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Teaching the Mechanics of Major League Swing (2007)

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  • Teaching the Mechanics of Major League Swing (2007)

    Anyone have a comment on this DVD, or on Emanski's teachings?

    http://www.amazon.com/Teaching-Mecha..._sim_d_title_4

    Product Description
    This tape provides a complete training program based on the actual swing mechanics of the accomplished professional hitter. This video was created during actual instructional classes at the Baseball World Training Center. Coach Emanski's latest hitting release is no doubt baseball's finest batting instructional video... it takes the mystery out of hitting! Baseball World's drills are used daily in our award winning camps! Baseball World's school trained teams have won back to back to back AAU National Championship tournaments, setting ,many offensive/defensive records... Discover the secrets of America's finest Baseball School

  • #2
    Chris:

    I have it. It is copyright 1994, and is somewhat superficial. Emanski sitting around with some kids talking about hitting, and showing them still picures (no video, but then this is a 15 YO tape). And then a couple of drills.

    (I realize the Amazon link descrobes a 2007 product). I would question that. I think the only thing new is that it has been released on DVD, rather than VHS. Baseball World has been gone for a decade, and I haven't heard amything of Elamski, either. I heard he sold his video rights to his production company for a pretty good chunk.


    Some of his basic stuff is reasonably good. Gets posture almost right (too much emphasis on leg bend as a mechanism for getting upper body torque). gets grip right - lines up door knockers woth punchers. Says the upper body should be in a "loose" position to insure lower body comes into play. Right desired outcome, probably the wrong approach. Or possibly, he is referring to a "loose" position as to mean that the elbows are flexed, because this is something he stresses frequently.

    He consistently shows pictures of hitters with ENORMOUS torso tilt - even by my standards - but never comments on it.

    Hands move back as the hitter strides (although he never stresses this in the drills later). Stresses radial deviation of bottom hand wrist in the load (hinge angle), which is good. Talks about momentum development in the stride, and differentiates it from weight shift. The usual disingenuous differentiation (a la RVP) of "linear start to rotational finish" (as if ANYONE describing a rotational swing is not including a linear stride as a pre-launch mechanic). That phrase is just drivel, although unlike RVP, Emanski is NOT using it as a marketing differentiator. To his credit, Emanski avoids any debate about linear vs rotational. He is clearly in the rotational camp - the impression that you get is that it is just so obvious to him that it isn't worth commenting on. He indicates that once the swing actually launches, all movement is rotational.

    He stresses low elbow on the lead arm - with good elbow bend - in the load. Talks about the importance of maintaining this - basically maintaining the box - to avoid a "sweeping" swing. (He does NOT use the term "box," but does endorse the concept.) He does show pictures at contact, which of course have a high elbow, but never mentions how that happens after loading w/ a low elbow.

    He adcocates a long stride and very wide base.

    Emanski uses the word "slot" in a way that would be awkward for most of us - descroibing a loaded upper body just before foot plant, NOT a movement down of the rear elbow. He basically talks about the BAT being in a slot (radial deviation of lower wrist, bat pointed back towards the pitcher). Good position that I think we would all embrace. The word "slot" to describe it is where I have difficulty. Confusing.

    Emanski teaches to start the swing with the lower body and hips. The upper body holds back as much as possible.

    Stresses a concept called the "explosion point" as "his" key differentiator. I may be missing his point, but don't see anything he describes relative to this position in a way that is unique. Basically he describes the lag position, and says that then centrifigul force takes over. Says this is preferable to centripital force. Standard "get off the merry-go-round" kind of stuff. Uses Frank Thomas and Mike Schmidt as examples - I think many would concede that these are two swings that have some points of variance from a lot of their peers. Although they certainly got great results. Shows Thome with his back ankle about ready to break (definitely unique) as it is flat to the ground. But basically just talks about the "explosion point" in the swing as that point where rotational forces have really built up. Probbaly not stretching it to much to make a flail to whip comparison here (though his language does not remotely include those terms).

    Does a good job of explaining why the bat should never be level to the gound, but rather to pitch plane. And that the swing path should be up, not down. Says ground balls are hits 23% of the time (about right). 21% on flies. 70+ % for line drives (but he also points out that line drives only happen at the MLB level 20% of the time).

    Then he talks about follow through. I didn't watch. Who cares? Not the ball, that's for sure.


    That is the first 40 minutes of the tape.


    Then he moves to drills for 15 minutes.

    First is a Tee drill. Just hitting off a Tee. Again stresses "looseness" of the upper body. Kid had no scap load at all, front elbow way in front of the navel. Emanski did stress cock of the wrist (radial deviation; hinge angle), but the kid doesn't really do it very well (bat basically was pointed at the sky, NOT back at the pitcher - not good). Though he told him he did it well. Moves his grip from what he had earlier demonstrated - door knockes to punchers - to door knockers to door knockers. Unfortunate. Uses a modified "Numbers drill" approach - 1-2-3-4.

    Next drill was soft toss. His big twist was that he occasionally fakes a toss to teach a kid to wait on curve balls or change ups. He telegraphs them, though (LOL).

    Points out correctly that a kid swinging a 22 or something is actually swinging a heavier bat - proportionate to his strength - than an MLB hitter. An important point when designing drills or comparing swings. We should probably all remember it as we compare swings. (Though parenthetically, we are moving to 26-28oz bats for the Gold girls, with good results. My DD is using a 34/28. No perceptible loss in bat speed, so more carry. But this is mainly for those girls who are going to have to use heavier bats in college because to the coach / team bat contract. Just getting them ready. But it is working well.)

    Then a Fence drill, with the fence behind the batter (catcher position). Emanski uses it to enforce the radial deviation (bottom wrist hinge angle), and shows that if you DON'T do it, the bat will hit the fence. There are other movements - THT or hand-torquing - that would cauise the hitter to hit the ence with the bat as well. Hw would, I suppose, be opposed to those drills. He wants the hitter to be able to avoid the fence.

    Those are the drills. No idea whether Emanski was an influencer of Epstein, but you can definitely see the root of the Torque, Numbers, and Fence drill here if you wanted to.

    And again, you can see the germination of some RVP language as well. My guess it that this video was at least viewed by both Epstein and Slaught as they developed their own materials.

    I read somewhere that at one time, Eanski's videos - advertised incessantly on late-night TV a decade ago - sold more copies than any other self-help videos ever (to that point) that were sold on TV. In addition to the hitting videos (I think there are 2), there was a defensive skills video, and a practice organization video. And I think there were some other tapes on catching, bunting, etc. that were never marketed heavily on TV.

    The back-to-back-to-back AAU World Championships were 12 YO in 1990, 13 YO in 1992, and 11 YO in 1993.


    That's pretty much it for the hitting video.

    Regards,

    Scott
    Last edited by ssarge; 02-10-2008, 08:21 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey Scott. How are you??

      How's the team shaping up? Looking forward to a trip back to HOF stadium?

      Originally posted by ssarge View Post
      Chris:

      I have it. It is copyright 1994, and is somewhat superficial. Emanski sitting around with some kids talking about hitting, and showing them still picures (no video, but then this is a 15 YO tape). And then a couple of drills.

      (I realize the Amazon link descrobes a 2007 product). I would question that. I think the only thing new is that it has been released on DVD, rather than VHS. Baseball World has been gone for a decade, and I haven't heard amything of Elamski, either. I heard he sold his video rights to his production company for a pretty good chunk.


      Some of his basic stuff is reasonably good. Gets posture almost right (too much emphasis on leg bend as a mechanism for getting upper body torque). gets grip right - lines up door knockers woth punchers. Says the upper body should be in a "loose" position to insure lower body comes into play. Right desired outcome, probably the wrong approach. Or possibly, he is referring to a "loose" position as to mean that the elbows are flexed, because this is something he stresses frequently.

      He consistently shows pictures of hitters with ENORMOUS torso tilt - even by my standards - but never comments on it.

      Hands move back as the hitter strides (although he never stresses this in the drills later). Stresses radial deviation of bottom hand wrist in the load (hinge angle), which is good. Talks about momentum development in the stride, and differentiates it from weight shift. The usual disingenuous differentiation (a la RVP) of "linear start to rotational finish" (as if ANYONE describing a rotational swing is not including a linear stride as a pre-launch mechanic). That phrase is just drivel, although unlike RVP, Emanski is NOT using it as a marketing differentiator. To his credit, Emanski avoids any debate about linear vs rotational. He is clearly in the rotational camp - the impression that you get is that it is just so obvious to him that it isn't worth commenting on. He indicates that once the swing actually launches, all movement is rotational.

      He stresses low elbow on the lead arm - with good elbow bend - in the load. Talks about the importance of maintaining this - basically maintaining the box - to avoid a "sweeping" swing. (He does NOT use the term "box," but does endorse the concept.) He does show pictures at contact, which of course have a high elbow, but never mentions how that happens after loading w/ a low elbow.

      He adcocates a long stride and very wide base.

      Emanski uses the word "slot" in a way that would be awkward for most of us - descroibing a loaded upper body just before foot plant, NOT a movement down of the rear elbow. He basically talks about the BAT being in a slot (radial deviation of lower wrist, bat pointed back towards the pitcher). Good position that I think we would all embrace. The word "slot" to describe it is where I have difficulty. Confusing.

      Emanski teaches to start the swing with the lower body and hips. The upper body holds back as much as possible.

      Stresses a concept called the "explosion point" as "his" key differentiator. I may be missing his point, but don't see anything he describes relative to this position in a way that is unique. Basically he describes the lag position, and says that then centrifigul force takes over. Says this is preferable to centripital force. Standard "get off the merry-go-round" kind of stuff. Uses Frank Thomas and Mike Schmidt as examples - I think many would concede that these are two swings that have some points of variance from a lot of their peers. Although they certainly got great results. Shows Thome with his back ankle about ready to break (definitely unique) as it is flat to the ground. But basically just talks about the "explosion point" in the swing as that point where rotational forces have really built up. Probbaly not stretching it to much to make a flail to whip comparison here (though his language does not remotely include those terms).

      Does a good job of explaining why the bat should never be level to the gound, but rather to pitch plane. And that the swing path should be up, not down. Says ground balls are hits 23% of the time (about right). 21% on flies. 70+ % for line drives (but he also points out that line drives only happen at the MLB level 20% of the time).

      Then he talks about follow through. I didn't watch. Who cares? Not the ball, that's for sure.


      That is the first 40 minutes of the tape.


      Then he moves to drills for 15 minutes.

      First is a Tee drill. Just hitting off a Tee. Again stresses "looseness" of the upper body. Kid had no scap load at all, front elbow way in front of the navel. Emanski did stress cock of the wrist (radial deviation; hinge angle), but the kid doesn't really do it very well (bat basically was pointed at the sky, NOT back at the pitcher - not good). Though he told him he did it well. Moves his grip from what he had earlier demonstrated - door knockes to punchers - to door knockers to door knockers. Unfortunate. Uses a modified "Numbers drill" approach - 1-2-3-4.

      Next drill was soft toss. His big twist was that he occasionally fakes a toss to teach a kid to wait on curve balls or change ups. He telegraphs them, though (LOL).

      Points out correctly that a kid swinging a 22 or something is actually swinging a heavier bat - proportionate to his strength - than an MLB hitter. An important point when designing drills or comparing swings. We should probably all remember it as we compare swings. (Though parenthetically, we are moving to 26-28oz bats for the Gold girls, with good results. My DD is using a 34/28. No perceptible loss in bat speed, so more carry. But this is mainly for those girls who are going to have to use heavier bats in college because to the coach / team bat contract. Just getting them ready. But it is working well.)

      Then a Fence drill, with the fence behind the batter (catcher position). Emanski uses it to enforce the radial deviation (bottom wrist hinge angle), and shows that if you DON'T do it, the bat will hit the fence. There are other movements - THT or hand-torquing - that would cauise the hitter to hit the ence with the bat as well. Hw would, I suppose, be opposed to those drills. He wants the hitter to be able to avoid the fence.

      Those are the drills. No idea whether Emanski was an influencer of Epstein, but you can definitely see the root of the Torque, Numbers, and Fence drill here if you wanted to.

      And again, you can see the germination of some RVP language as well. My guess it that this video was at least viewed by both Epstein and Slaught as they developed their own materials.

      I read somewhere that at one time, Eanski's videos - advertised incessantly on late-night TV a decade ago - sold more copies than any other self-help videos ever (to that point) that were sold on TV. In addition to the hitting videos (I think there are 2), there was a defensive skills video, and a practice organization video. And I think there were some other tapes on catching, bunting, etc. that were never marketed heavily on TV.

      The back-to-back-to-back AAU World Championships were 12 YO in 1990, 13 YO in 1992, and 11 YO in 1993.


      That's pretty much it for the hitting video.

      Regards,

      Scott

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you very much Scott.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ssarge View Post
          He stresses low elbow on the lead arm - with good elbow bend - in the load. Talks about the importance of maintaining this - basically maintaining the box - to avoid a "sweeping" swing. (He does NOT use the term "box," but does endorse the concept.) He does show pictures at contact, which of course have a high elbow, but never mentions how that happens after loading w/ a low elbow.
          It is interesting that you commented about the use of the "maintaining the box" cue in terms of avoiding a "sweeping swing".

          For a while now I have been advocating maintaining the angle in the lead arm, after first obtaining lead arm extension during the forward weight shift. Chris Yeager refers to this as "maintaining lead arm extension".

          For the most part I have used "maintaining lead arm extension" as a virtual replacement of the "maintaining the box" cue.

          However, I do have two kids that have a "sweeping swing", and by this I mean that their swing appears to have a heavy emphasis on the finish, with a relatively high finish (sort of a loppy like swing). For these kids I have been tossing around the idea of introducing them to the "maintaining the box" cue, which is why I found your post both timely and interesting. What is holding me back is that the last time I used the "maintain the box" cue with kids that they ended up losing the ability to obtain "lead arm extension" during their forward weight shift, and that's something that I believe should exist.

          Perhaps the concept could be thought of as "maintaining the box" from the point in the swing just after toe-touch, after "lead arm extension" is obtained, instead of "maintaining the box" starting from the stance?

          p.s.
          Could I get you to follow-up on "He stresses low elbow on the lead arm - with good elbow bend - in the load."

          What exactly is meant by "low elbow in the lead arm" and what is meant by "good elbow bend in the load"?
          Last edited by FiveFrameSwing; 02-10-2008, 10:04 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by FiveFrameSwing View Post
            It is interesting that you commented about the use of the "maintaining the box" cue in terms of avoiding a "sweeping swing".

            For a while now I have been advocating maintaining the angle in the lead arm, after first obtaining lead arm extension during the forward weight shift. Chris Yeager refers to this as "maintaining lead arm extension".

            For the most part I have used "maintaining lead arm extension" as a virtual replacement of the "maintaining the box" cue.

            However, I do have two kids that have a "sweeping swing", and by this I mean that their swing appears to have a heavy emphasis on the finish, with a relatively high finish (sort of a loppy like swing). For these kids I have been tossing around the idea of introducing them to the "maintaining the box" cue, which is why I found your post both timely and interesting. What is holding me back is that the last time I used the "maintain the box" cue with kids that they ended up losing the ability to obtain "lead arm extension" during their forward weight shift, and that's something that I believe should exist.

            Perhaps the concept could be thought of as "maintaining the box" from the point in the swing just after toe-touch, after "lead arm extension" is obtained, instead of "maintaining the box" starting from the stance?
            I locked my arms into a box and swung... it is really hard to physically maintain a box.

            Comment


            • #7
              Perhaps the concept could be thought of as "maintaining the box" from the point in the swing just after toe-touch, after "lead arm extension" is obtained, instead of "maintaining the box" starting from the stance?
              Yeah, OK. I'm not revisiting familiar debates here, just reporting on what is said or inferred on the tape.


              Could I get you to follow-up on "He stresses low elbow on the lead arm - with good elbow bend - in the load."
              If I were going to put it in my own terms, I'd describe it differently. But this is pretty much verbatim reporting of Emanski's words. The illustrations show (at load) the front arm elbow at (or below) sternum level, with close to 90 degrees of elbow bend.
              Last edited by ssarge; 02-11-2008, 12:47 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hey Scott. How are you??

                How's the team shaping up? Looking forward to a trip back to HOF stadium?

                Hey BM. Miss seeing you out there. What is this - first summer in 25 years that you won't be coaching?


                The player you sent us - Caroline - had a good fall. She just committed to Lewis and Clark, so that is another signed player to come out of your program. There was some D2 money out there for her, but she decided the D3 fit her better academically (dentist or veterinarian). She'll do very well at that level - she had a nice fall with the bat, and is solid defensively at 2B. I sent you a clip - not sure if you got it? I didn't get an eMail back.


                This will be an interesting summer for us, and for Gold teams in general. We lost 7 players into college programs last season, so that is a lot to replace. Our pitchers at Jacksonville State and San Francisco State will be coming back, to join the one we currently have who is signed at San Jose State. And there is another pitcher currently in the Pac 10 (won her first game yesterday) we may add as well (she played for a coach new to our team last summer, but didn;t play for our team). She has agreed to play if we'd like her to. We will bring back our Stanford oufielder as well. On the team now, we have an Oregon State signed (position) player, LMU, and Central Forida, plus another who has offers but is waiting on some test scores. So that nucleus of 7-8 players is our foundation, After that, we are counting on some young players to step up. We have several who have shown real promise as hitters, and 2-3 who hit the long ball. There are 1/2 dozen or so who will definitely play D1 in a couple of years (should they care to, and I think they all will. But they're green.) So we'll see.


                Not sure how closely you have followed things, but ASA is really making it difficult to qualify out of the West. About 45% of the registered Gold teams in the country reside in the Western Territory (sectors are now territories), and less than 1/3 of the berths. No returning berths either (unlike in the past), so teams like the Batbusters and Firecrackers are thrown into the qualifiers. Plus, they have moved Arizona and Colorado into our territory, so teams like the Hot Shots are in the mix, too.

                And, I think there will be much more emphasis across the board on bringing college players back this summer. Including with some of the big-boy programs who have eschewed it in the past. Us bringing back 3-4 will certainly not be atytpical.

                So I'm not sure about getting back to OKC. Certainly, that is the goal. Won't be easy, though. More than ever before, your draw in the qualifier will matter this year. My prediction - sincerely hope I am wrong - is that no more than 3 NorCal teams will be in the 64-team field at Nationals.

                Great to hear from you!

                Scott
                Last edited by ssarge; 02-11-2008, 12:56 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  However, I do have two kids that have a "sweeping swing", and by this I mean that their swing appears to have a heavy emphasis on the finish, with a relatively high finish (sort of a loppy like swing). For these kids I have been tossing around the idea of introducing them to the "maintaining the box" cue, which is why I found your post both timely and interesting. What is holding me back is that the last time I used the "maintain the box" cue with kids that they ended up losing the ability to obtain "lead arm extension" during their forward weight shift, and that's something that I believe should exist.
                  Chris Yeager refers to this as "maintaining lead arm extension".

                  Too late to dig out my Yeager materials. But as I recall - and based on what you describe, Yeager has this right, IMO. The front scapula should stretch from the spine (even as the rear scapula horizontally pinches towards it. This stretching of front scap is important. Most kids don;t do it, they simply turn the front shoulder inward. Not as effective.

                  I find the term "lead arm extension" confusing, though as I said, it seems to me Yeager has the concept right. Check points for me are that the front upper arm is angled down to a 90 degree (approx) front elbow angle, then back up to hands in the shoulder plane and on the catcher side of the shoulder. Front elbow past the navel. No counter rotation - navel should be pointed at the plate. Rear scap horizontally pinched towards the spine. Radial deviation (hinge angle; cupping) of bottom hand wrist, with bat splitting helmet and pointing back towards the pitcher). When viewed in profile, the bat will be roughly parallel with the front upper arm.

                  I could care less about terms such as "box." Whatever floats your boat. I DO believe that if the bottom wrist hinge angle is lost easly in the swing, the hitter has wasted a powerful opportunity. And I believe that the front arm elbow straightening is also a lot opportunity. Maintaining those two principles does seem to create a certain consistency of shape between shoulders, front elbow, and hands throughout the swing, but whatever.

                  Best wishes,

                  Scott
                  Last edited by ssarge; 02-11-2008, 12:54 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FiveFrameSwing View Post
                    For a while now I have been advocating maintaining the angle in the lead arm, after first obtaining lead arm extension during the forward weight shift. Chris Yeager refers to this as "maintaining lead arm extension".

                    For the most part I have used "maintaining lead arm extension" as a virtual replacement of the "maintaining the box" cue.

                    Perhaps the concept could be thought of as "maintaining the box" from the point in the swing just after toe-touch, after "lead arm extension" is obtained, instead of "maintaining the box" starting from the stance?
                    The age-old cue, "keep your hands back" might work. That just means to keep the hands at the armpit/shoulder until you have rotated the shoulders quite a ways.

                    p.s.
                    Could I get you to follow-up on "He stresses low elbow on the lead arm - with good elbow bend - in the load."

                    What exactly is meant by "low elbow in the lead arm" and what is meant by "good elbow bend in the load"?
                    It's what SwingBuster used to promote. And, what Epstein teaches. The front elbow is down and over the belly-button, and slightly bent.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Go Cardinals View Post
                      I locked my arms into a box and swung... it is really hard to physically maintain a box.
                      You don't have to maintain it through the entire swing. You hold it until you need to adjust the elbows to get to the pitch.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ssarge View Post
                        Hey BM. Miss seeing you out there. What is this - first summer in 25 years that you won't be coaching?
                        Something like that, but whose counting?............

                        Originally posted by ssarge
                        The player you sent us - Caroline - had a good fall. She just committed to Lewis and Clark, so that is another signed player to come out of your program. There was some D2 money out there for her, but she decided the D3 fit her better academically (dentist or veterinarian). She'll do very well at that level - she had a nice fall with the bat, and is solid defensively at 2B. I sent you a clip - not sure if you got it? I didn't get an eMail back.
                        Caroline tells us she really enjoying it over there. I knew she would. Great kid. Great attitude.

                        I did get your email and actually responded twice when Steve told me you didn't get the first one. Spam folder maybe? :noidea

                        I'll re-send it one more time just for rocks........

                        I did see what ASA did with the territories. It is gonna be a tough road to hoe.......Hopefully all the stars will line up for one weekend, and you'll get to go back. If not this year, soon.......

                        I think the pitching in NorCal is getting pretty thin (compared to the amount of teams that need it), and I agree with you about college returners.

                        The problem is with the adjusted D1 recruiting calander, Nationals is going to be a huge D1 recruiting venue, as it used to be before the showcase formats became popular........(showing my age here I guess)

                        Hell I remember when there was only 2 places to showcase, Nationals, and Rich Chambrones "Oktoberfest". Then, Colorado became popular giving us 3 places during the year to showcase, and if you didn't get to Nationals, you had only 2........

                        Anyway, good luck this summer and tell Paul hi for me!

                        Best as always,

                        John

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks, John.

                          Did get your eMail this morning, and responded. Good observations, as always.

                          Best,

                          Scott

                          Comment

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