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  • Back Elbow Up?

    The recent discussion about bat drag got me thinking about the much-maligned cue to get the back elbow up.

    I know that this cue is often mis-used, is not a panacea, and can cause more problems than it solves, but I have found that it quite often works. I have been trying to figure out why, and I think the answer to that question has to do with bat drag.

    Here's my theory.

    Setting up with high hands and a low back elbow like this...



    ...puts you in a position where you are prone to bat drag. It's very easy, and very tempting, to get into a draggy swing from this point.

    I believe that by getting the back elbow up, you reduce this temptation and reduce the drag in the swing. The result is that the hands turn (more) with the back shoulder, which is the proper pattern.
    Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

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

  • #2
    Regardless of where the hands start, they're supposed to get to the ready position. Stance and positioning of hands are just a comfort and confidence thing.

    Comment


    • #3
      If we agree with TG in that where the batter starts the arms is not as important as where the arms are when you start at launch... then...

      If you form the front end of the box with the front arm and rotate the back arm up and look at the knuckles I am uncertain why anyone would feel this is a helpful cue.
      "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
      - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
      Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
        If you form the front end of the box with the front arm and rotate the back arm up and look at the knuckles I am uncertain why anyone would feel this is a helpful cue.
        But if the back elbow is down, then you don't have the box. Instead, you have a "V" (back shoulder, front shoulder, hands) which allows the hands to move independently of the back shoulder and drag.

        I would argue that the back elbow has to be up to form the box.

        Getting the back elbow up forms a type of box, which may resist or limit drag to a degree.
        Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

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

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Chris O'Leary View Post
          But if the back elbow is down, then you don't have the box. Instead, you have a "V" (back shoulder, front shoulder, hands) which allows the hands to move independently of the back shoulder and drag.

          I would argue that the back elbow has to be up to form the box.

          Getting the back elbow up forms a type of box, which may resist or limit drag to a degree.
          I see a reasonable arm to torso angle helpful. The problem is coaches who have the batters rotate the back elbow up until the elbow is above the arm pit looking at that cue as a panacea, mostly because they don't know anything else. Some rotate the bat until the head is pointing at the pitcher.
          Ortiz.bmp
          Using the above... The problem with photos like the above is coaches use this as a basis for a solution and do not understand this is not what's important it's the two or three frames after this ... unfortunately many youth coaches don't understand that, they only see the above and see this it as a solution versus part of a process.
          Last edited by Jake Patterson; 03-19-2008, 06:55 PM.
          "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
          - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
          Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
            The problem is coaches who have the batters rotate the back elbow up until the elbow is above the arm pit looking at that cue as a panacea, mostly because they don't know anything else. Some rotate the bat until the head is pointing at the pitcher.
            I have seen this as well. You can definitely take it too far.

            What I like is the hands and elbow to be at roughly the same level, which is what you see in the photo above.
            Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

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

            Comment


            • #7
              Common guys. Raising the back elbow delays the slot completion until the shoulders begin rotation.........It also keeps the back elbow behind the hands early in the sequence.

              Once the shoulders begin rotating ahead of the elbow slot completion, drag is eliminated........because the elbow doesn't get ahead of the hands/torso, due to the delay in slot completion........

              We been over and over and over this subject........:choke:



              Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
              I see a reasonable arm to torso angle helpful. The problem is coaches who have the batters rotate the back elbow up until the elbow is above the arm pit looking at that cue as a panacea, mostly because they don't know anything else. Some rotate the bat until the head is pointing at the pitcher.
              [ATTACH]37872[/ATTACH]
              Using the above... The problem with photos like the above is coaches use this as a basis for a solution and do not understand this is not what's important it's the two or three frames after this ... unfortunately many youth coaches don't understand that, they only see the above and see this it as a solution versus part of a process.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BoardMember View Post
                Common guys. Raising the back elbow delays the slot completion until the shoulders begin rotation.........It also keeps the back elbow behind the hands early in the sequence.

                Once the shoulders begin rotating ahead of the elbow slot completion, drag is eliminated........because the elbow doesn't get ahead of the hands/torso, due to the delay in slot completion........

                We been over and over and over this subject........:choke:
                Agree.... What I see as bad is coaches using this as a solution and not part of the swing process. I see it as one of the most over-used cues in youth baseball.
                "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

                Comment


                • #9
                  High back elbow goes with vertical bat angle and the running start. Can't do a running start without both.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I like high back elbow, cant really tell you why, but I do. It seems to help bring a vertical bat to a horizontal position with more control.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Chris O'Leary View Post
                      The recent discussion about bat drag got me thinking about the much-maligned cue to get the back elbow up.

                      I know that this cue is often mis-used, is not a panacea, and can cause more problems than it solves, but I have found that it quite often works. I have been trying to figure out why, and I think the answer to that question has to do with bat drag.

                      Here's my theory.

                      Setting up with high hands and a low back elbow like this...



                      ...puts you in a position where you are prone to bat drag. It's very easy, and very tempting, to get into a draggy swing from this point.

                      I believe that by getting the back elbow up, you reduce this temptation and reduce the drag in the swing. The result is that the hands turn (more) with the back shoulder, which is the proper pattern.
                      This young lady's mechanical problems happened way before this frame. She has not properly loaded the hips and hands. Her front foot seems to have not touched the ground yet. Her back knee has not turned inward. She has no separation. Her problem is not the elbow.

                      A high(er) back elbow simply gives you a longer running start. It creates separation. It also delays external rotation of the upper arm.

                      Compare her and Kent.



                      A high back elbow for a hitter is the same as a pitcher/thrower. It is related to the "natural" arm action for certain players.




                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by XV84 View Post
                        A high back elbow for a hitter is the same as a pitcher/thrower. It is related to the "natural" arm action for certain players.
                        Notice that in the case of hitters, the elbow drops before the shoulders start to rotate. The same thing happens in healthy pitchers.

                        Injury-prone pitchers tend to keep their elbows high.
                        Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes, the elbow drops as the hands torque the handle before the shoulders turn.

                          Throwing is like hitting up to this point.

                          Then, in hitting, the lead arm action becomes very important to keep handle torque going.

                          But BM already knew this.

                          Comment

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