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Rotation, extention and swingin' like a gate

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  • Rotation, extention and swingin' like a gate

    I have taught my students and my 9-year-old rotational hitting, how to connect the hands with the shoulders...and especially how not to use the hands by throwing them at the ball. Recently, however, I have noticed that a few kids (including my son) are swinging more like a gate and not getting extention through the ball. I wouldn't think this a big deal, except the mlb swing extends through the ball (see below) unless the pitch is very inside. You will notice the mlb bats point straight (these are all good swings), which means at some point their hands were accelerating toward the ball, which makes the elbows straighten after contact. Try this.....take a hairbrush or long wooden spoon and hold it with the spoon part touching your shoulder. Now keep the spoon attached to the shoulder and initiate the swing and you will see that the hands are totally taken out of the equation and this initiation feels very "un-powerful." After doing this exercise and seeing how the mlb swings extend through the ball, I have concluded that the hands are accelerating toward the ball (equally with the back shoulder, but still powerfully toward the ball. I have taken the hands out of my son's swing and he swings more like a gate after contact...not ever letting his hands take his arms straight toward the pitcher. His power suffers because of this. So, to conclude (after the hips begin)I believe there is definitely a "hands" initiation forward through connection, which leads to contact and then immediataly to extention. If you take the hands out...you cannot have a swing like these I am posting. I am also posting the 11 year-old swing that everyone raved about...he rotates...but does not extend at all. Look at the angle of his bottom arm compared to the almost straight angle of the pros. And his dad says he has little power. What do you all think?MVI_324_0017[1].jpg
    sample pros 04-01-2008 0001.jpg
    Last edited by Swing Coach; 04-01-2008, 06:39 PM.

  • #2
    My team facilates... They either maintain the box well and do not extend or they extend early, disconnect and have no power. Both are common problems with young players.
    "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.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Swing Coach View Post
      I have taught my students and my 9-year-old rotational hitting, how to connect the hands with the shoulders...and especially how not to use the hands by throwing them at the ball. Recently, however, I have noticed that a few kids (including my son) are swinging more like a gate and not getting extention through the ball.
      IMO extension is the EFFECT of a powerful swing and not the CAUSE of a powerful swing.

      If he were my son, I would focus on his staying connected. The extension will come if he keeps staying connected and as he gets older.
      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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      • #4
        So its not a teach?

        Chris, so you're saying you don't want to or shouldn't teach this?..even though the high level swings all do it. You sound like you are saying this extention will come natural, so it's not a teach. I say if your student doesn't extend, he will not have near the powerful swing he could have...so you have to teach it. thoughts.....

        p.s and why didn't anyone notice this lack of extention with the 11-year-old above from the other thread?
        Last edited by Swing Coach; 04-01-2008, 07:23 PM.

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        • #5
          I do not spend much, if any, time on extension.

          I think people who focus on extension are confusing cause and effect.


          Originally posted by Swing Coach View Post
          I say if your student doesn't extend, he will not have near the powerful swing he could have...so you have to teach it. thoughts.....
          I would argue that a lack of extension IS an indication of a not-as-powerful swing, but I do not think that focusing on extension is the place to try to fix the problem.

          I would argue that the root cause of the problem (if it is a problem) appears earlier and the lack of extension is just a symptom.


          Originally posted by Swing Coach View Post
          p.s and why didn't anyone notice this lack of extention with the 11-year-old above from the other thread?
          1. Because most people around here don't focus on it.

          2. Because it's hard to see due to the heavy blurring.
          Last edited by Chris O'Leary; 04-01-2008, 07:28 PM.
          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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          • #6
            Swing Coach, without getting to much into this, the ball is far off of the bat in every picture you posted of MLB players. They probably maintained connection for more than a couple of frame counts and then, at some point, their hands left connection. The trick then is where and how. Take a look at these videos. To me these say a lot more than those still after the ball has long left the bat.








            Also, Coach, a couple of the pictures you posted are from RVP. When you are able to stop the video feed frame by frame you should see exactly the position of the hands, arms etc. at contact.
            Last edited by CoachB25; 04-01-2008, 07:36 PM.

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            • #7
              As CoachB25 suggests, on most good ML swings (e.g. home runs) you see connection, and not extension, at the point of contact.





              Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

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

              Comment


              • #8
                Hmmm

                Actually the ball is very close to the bat when they have extended. you can still see it in 3 of the 4 photos..which means these swings extend right after contact..through the ball. I know what I am seeing...but I have not been convinced that it is not a teach for those who do not extend (like this swing below). It is very easy to see (in the slow motion version) that there is absolutely no extention in this swing like the mlb swings that have been shown on this thread...his swing is sweet...but in my opinion could be better with some post contact extention through the ball. But the real question is how do the big leaguers get there and why does this kid not get there.
                http://s184.photobucket.com/albums/x...age3-30-08.flv

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Swing Coach View Post
                  p.s and why didn't anyone notice this lack of extention with the 11-year-old above from the other thread?
                  I absolutely noticed it. I also notice the counter rotation. As you gain experience with "tee swings", you'll notice both counter rotation and lack of extension in "young hitters". Tee's can promote a spinning move in younger hitters because of the need to create excessive rotational power to create higher collision speeds with the bat head to get that power feel.

                  I would be willing to bet a dollar this young man extends through contact when the ball is coming at him and he is "sending back where it came from"......

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                  • #10
                    more

                    I may be willing to bet that dollar...I usually see a very similar swing when I videotape a tee swing and a live swing. All that muscle memory is hard to change. Let's say he (or another student) doesn't change much and swings like a gate...then do you teach that move through the ball? ..good discussion.


                    SC

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Swing Coach View Post
                      why does this kid not get there.
                      You can't expect a kid to achieve exactly the same extension as a pro due to things like...

                      1. Less strength.
                      2. Lighter bats.

                      I don't think a lack of extension at this age is much to worry about.

                      Also, here's a clip of Pete Rose showing minimal extension.

                      Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Swing Coach View Post
                        I may be willing to bet that dollar...I usually see a very similar swing when I videotape a tee swing and a live swing. All that muscle memory is hard to change. Let's say he (or another student) doesn't change much and swings like a gate...then do you teach that move through the ball? ..good discussion.

                        SC
                        Well hopefully we'll get a live swing and you can send me your buck!....

                        Regardless, If you have a kid that spins without releasing the hands then I would agree he's never been taught the entire sequence in isolation.

                        If you've never done this as a hitting station, I would consider putting him in a 2 position, IE back knee turned forward 45 degrees (about to the second baseman), front foot open the same amount, and shoulders open the same amount, hands at the back shoulder and tight.

                        Isolate the upper from the lower and drive the hands to the shortstop and bust the ball up the middle before they get extended............

                        This should be part of any hitting station circuit IMO......

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BoardMember View Post
                          If you've never done this as a hitting station, I would consider putting him in a 2 position, IE back knee turned forward 45 degrees (about to the second baseman), front foot open the same amount, and shoulders open the same amount, hands at the back shoulder and tight.

                          Isolate the upper from the lower and drive the hands to the shortstop and bust the ball up the middle before they get extended............

                          This should be part of any hitting station circuit IMO......

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                          • #14
                            Swing Coach there is nothing wrong with what you are teaching. Lclifton and I once had a long discussion about the kid developing a visual of the hands moving along a line, say the inner part of the batter's box. Now obviously the hands/arms will round out, however I don't think the hitter necessarily needs to think "semi-circle" or whatever you might want to call it.

                            Stealth has spoken about a RH hitter imagining his top hand going towards the second base. If you are getting kids really think about driving through the baseball, that's a good thing.

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                            • #15
                              Swing Coach, I do not have a video of Steven hitting in a game. Here is a picture taken during Steven's first year playing baseball, not quite 10 years old during a tournament in Orange County - fully extending after contact. Not the greatest swing in the world, but it shows what you are asking for. The pitch was low that Steven drove to the gap. And I never said he had "little power," as he hits the ball hard to all fields.
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