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Why Are Lau's Techniques Mostly Ignored Here?

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  • Why Are Lau's Techniques Mostly Ignored Here?

    2 of Lau's main swing techniques have helped me a lot, but I hardly ever see them discussed here. They are:

    1) pulling the knob towards the ball with the hands

    2) not letting the back/upper hand get too involved in the swing. The bottom hand dominates the swing and the top hand merely "comes along for the ride".

    Do you guys feel these things are important in a good swing? Lau's drills where you swing mostly with the bottom hand while leaving the top hand on the bat, but "open", help me to learn to lead with the bottom hand.

    Funny thing is, I apply this principle also to my golf swing and it helps there too.
    My first move on the swing is inititated by pulling with my bottom hand. If my top hand gets too involved I will "chop" at the ball and hit a bad shot.

  • #2
    Originally posted by JackB1 View Post
    2 of Lau's main swing techniques have helped me a lot, but I hardly ever see them discussed here. They are:

    1) pulling the knob towards the ball with the hands

    2) not letting the back/upper hand get too involved in the swing. The bottom hand dominates the swing and the top hand merely "comes along for the ride".

    Do you guys feel these things are important in a good swing? Lau's drills where you swing mostly with the bottom hand while leaving the top hand on the bat, but "open", help me to learn to lead with the bottom hand.

    Funny thing is, I apply this principle also to my golf swing and it helps there too.
    My first move on the swing is inititated by pulling with my bottom hand. If my top hand gets too involved I will "chop" at the ball and hit a bad shot.
    I've listen to Lau Jr. several times at the World Baseball Convention and other venues and I personally feel much of what he teaches is antiquated and is not supported by what we see with high speed video. He is not someone I would use when teaching youngsters.
    "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 Jake Patterson View Post
      I've listen to Lau Jr. several times at the World Baseball Convention and other venues and I personally feel much of what he teaches is antiquated and is not supported by what we see with high speed video. He is not someone I would use when teaching youngsters.
      What is "antiquated" about the 2 concepts I mentioned? It's hard to argue with his techniques when the future greatest HR hitter of all time (Arod) is his "poster boy".

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      • #4
        Many HOF players and exceptional hitters use different techniques. That doesn't validate them on a case-by-case basis. However if you can say that MANY good hitters use those techniques then you have something.

        There is no doubt in my mind that what Lau teaches can help you be very successful if you dedicate yourself to it. However what he says happens doesn't show up when you slow down video and analyze. Are we analyzing too much? Maybe but facts are facts and there are some things that can't be argued with with overwhelming video evidence. However that doesn't stop us from doing so and is what makes this fun and interesting.

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        • #5
          Lau's stuff works pretty well because he knows the MLB stuff well enough to keep out of trouble (keeps from believing pseudoscientific principles which violate the swing, silly things like "there is no such thing as good mechanics" or hands are along for ride/etc).

          Lau SR was the first to organize video analysis around the idea of a similar launch position when front foot was down. he dealt mainly with trying to improve excessively rotational hitters who were one dimensional pull hitters.

          more basic flaws he described were "swinging while striding" and "top hand dominance".

          to fix these he and now Lau Jr recommend weight shift emphasis, pulling the knob, lead arm dominance, front foot hitting, top hand relelase.

          Lau teaches a pretty pure style of the MLB pattern (MLB "mechanics") that works best being somewhat off the plate with more emphasis on in vs out adjustment by timing of "front leg firmup"/degree of weight shift.

          lots of good MLB pattern stuff.

          mechanically, lead arm dominance and early torque (knob pull/starting one armed lead arm then adding top hand/open top hand drill) and weight shift emphasis are all features/ways of encouraging the (natural inborn/waiting to be developed) 2 plane type MLB pattern.
          Last edited by tom.guerry; 05-21-2008, 11:13 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
            I've listen to Lau Jr. several times at the World Baseball Convention and other venues and I personally feel much of what he teaches is antiquated and is not supported by what we see with high speed video. He is not someone I would use when teaching youngsters.
            I recently spent 3 days with Lau Jr. and will say that he has updated some of his stuff.

            For example, he helped me develop a more nuanced view of connection (e.g. sometimes you have to disconnect to get to a pitch that's outside). I also like his concept of the one-hand finish. How it helps you make sure you aren't cutting your swing short and helps you hit the outside pitch powerfully.

            However, his book doesn't reflect this.
            Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

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

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by CoachHenry View Post
              There is no doubt in my mind that what Lau teaches can help you be very successful if you dedicate yourself to it. However what he says happens doesn't show up when you slow down video and analyze. Are we analyzing too much? Maybe but facts are facts and there are some things that can't be argued with with overwhelming video evidence. However that doesn't stop us from doing so and is what makes this fun and interesting.
              What exactly do you think he gets wrong?

              I spent a lot of time going over video with him and much of his thinking is similar to what we discuss here.
              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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              • #8
                It's always interesting to hear from people who have spent time with those we speak about and examine.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chris O'Leary View Post
                  What exactly do you think he gets wrong?

                  I spent a lot of time going over video with him and much of his thinking is similar to what we discuss here.
                  Those aren't my personal views. I was answering the "in general" question of why he isn't discussed more on this site. However it did come across as my personal thoughts.

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                  • #10
                    I wish someone would give specific examples of what
                    exactly is incorrect about Lau's concepts regarding the 2 items I
                    mentioned in the 1st post.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JackB1 View Post
                      I wish someone would give specific examples of what
                      exactly is incorrect about Lau's concepts regarding the 2 items I
                      mentioned in the 1st post.
                      You quote in your first post the bottom hand powers the swing. Many if not most believe it's the top hand that controls the barrel and powers the swing.

                      Gregg Jefferies who instructs locally is a BIG top hand guy - one example.
                      "Tip it and rip it" - In Memory of Dmac
                      "Hit the inside seam" - In Memory of Swingbuster

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JackB1 View Post
                        1) pulling the knob towards the ball with the hands
                        This can lead to a proper swing, with the hands turning in front of the back shoulder and elbow, but it can also lead to disconnection if taken too literally.


                        Originally posted by JackB1 View Post
                        2) not letting the back/upper hand get too involved in the swing. The bottom hand dominates the swing and the top hand merely "comes along for the ride".
                        I think this is a fine cue and is consistent with other bottom hand swings.

                        However, some of what Lau talks about in his book can result in a swing that is too arm-y.
                        Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Stealth View Post
                          You quote in your first post the bottom hand powers the swing. Many if not most believe it's the top hand that controls the barrel and powers the swing.

                          Gregg Jefferies who instructs locally is a BIG top hand guy - one example.
                          I think both top and and bottom hand guys are mostly wrong.

                          It's the body that powers the swing.
                          Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Chris said:

                            "I think both top and and bottom hand guys are mostly wrong.

                            It's the body that powers the swing."

                            I think what is most "right" is that the "bottom AND top hand" controlled upper body action CONTROLS the lower body. the lower body and good synch of upper and lower body and weight shift are what powers an MLB swing via early batspeed and late adjustability.

                            top hand dominance is the same thing as pushing the swing with the top hand which interrupts body coil and forces early disconnection. without much body coil, there is no adjustability and you only have so much stored energy to remain connected to before disconnecting and compensating by arm extension.

                            pulling the knob with the lead arm/lead arm emphasis improves this, but leaves you with a swing that is too long and lacks "early batspeed" both in spatial and timing terms.

                            spatially, the hands can not stay back as far/long.

                            timing wise, acceleration is not as quick and controllable because you do not get as controllable/quick a last little bit of torso load/coil ("cusp"/"x-factor stretch").

                            The only way to get MLB level early batspeed and late adjustability is by using BOTH hands well. the open top hand drill and the staged addition of the top hand to the bottom hand (Peavy and Mankin both have a nice progression here too) are a good way of learning this.

                            Also recognizing how similar the loading arm action is in BOTH the high level overhand throw and the MLB swing is important (Slaught).

                            Lau has some details wrong, BUT he has enough right to let the "attraction" of the full/natural/pure pattern take over guiding trial and error learning.

                            This means knowing the results that are to be expected as well as cues that encourage the mechanics that produce the expected results (ball flight).

                            So Lau's bottom hand lead arm emphasis is good.

                            What is not so good is interpreting his top hand advice as meaning the top hand is passive or just along for the ride. it is not. It has a very active role to play by working with the bottom hand early in a NON-pushing manner and working with the bottom hand late in more of a pushing manner so that handle torque is applied throughout the swing creating the optimal site/means of swing control.
                            Last edited by tom.guerry; 05-21-2008, 11:15 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Lau Jr is a baseball genius, knows more about the swing than virtually anyone on the planet. People don't discuss him because he doesn't have an active web site, has no desire to cater to the masses, has a prickly personality to say the least. But he could care less as he has a line out his Pembroke Pines home with major leaguers lined up for lessons at $350 per hour. I find it laughable with so many "experts" criticizing his stuff, that he doesn't understand fundamental concepts. Nothing could be further from the truth.

                              Old fashioned? I can't agree with that assessment. I know the dad of one of his students, a kid from New York with below average ability. His dad is rich and has been flying his son down to Florida several times a year to work with Charley. The kid recently had a showcase event in New York with Bobby Valentine as one of the evaluators, and Valentine picked out this kid's swing from more than 100 kids there and asked him who his instructor was. The kid really has a beautiful swing despite his below average ability.

                              Charley might not be a brain surgeon, can hardly use a computer to save his life, may be a poor public speaker to some, but the guy knows how to teach a baseball swing like few others. There is hardly anyone out there I would recommend people work with, but Charley is certainly one I would recommend without any hesitation at all. (Steve E is another.) Except if you have a sensitive personality, in which case he's absolutely the wrong guy for you to work with!!

                              -JJA
                              The outcome of our children is infinitely more important than the outcome of any game they will ever play

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