructor, I need to be very careful not to tell them what they are "feeling," but rather ask them without putting words in their mouth.


                                Bonds's top hand is NOT going straight down, to my view. It is not doing much that I can see. He is hanging onto the bat and turning theorugh the ball w/ a gorgeous swing, which has been locked in by great posture, and keyed by great rotation from the center of his body.


                                I SWEAR I don't see anything other than that.

                                Can you help me? Can you give me a frame number where you see his hands doing something that is a "cause," not an "effect?"

                                Thanks and regards,

                                Scott

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