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Upper Body Swing Mechanics

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  • Upper Body Swing Mechanics

    I have owned and used the Epstein hitting system for the past year or so and have just began reading up on some of the others "gurus" out there.

    I was reading the public forums on Steve E's site tonight and it appears (correct me if I am wrong) that Steve E says that the upper body swings as a unit (shoulders, arms, etc.). In reviewing my Epstein dvd's, he also states that as well.

    I don't want to start an argument on who is better, etc., but I am curious if both Steve E and Epstein promote and basically teach the same thing as far as upper body swing mechanics?

    Thanks for the feedback.

  • #2


    I don't know much about steve or PCR... that said if he claims that there is no separation conscious or unconscious... than he is wrong. Separation is extremely important. I swing a bat. I've talked to a d1 coach for several hours (he's 80 years old and been coaching forever) and tony Gwynn. Both say separation is important.

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    • #3
      skip 'em both and order Yeager....The quickest, most complete path--if you want the MLB swing...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MarkL View Post
        skip 'em both and order Yeager....The quickest, most complete path--if you want the MLB swing...
        I agree with part... IMO, epstein is a good beginning... especially if you are changing from linear (down on the ball to and after contact)... I think yeager has great work. I agree with your statement about 90% lol...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Go Cardinals

          I don't know much about steve or PCR... that said [B
          if[/B] he claims that there is no separation conscious or unconscious... than he is wrong. Separation is extremely important. I swing a bat. I've talked to a d1 coach for several hours (he's 80 years old and been coaching forever) and tony Gwynn. Both say separation is important.
          Can you tell me how much separation is acceptable?

          Or what amount is too much or not enough?

          I haven't seen a good answer to these questions yet. Proper loading (and unloading) will ensure you get the magical separation.

          One of my good friends whom I played with in college baseball and then played against in pro baseball spent a large amount of his off season with Tony Gywnn some time ago. After hearing his observations, and listening to Gywnn commentate on television, he has little if any understanding of the major league swing process. The guy just regurgitates old wives tales like most hitting instructors. Could Gywnn hit? Yes, he was unbelievable. But he usually states things that conform to his vision of what he wants to see.

          And then go watch a D1 college game. Most swings are gross in that all the players are brainwashed and cloned to hit a certain way. And usually its the head coaches latest "buzz word" technique he learned at this years ABCA clinic.

          I wouldn't skip anyones products if I were a parent. Your son's career is too short to risk ruling out any option.
          Last edited by JK-CA; 02-27-2008, 01:07 AM. Reason: clarity

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          • #6
            The question on separation is when does it happen. The question of how much should also be a question of when. It's more important for each segment to link up at it's highest rotational velocity rather than a certain degree of "separation". The contribution this makes to bat quickness and speed is the point rather than some number of degrees. I suggest asking the question directly to Epstein and Englishbey on their sites. Sites such as this one here are useful for finding places to learn. Not so much for actual learning. I'd suggest some of the positions attributed to Mike on a public board will not be what Epstein would say and I promise you many of the positions attributed to Steve on a public board will not be what Englishbey would say.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JK-CA View Post
              One of my good friends whom I played with in college baseball and then played against in pro baseball spent a large amount of his off season with Tony Gywnn some time ago. After hearing his observations, and listening to Gywnn commentate on television, he has little if any understanding of the major league swing process. The guy just regurgitates old wives tales like most hitting instructors. Could Gywnn hit? Yes, he was unbelievable. But he usually states things that conform to his vision of what he wants to see.
              Gwynn is the worst when it comes to teaching things he didn't do (e.g. extension at the point of contact), and not teaching the things he did. How could he spend so much time watching video and not understand this stuff?
              Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

              I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Chris O'Leary View Post
                Gwynn is the worst when it comes to teaching things he didn't do (e.g. extension at the point of contact), and not teaching the things he did. How could he spend so much time watching video and not understand this stuff?
                Maybe, he keeps it simple.

                Tell me... what does he say about hitting? What is bad about his views. A lot of people except this as common knowledge... I've been with him for 3 days. Talked to him about hitting for several hours. I also listened to him for many more hours. A lot of people don't understand how much he actually knows. I'll admit though, he does have some giant gray spots...

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                • #9
                  Tony gwynn preached:

                  - hands do all the work for upper body (no shoulder rotation)
                  - hands flatten early
                  - little "u" cue
                  - 2 strike approach every at-bat...

                  That is just naming a few...

                  Also, the coaches were talking about each player (I was listening). They were trying to figure out what hitting philosophies they had. One guy was an epstien student. Tony said he doesn't like epstien's work. He said that he once asked him to take a few swings himself (like in early 06). He said that epstien rolled over pitch after pitch. Than he came in and said, "Where should I hit it?" I bet you can guess the result (tony hit it exactly where he said he would every time). He also said that he doesn't like PCR. I forget the details, but that is what he said.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Go Cardinals View Post
                    Tony gwynn preached:

                    - hands do all the work for upper body (no shoulder rotation)
                    - hands flatten early
                    - little "u" cue
                    - 2 strike approach every at-bat...

                    That is just naming a few...

                    Also, the coaches were talking about each player (I was listening). They were trying to figure out what hitting philosophies they had. One guy was an epstien student. Tony said he doesn't like epstien's work. He said that he once asked him to take a few swings himself (like in early 06). He said that epstien rolled over pitch after pitch. Than he came in and said, "Where should I hit it?" I bet you can guess the result (tony hit it exactly where he said he would every time). He also said that he doesn't like PCR. I forget the details, but that is what he said.
                    The guy should have told him to hit it over the fence!!! 135HRs in 20 seasons and 9200 ABs?

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                    • #11
                      hands do all the work for upper body (no shoulder rotation)
                      135HRs in 20 seasons and 9200 ABs?
                      I'd be stunned to hear that he said "no shoulder rotation." I have never heard any pro player say that. But I wasn't there.

                      Stats speak eloquently, I would think. Basically no power, despite the fact that he was a pretty hefty guy, especially in the second half of his career. He deserves credit for 3,000 hits, though. Great accomplishment. But anyone attempting to duplicate his approach would be well advised to begin that effort with similar gifts and talent. I think most would be much better served - in terms of progressing their career - to hit the ball OTF once in a while.

                      In short, Gwynn was an anomaly. Supremely gifted, and he accompished a lot. I would liken emulating his mechanics to emulating Jim Furyk's golf swing. MIGHT get you there. But unlikely, or there would be a lot more guys at the top of the pyramid whose swing looks like his. And actually, there is NO ONE else at the top of the pyramid whose swing looks like Furyk's. It is basically one of a kind. Most young golfers would be much better served to emulate the "typical" swing. There is a reason why the swings of virtually all world-class golfers look very similar. And the same is true in baseball.



                      Tony said he doesn't like epstien's work. He said that he once asked him to take a few swings himself (like in early 06). He said that epstien rolled over pitch after pitch. Than he came in and said, "Where should I hit it?" I bet you can guess the result (tony hit it exactly where he said he would every time).
                      I have no idea how Epstein swings at 60-some years old. And there are definitely problems with his approach for many kids who have followed it religiously, then move to higher levels of play. That said, there is ABSOLUTELY NO reason why anything taught by Epstein would cause a hitter to "roll over." The opposite, actually. He is huge on "palm up / palm down," with hands parallel to pitch plane.




                      He also said that he doesn't like PCR. I forget the details, but that is what he said.
                      I'd be willing to bet a significant sum that Gwynn doesn't have the faintest idea what PCR is, beyond MAYBE being able to define the acronym.




                      The guy was a fine contact hitter, obviously. But I doubt anyone was particularly impressed with his lengthy analysis of Bonds's swing in the USA Today video clip of several years ago. Superficial, and not particularly accurate. He is probably a decent hitting coach, and can use his experience to good advantage. Does a nice job as a coach at a mid-major D1. And there are few nicer guys in sports.

                      Regards,

                      Scott
                      Last edited by ssarge; 02-28-2008, 07:24 AM.

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