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  • A swing in progress!

    Hello all! Some of you know me a little and have followed the development of my son (Brandon). It's been a while since I've gone public with any clips of him and even though I'm a little hesitant to do so now Steve Englishbey convinced me to go ahead and do it. If you know me you know I have a history with Paul Nyman. He has been very good to my son and I am forever grateful for that. He along with a number of other individuals (Steve Rice, Steve Englishbey, Garrett Retka, Jeff Albert, Gregg Stock, Tom Stone, Teacherman, etc.) have played a huge role in where my son is today compared to where he was just 2 short years ago.

    It's important to note though that I am my son's pitching/hitting coach. I listen to a lot of people but I am the information buffer. If I'm not sure about something it doesn't get to my son until I am sure and I believe it's something worthwhile for him. And believe me I spend a lot of time on this stuff. Just ask my wife (she hates it). None of this makes me an expert. I don't have all the answers. I'm just a dad trying to help my son, daughter, and a few other players improve their abilities as ball players. So far, with the help of others, I've been able to do that.

    With that said here is Brandon....





    The past two winters we've worked on rotation. I realize he's still a long ways away from being the kind of hitter he and I both think he can become but I like the progress he's made in his ability to turn. In my opinion the underlying ability of all great hitters is the ability to turn into the ball. Not just with the body but also with the barrel. That has been our focus. We haven't spent much time on loading or weight shift (i.e. moving the middle). I've pretty much just let him do what he wants to do with that stuff for now. He's a pitcher too so there is only so much time to work on things and we have to be patient. Next winter we'll address some other areas.

    I'm mainly interested in opinions about his ability to turn but I realize that some of you will want to discuss the other areas and I'm okay with that. I have a plan and I'm confident in that plan but I'm open to your ideas and thoughts.

    Let me know what you think!

    Jason

    P.S. He's 14 years old.
    Last edited by FlippJ; 03-01-2006, 09:37 AM.

  • #2
    A few things I notice;

    1: I am not a proponent of letting go of the bat unless you want to be a singles hitter - or you are Frank Thomas and are 6'5" 280 pounds. Hold on to the bat!

    2. Open stance - stepping in or into the pitch - your dead on an inside heater in my opinion. At 14 years old I would not teach that.

    3. Too much bat wrap - keep the bat more straight up.

    4. Swings slightly down (too much hannds?) - this needs work.

    5. I LIKE the fact he is "fluid" and not "stiff" as some of the other video's I have seen on this board recently.

    For 14 he is on his way - have him look at the video's and compare them to the "best hitters" of today. I sometimes wonder why we parents are seeking help - a picture is worth a thousand words! Have him watch and compare!

    FYI - I am not "a guru" as some people on this board are. But from the casual observer this is what I see.
    "Tip it and rip it" - In Memory of Dmac
    "Hit the inside seam" - In Memory of Swingbuster

    Comment


    • #3
      Welcome Aboard, Jason (& Brandon)

      The turn looks really good to me. Really good. I don't have a good, detailed memory of his early efforts, but I see several really good things:

      (1) Good rotation into heel touchdown.
      (2) Good "synergy" from both back and front hip joints.
      (3) His "hook" or "unhinge" seems to be pretty dang good, especially in the front view swing. A nice "whip" into the ball at the last instant into contact. A lot of this has to do with his excellent "hinge angle" starting out, the way he maintains connection early in shoulder turn, the efficiency of his swing path, and especially with the ultimately solid "gate hinge post" around which the "gate slams shut" into contact. Nice finishing angles.

      A couple things I see (or think I see) that might improve efficiency:

      (1) More stability from front leg. There seems to be a little lateral yielding of the front knee just after rotation has begun (in the side view clip - can't see it in the front view). I seem to remember that you have worked on this a lot, and my impression is that there has been a great deal of improvement.

      (2) I can't see the front angle swing, but in the side view, there seems to be a little "teeter-totter" effect. I thing there is some unnecessary ground that is being covered because the back shoulder is a little high at beginning of shoulder turn. He seems to take a frame just to get his shoulders level, making him a little long to the ball.

      But I'm nit-picking. You should see my elder son's live arm pitch swing. A lot of what we've been working on off the tee has not survived.

      Congratulations on awesome progress on a major swing reconstruction project.
      Last edited by fungo22; 02-28-2006, 10:32 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        fungo22,

        I don't like what he's doing with his shoulders either. Reminded me of Carlos Delgado. Something I'm not a big fan of but like I said, we haven't done much with that and just let him do what he wanted to do. Hitting off a tee probably encourages that more than hitting off a live ball.

        I think I see what you're talking about in the front knee but I don't think I'm concerned about it. I see more turning of the front knee then a lateral movement.

        Stealth,

        How does letting go of the bat "after" contact have anything to do with where or how far the ball goes? There is some bat wrap but that goes back to the whole tee thing mentioned above to fungo22. I also don't think the bat needs to be up. Edmonds' bat isn't vertical and he hits just fine. With that said, there is a reason for the bat being flat and there's also a reason for the tee being set up so low. But those are discussions for a rainy day.

        Jason

        P.S. Thanks to both of you for jumping in with your thoughts.
        Last edited by FlippJ; 02-28-2006, 10:48 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by FlippJ
          There is some bat wrap but that goes back to the whole tee thing mentioned above to fungo22. I also don't think the bat needs to be up. Edmonds' bat isn't vertical and he hits just fine. With that said, there is a reason for the bat being flat and there's also a reason for the tee being set up so low.
          Which reminds me of two more good things I noticed but forgot to mention directly: (1) He does get his bat flat in a hurry and that is a good thing (directly related to what I said about efficient swing plane). (2) Concerning the low tee: The front-view swing shows that he's going a very good job of tilting to set the swing plane and efficiently get the bat head to the location of the ball.

          Clarification: The bat "wrapping" is not something I was concerned with. His upper body (hands and "hingle angle") remind me of Edmonds. The point I was making was not about the bat angle but with the height of the back shoulder in relation to the front. I don't know if it is merely a "tee thing" (subconsciously setting up for a somewhat downward swing path to a low pitch just sitting there on a tee) or whether it is a "tee thing" that might transfer to set up in live pitch situations.

          Comment


          • #6
            Flipp, after all the videos you've made for others, it's good to see you getting to take advantage of your skills here. It's almost like a salsa musician taking a raft from Havana to Florida to escape Castro and picking up at Miami nightclubs.

            It's a very beguiling swing. One can find things to quibble with around the edges, but at its core is a very nice swing. I worry about the bat wrap not because of its effect on swing plane, but it requires substantial hand movement (=>disconnection) to get the bathead moving; the box/spine alone can't do it. Because he's so slender, I'm probably operating under a prejudice that maybe he doesn't have the hand strength to pull it off.

            I agree that the lateral movement of the knee isn't a big worry. Compare it to that of the other Brandon -- Ohfor's son -- and his knee looks terrific. As per your focus on the rotation, it looks very classy. I like the one-frame, quickie counter rotation of the back hip as he launches his swing; that's hard to do without tilting forward or back and/or losing connection. Just watch that teeter-totter stuff, but that just may be happening on the low pitches.

            I'd better wrap up. My cat fell asleep in an awkward position on my monitor (it's a 20" monitor, so she should have enough room), and I'm sure she'll slide off onto my keyboard any moment. Anyway, I think he's got some good Don Mattingly ju-ju going for him. Like to see him under game conditions.
            sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by FlippJ
              Hello all! Some of you know me a little and have followed the development of my son (Brandon). It's been a while since I've gone public with any clips of him and even though I'm a little hesitant to do so now Steve Englishbey convinced me to go ahead and do it. If you know me you know I have a history with Paul Nyman. He has been very good to my son and I am forever grateful for that. He along with a number of other individuals (Steve Rice, Steve Englishbey, Garrett Retka, Jeff Albert, Gregg Stock, Teacherman, etc.) have played a huge role in where my son is today compared to where he was just 2 short years ago.

              It's important to note though that I am my son's pitching/hitting coach. I listen to a lot of people but I am the information buffer. If I'm not sure about something it doesn't get to my son until I am sure and I believe it's something worthwhile for him. And believe me I spend a lot of time on this stuff. Just ask my wife (she hates it). None of this makes me an expert. I don't have all the answers. I'm just a dad trying to help my son, daughter, and a few other players improve their abilities as ball players. So far, with the help of others, I've been able to do that.

              With that said here is Brandon....
              The past two winters we've worked on rotation. I realize he's still a long ways away from being the kind of hitter he and I both think he can become but I like the progress he's made in his ability to turn. In my opinion the underlying ability of all great hitters is the ability to turn into the ball. Not just with the body but also with the barrel. That has been our focus. We haven't spent much time on loading or weight shift (i.e. moving the middle). I've pretty much just let him do what he wants to do with that stuff for now. He's a pitcher too so there is only so much time to work on things and we have to be patient. Next winter we'll address some other areas.

              I'm mainly interested in opinions about his ability to turn but I realize that some of you will want to discuss the other areas and I'm okay with that. I have a plan and I'm confident in that plan but I'm open to your ideas and thoughts.

              Let me know what you think!

              Jason

              P.S. He's 14 years old.

              Let me first off say, I think he has a pretty dang good swing. Probably better than mine. Now, that being said, he may have a better swing than I but can he "hit" better than I, I don't know. We'll have to wait and see.

              Since he has a nice left handed swing, I thought I'd try and compare him to the best left handed hitter in the world. Now, these videos I have are not the same speed, and I'm probably losing some frames with Bonds, but I think your son has probably a 7+ or - frame swing. Bonds Has probably a 5+ or - frame swing. Here is there sequence together.
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • #8
                These are some of the "nit Picky" differences I see. And maybe, just maybe they can cut down a frame or 2.
                The Red Line on the shoulders goes from front shoulder to rear elbow. It appears that your sons is a bit high(like mine tends to get). The other line is self explanatory. Thoughts?
                Attached Files

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hello Jason,

                  Thanks for sharing these clips. I love seeing his progress.

                  The good...he is rotating and releasing the back side. I really like that.

                  I find it interesting that he plants and rotates around the front hip and doesn't rotate into toe touch. I have never believed it was an absolute. You can get some good pop in that barrel doing that...ask Brett, Palmero, larry Walker, Clark.

                  I too see the wrist forearm angle break down past 90 degree. This is such an important ( the most) hinge point that I believe it will hurt his swing. There is a SWINGAYDE for golf...let me know if you decide to look and cannot find it as I know where it is that will stop him and put him to 90 every time.

                  I have a 10 grader that swings very much like this . He breaks down the wrist angle occassionally( but not that far) but he weighs 155 and hits 350 foot bombs.

                  Good luck. Your are proficient at filtering me....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks to everyone for the comments!

                    fungo22, I knew you weren't talking about the bat wrapping. I apologize if there was some confusion in my response. I think we see the same thing with the shoulder(s).

                    As pointed out by most of you already the low front shoulder-high back shoulder definitely creates some inefficiencies. He loves to elevate that back elbow before turning. While he gets the barrel around nicely he takes too much time to do so. I agree this is an area that needs work. He also really struggles to pick himself up and move forward. Also notice as he tilts and picks his front leg up his back leg is a little wobbly. Not to make excuses but in his defense we just haven't addressed these things that much yet. Like I said he's a work in progress. He's a better pitcher than he is a hitter at this point but he still hit's well. He's only 14 years old so we've got time.

                    Like ohfor with his son I've had a lot of fun with my son experimenting with things and figuring some things out over the past couple of years. I wanted a finished product yesterday but maybe the most important thing I've learned is that you have to be patient.

                    How about a trip down memory lane?

                    Here is a swing from the summer of 2004 (Little League All-Stars)...



                    He hit over .600 during All-Stars. A lot of people liked this swing.

                    Later!

                    Jason
                    Last edited by FlippJ; 03-01-2006, 06:18 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I look and look and look and like much of what I see but something doesn't look quite right to me.

                      I think I see a two part swing. Not "one move" like Steve talks about. Then again, I've never met with Steve in person. Maybe I misunderstand what "one move" means.

                      Is his rotation really the engine?

                      Is there a delay in his load/unload?

                      Is the load/unload quick?

                      Is there a cusp?

                      Is there intent in the swing?

                      To me he's fixed the "peripherals", the setpro "checkpoints" if you will, but is there a real ballistic load/unload of the body?

                      Or, am I just fooled by the speed of a .gif?
                      Last edited by Ohfor; 03-01-2006, 07:25 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ohfer

                        I think I see a two part swing. Not "one move" like Steve talks about.
                        My assessment of the phrase, two part swing, is a tentative front foot landing heel higher than toe that must drop and tilt after toe touch in a more pronounced fashion. He is more post and rotate if that is a term set

                        To me this swing IS plant then rotate but based on the local guys that do this well I would not try to mess with that as he is presently executing it. While he might have a more narrow window for timing, one must consider that some kids have an incrediable ability to execute the good timing while others need desperately to widen it. Just my opinion.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          swingbuster,

                          I don't see the plant and rotate that you see but I haven't looked closely at it and can't from work. I see the toe touch and the heel come down as a result of rotation. It's easier to see, for me anyway, in the front view.

                          Like I said, I could be wrong. I'll look tonight when I get home.

                          ohfor,

                          I don't disagree with you at all. Some of it has to do with things already mentioned I believe. Loading is something we haven't addressed yet. I'm kind of curious to see how things work themselves out right now though. It's hard to have the same intent in the garage that you have on the field. I don't know what it is but it's just different. I see it in Brandon's pitching delivery. Things look nice in the garage or backyard off the mound but look even better in games. Something about competition and wanting to dominate just seems to trigger in him and things change.

                          I'm not sure that helps you analyze these clips but I thought I'd mention it. I'll try to post game clips of him this season. When I get a chance I might post the regular speed MP4 clips.

                          Jason
                          Last edited by FlippJ; 03-01-2006, 09:39 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            No one seems to be saying much regarding the "bat wrap" that Stealth first mentioned and Hiddengem alluded to....wrapping the bat around the back of the head before he swings.

                            It should make for a longer swing but I have a girl on my team that does the same thing but she knocks the heck out of the ball, even the faster pitching, so I've left her alone.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Here is Matsui just prior to getting into the swing. He's pretty dang level with his shoulders.
                              Attached Files

                              Comment

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