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  • Scap Load

    Can someone explain Scap Loading to me? I have spoken with Steve E and ordered his DVDs, will this give me some clue? I think I know what it is, but I figure there are some out there who might be able explain it to me. I am excited to see the info that he presents and can verify that it is hard not to notice his passion for what he does. If you don't notice it in the beginning, then it does become evident about an hour into the conversation:radio!! Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    welcome abroad bluke..first post?

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    • #3
      Yea, if you are right handed put your right fist just off your right pec. then raise your elbow up a bit. Then do the same action (with that right arm) as you would if you were pulling back on a bow(and arrow) string. Do this action without turning your shoulders at all. If you do this with both arms together you will pinch your scap together. When hitting you pull that right arm back only(obviously) and the left side stretches. This is the basic idea. Steve and the gang will be able to fill in the details.

      Oh, and yes the DVD will answer ALL your questions.

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      • #4
        Thanks

        Yes, this is my first post, I am a lurker, but this is an issue that I have wondered about since I first read of it 2 years ago. I am an avid Men's fastpitch player and help my father coach 13-15 yo girls. I am looking forward to seeing this DVD that so many of you guys talk about on many sites. I am based in Ky, so I can't exactly drive a few hours and see the "Man in Black" whenever I want. Thanks for the responses, I appreciate any info I can get.

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        • #5
          In hitting, scap loading is a "replacement" for counter rotation.

          HG's shoulder blade pinching description is accurate. However while I'm no archer, I think the bowstring example may not be a good analogy. It seems to me an archer tries to minimize movement for accuracy sake and typically does this by removing any scapula movement and instead "locks the scapula down" and reduces the movement to shoulder and elbow flexion only - resulting in another form of loading where the hands are being pulled straight back toward the catcher.

          To me, a better image of the loaded rear scap is the position you're in at the bottom of heavy a bench press. When hitting (as opposed to the bench press), the front side is stretched in an opposite fashion of the rear scap load.

          Paul has some very good animations showing this from various views on the Setpro site for anyone who has access.

          Oh, and yes the DVD will answer ALL your questions.
          Yeah, if I recall correctly, Steve's DVD has his drill which properly loads the rear scap while working on posture/swing plane which should clarify further.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jsiggy
            It seems to me an archer tries to minimize movement for accuracy sake and typically does this by removing any scapula movement and instead "locks the scapula down" and reduces the movement to shoulder and elbow flexion only - resulting in another form of loading where the hands are being pulled straight back toward the catcher
            I do not want to play arrow catcher.

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            • #7
              I have spoken with Steve E and ... can verify that it is hard not to notice his passion for what he does. If you don't notice it in the beginning, then it does become evident about an hour into the conversation!!
              I'm absolutely shocked.... shocked to hear you say this.

              It took you an hour?????

              Back to scap loading. Does it look something like this?
              Last edited by Ursa Major; 02-28-2006, 03:58 PM.
              sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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              • #8
                It amounts to getting the shoulders around the spine to rotate the shoulder unit on plane with the ball. Top hand focus is a little dicey for me. Best to illustrate them working together.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jsiggy
                  HG's shoulder blade pinching description is accurate. However while I'm no archer, I think the bowstring example may not be a good analogy. It seems to me an archer tries to minimize movement for accuracy sake and typically does this by removing any scapula movement and instead "locks the scapula down" and reduces the movement to shoulder and elbow flexion only - resulting in another form of loading where the hands are being pulled straight back toward the catcher.

                  To me, a better image of the loaded rear scap is the position you're in at the bottom of heavy a bench press. When hitting (as opposed to the bench press), the front side is stretched in an opposite fashion of the rear scap load.
                  I like your analogy as well. I used the bow analogy because Steve used it with me and it made sense.

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                  • #10
                    John , the problem that I have consistently seen in terms of "operationalizing" scapula loading is that it tends to be overdone ,ie creating too much retraction ,too much magnitude of movement , such that it creates ,in effect ,the same problems that counter-rotation creates.

                    Problems in other words that tend to create swing plane misalignment----which then negatively effects barrel accuracy and swing quickness.

                    Scapula loading/unloading -----understood correctly ---can be seen as functioning in a number of ways :

                    1] To create stability;
                    2] To help create directional force ,ie helping to get the barrel very quickly into the momentum path of the shoulders;
                    3] As something that "energizes " the swing by a rapid eccentic to concentric action of the scapular complex:
                    4]As a way to facilitate greater "separation" or subtle segmental differentials between the hips and shoulders [And I do emphasize here the SUBTLE nature of this separation of segments in terms of firing patterns.And that the separation involved in elite loading /unloading patterns is essentially one continuous "twisting and untwisting "or loading /unloading that starts with the "moving out/defying gravity " [better known as the stride ] that elite hitters create with the very effective control of the pelvic region ---that very few non-elite hitters create.In other words , "good separation" as created by elite hitters is always a function of very good pelvic control of the movement [loading] ---in conjuction with good scapula action .

                    It has been my experience with many hitters ,that in thinking of the scapula action as being synonymous with the "bench press analogy" ,they have a tendency to move the back shoulder in ways that create swing plane /posture problems.

                    I have ---for the most part ,with most hitters ,increasingly attempted to focus on 1 and 2 above [stability and direction] in terms of scapula action.As opposed to trying to emphasize magnitude of loading or movement---or as opposed to trying to emphasize magnitude of the "stretch-shortening "[eccentric to concentric action] process.

                    Almost always in terms of what I try to teach /convey ,I first try to focus on eliminating some of the common inefficiencies that I see regularly in most hitters.

                    Creating stability/control and finding ways to better direct the momentum path of the barrel are first and foremost in the context of scapula action.

                    This is not to say that subtle forms of loading the shoulders cannot be "built into " 1 and 2 above. Subtle forms of loading do indeed need to be built into scapula action. And I do teach and demonstrate some of these subtle ways to create this .

                    I am not saying here that you are inherently wrong in your "bench press analogy ".

                    But I am saying that my practical experience with most people's interpretation of "scapula loading " is that it tends to be overdone if you will.

                    And taken out of the context of the entire load -unload process interms of the efficient movement of the ENTIRE body.

                    In other words your analogy is NOT problematic for those really understand how to load and unload the body in a highly efficient manner.[My experience either with players are coaches is that there are very few in this catagory.]


                    Hope this explains a little where Dave was coming from with regards to his "bow string " analogy.

                    steve

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                    • #11
                      Thanks to all. UM, I did notice Steve's passion earlier than an hour into the conversation, the thing is I didn't think I would be on the phone for an hour. I figured I would tell him my name and find out how to get the DVDs and that would be that. I wasn't sure I was important enough to matter. He talked my ear off, and I enjoyed the hell out of it!
                      Once again, thank you all for answering the scap load question. I look forward to learning more from each of you.

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                      • #12
                        Steve, make sure I'm following correctly. Your concern with my description is not the pull back (bow-arrow movement around glenhumeral joint) vs. pull around (scap a[db]duction) as much as it is the amount of pull involved with the bench press description? Or is it both the magnitude and the actual motion?

                        Btw, I also have used the bow-arrow analogy... a problem I saw, and the reason I jumped in, is a couple of kids already pulled the arm straight back (toward catcher) in what I think of as a bow-arrow fashion. And, I may be wrong, but it seemed to lead to an arm load/arm unload mechanic rather than a shoulder load/unload. In other words, more active arms. Thoughts?

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                        • #13
                          Bluke1 said: Thanks to all. UM, I did notice Steve's passion earlier than an hour into the conversation, the thing is I didn't think I would be on the phone for an hour.
                          I guess you don't know me well enough (or know Steve's reputation enough) to know I was making the big joke. My first call with Steve was 86 minutes (on my cell phone, and I had to pull off to the side of the road as I was about to cross a bridge spanning San Francisco Bay and would likely have lost him).

                          Everyone who knows Steve has such stories. Apparently, one is advised to never invite Steve to stay at your house without getting ahead on your sleep, as he'll keep you up 'til all hours talking hitting. Then again, some of us would consider that nirvana.
                          sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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                          • #14
                            Cletus is absolutely indefatigable.

                            Hand him a Seinfeld or Shield DVD, and go grab a couple hours sleep.

                            Tell him Tom Guerry posted that he [Steve] doesn't know the first thing about scap loading, then hand him a computer, and go grab a couple hours sleep.

                            Find him an obscure treatise on kineseology and motor skill development among the Intuit Eskimoos, and go grab a couple hours sleep.

                            Or learn to go with no sleep.

                            Regards,

                            Scott
                            Last edited by ssarge; 03-02-2006, 02:53 AM.

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                            • #15
                              the problem that I have consistently seen in terms of "operationalizing" scapula loading is that it tends to be overdone ,ie creating too much retraction ,too much magnitude of movement , such that it creates ,in effect ,the same problems that counter-rotation creates
                              AMEN

                              While I agree with that statement...Steve will disagree with this one so while the two are linked "in my mind and in my application"( this will be in a box soon) and I do not use him to support what I think here.

                              As I see players try to operationize scap loading, I have seen and used cues about " hand loading' attain the same appearance as good scap loading without the overdoing and 'locking up " of shoulder cues and thoughts.

                              There is a smooth flow of the shoulder action and unconscience scap loading FOR SOME KIDS when they " think " load the hands ....bottom hand under the top" and let the bat go where it wants to go.

                              AROD

                              http://s6.invisionfree.com/Hitting/i...0#entry4067318

                              There is a "gulf " of disagreement concerning what this can mean in terms of the physics of of P-C-R and whether hand action can enhance the C-R or whether they are at opposite ends of the hitting spectrum. The hand torquing and then getting them into the momentum plane yields amazing results for some kids and it is employed my many MLB players. Does it work as a stand alone without the P etc ....no

                              I see them as closer than first cousins physically and I see them brothers in teaching for cartain players..usually the gifted athletically . I see this daily in application

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