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  • #16
    Okay

    I think what you guys are referring to is kind of what I was thinking. It seems to me (and I'm guessing a little here) that if you stay "fluid," or what I believe is "connected" that scap loading will happen as a by product of "swinging from the middle." I realize I'm using terms which definitions I am not completely comfortable with, but is that the guts of what you guys are explaining? Should a player make a conscious effort to scap load? I believe what is being stated here is that it shouldn't be "overdone." I will admit that I have not seen the DVDs yet, (they are on the way ) please don't beat me up too bad

    As always thanks

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Ursa Major
      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.
      Try waking him up before 10am! We nearly had to call in a rescue team. h

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      • #18
        I think you[Swingbuster] misunderstand the term "connection " in the real meaning of the term. Simply put ,connection is about FUNCTION ,ie .,its about the ability to efficiently transfer momentum from the body to the barrel.

        For ex. you cited Sheffield's arm action ----how he moves the upper body in loading ---as somebody that violates the principle of "connection".

        This is incorrect. As is the case with essentially all major league hitters , Sheffield neither lags, or drags the bat or pushes the pushes the hands ahead of the rotation to initiate the swing.

        He functions in such a way as to connect the bat to the momentum path of the shoulders very quickly.

        How he does it [form ] in terms of movement of the upper body is not terribly relevant . And however he ---or anyone else ----"gets there" does not at all violate the principle of connection.

        Connection is about function much more so than it is about form.


        Now having said this ,as regards young hitters -----in THIS context you are typically dealing with all kinds of inefficiencies with regards to swingplane /swingpath issues -----in combination with "rotational deficits ".

        Simply put ,they are trying in every manner to create "the energetics " of the swing via arm action. [This is why I have said "arm action is king ---for mediocre hitters". Since they really do not know how to use the body mass [and I include here the scapular complex] to create movement and generate large "impulse " and momentum ,they only have the arms left to try to compensate for this fundemental flaw .]

        From my perspective ------as someone PAID to help people reach towards their potential ------I am obligated to try to make the case that one cannot develop their true potential unless they begin to understand how to manipulate the body mass [shoulder complex included] to create optimal movement ,leverage ,elastic energy ,momentum , greater impulse and rate of force development, etc.

        And as an aside ----and you may well fall into this catagory simply because of the nature of the environment you find yourself in-----many people are NOT that interested in developmental issues. Many are interested more along the lines of "how in the hell can you help my son or daughter for this weekends tournament ?"

        To which I would ---and have said ,"how the hell do I know ".

        I dont know and I really dont much care.

        I have a developmental perspective. And from a developmental perspective I am interested in finding ways to restrict certain movements and "natural tendencies" in order to force people into utilizing the body mass more effectively.Because I know that if they do not learn very well how to go about using the body mass efficiently----if they do like most and simply use their arms and legs to try to create movement, they are not going to even get close to their potential. Their paying days will be pretty limited and largely an exercise in frustration. If they really want to avoid that ,they will have to learn how to utilize the torso more effectively .

        And I am interested in and motivated towards getting them to better understand a relatively simple model of a swing that amounts to a singular and coherent model of the bat and body creating one rotational pattern.My experience suggest that if they understand this model pretty well ,they will have a much better chance to build a good swing over time .

        Once this is fairly well understood [or if it is simply done well by a hitter] then the idea is to build upon that pattern in any number of ways .And those ways could involve all kinds of things. Simply put ,it depends.

        In terms of hitters who are reasonably good , there will most certainly be a focus on any number of "technique building " type ideas that will have to do with "arm action" ---arm action in the context of creating an overall loading /unloading process.

        Contrary to what some think , I see very little evidence ----either from motor learning research , training methods ,or my own practical experience ---that good arm action creates ,ipso facto , good movement of the body mass, ie that it CAUSES optimal functioning of the body mass.

        There is absolutely nothing in my experience ------as a player, as a teacher reflecting back on my playing experience , as a researcher of applied science , as a teacher of hitters of varying levels and aptitude----nothing that lends itself to asserting that the arms are THE KEY to reaching your potential as a hitter. Or getting closer to your potential.

        There is no one key . To really reach your potential you will have to fully engage the mind ,cns, and muscle system .It will ALL have to be functioning at a very high level. This is an entire mind -body affair if you will.

        To better help hitters understand what it takes to even approach that level ,and better understand how to at least head towards that type of high level engagement , I am going to focus on getting young hitters to focus on that which they least focus on -----that which most separates them from elite athletes.

        Which ,simply put , involves getting them to better understand how to create movement and momentum via the torso [scapular complex included].

        steve

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        • #19
          scapula

          From a real-world perspective is virtually impossible to "practice" effective separation. Because high-level players exhibit no more than 1 to 1/2 frames (30 frames per second or less than.05 seconds) of separation between hips opening (initiating rotation) and shoulders following (rotating).

          Swinging is a ballistic activity. It occurs rapidly and without a lot of thought. Attempting to "think" separation is in my opinion a prescription for disaster.

          Other than initiating rotation using the pelvic I'm not sure what one can do to optimize separation other than attempts to increase swing quickness and bat speed through a trial and error process.

          Also if there is an attempt to create separation there is a significant possibility that one loses the effect of "stretch reflex". Stretch reflex is a very important physiological property of the muscles that creates stiffness in the connection between body segments, in this case between hips and upper torso.

          Attempting to create too much separation has a significant possibility of interfering with this stretch reflex process and in doing so actually decreases the amount of momentum transfer between lower and upper body


          Here is a interesting report to read:

          Training the Shoulder Complex in Baseball
          Pitchers: A Sport-Specific Approach
          Jeffrey J. Jeran, MS,CSCS
          National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Wellness Center,Morgantown,West Virginia
          Robert D. Chetlin,PhD, CSCS, HFI
          West Virginia University School of Medicine,Morgantown,West Virginia

          "The act of pitching conforms to specific laws and principles that govern movement. Newton’s second law, the law of acceleration, states that “the rate of change of momentum of a body is proportional to the applied force and takes place in the direction in which the force acts” (2). In other words, the acceleration of an object depends on its mass and on the amount of applied force, and, therefore, objects with less mass are easier to move and will move before heavier objects they may be attached to. Normal arm abduction is possible because the mass of the scapular fixators is greater than the deltoid, thus causing the arm to move in the expected direction. If the scapular fixators were paralyzed by a denervation injury, for example, then attempted abduction of the shoulder would result in an awkward rotation of the scapula (which would move first because it is less massive) and not shoulder abduction. Scapular kinematics is, therefore, an important consideration for competent pitching motion, according to the law of acceleration, because weak scapular fixators may adversely affect arm strength (via insufficient scapular stabilization) and accuracy (via unwanted scapular movement).

          Inappropriate scapular kinematics may be further illustrated by the biomechanical principle of levers. Throwing a baseball involves thirdclass lever action, where the glenohumeral joint acts as the fulcrum, the baseball acts as resistance opposite the axis, and the muscles responsible for delivery are located between the fulcrum and the resistance. Imagine that your arm, shoulder, and scapula form a type of catapult (a classic third-class lever), where the scapula forms the base (i.e., the fulcrum or axis), the shoulder, upper arm, and forearm provide the desired muscle action (i.e., the effort), and the basket (i.e., the hand) holds the ball (i.e., the resistance). If the scapula or base is weak, or not tightly fixed, and you have the strongest arm in the world, the law of acceleration assures that your unstable base (i.e., scapula) will be difficult to control, resulting in improper mechanics, inaccurate throwing, poor velocity, and increased susceptibility to injury. Therefore, we believe that a strong base (i.e., the scapular fixators) is vital to both skilled performance and injury prevention. The scapular fixators, therefore, should be trained as diligently as those muscles that are directly involved in accelerating the ball.

          In our experience, many training programs for pitchers overemphasize strengthening the rotator cuff muscles, overlooking the fixators of the scapula. The exercises presented at the end of this paper are specifically directed at not only improving performance, but also protecting the shoulder complex from repetitive or traumatic injury. We will also discuss the training variables of mode, intensity, frequency, and duration for both rotator cuff and scapular fixation exercises. There are 2 fundamental applied training principles that must be understood before prescribing shoulder exercises. First, the principle of sport specificity necessitates that exercise training should approximate, as closely as possible, the movements associated with the sport in question. Unfortunately, some exercise professionals may fail to do an activity analysis on the sport, which leads to the same exercises prescribed for the general population being directed toward the thrower (2). For example, traditional internal and external rotation of the glenohumeral joint, with elbow held tightly to side and motion in a transverse plane about a vertical axis (Figures 2 and 3), has few, if any, sport-specific implications for throwing a baseball. However, this exercise certainly has clinical benefit as a means to strengthen the internal and external rotators of the glenohumeral joint.

          Second, the specific adaptation to imposed demand (SAID) principle implies that the body will adapt to the demands of the training stimulus but will not adapt beyond the scope of that stimulus. For example, endurance training programs will not produce gains in strength (2). The complexity of the shoulder joint dictates a multifaceted training approach, which includes (a) training targeted to agonist, antagonist, and fixator muscles, (b) training that emphasizes strength and power, (c) resistance exercise performed in the planes and about the axes of motion associated with the intended activity (consider that many conventional shoulder exercises are not always performed in activity-specific planes, and that the rotator cuff should be trained in affiliated planes of motion), and (d) an emphasis on improvement in concentric, eccentric and isometric strength. The literature indicates that excessive eccentric loading (especially of the supraspinatus tendon) is strongly correlated to rotator cuff injury (18, 27). We emphasize that shoulder training modalities should utilize combinations of concentric, eccentric, and isometric muscle actions."
          Last edited by kijosh; 03-02-2006, 11:19 AM.

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