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  • Back Elbow

    A scout led of a nice thread on the back elbow:

    http://s6.invisionfree.com/Hitting/i...?showtopic=267

  • #2
    DMac made the observation that a lot of MLB hitters "slot" their elbow and it leads their hands quite a ways into the swing.

    Originally posted by tom.guerry,Jan 30 2006, 12:49 PM
    In addition to not "disconnecting", the thing that gives the desired "slotting" appearance is adequate coiling/uncoiling that is uninterrupted and remains in sequence so that shoulder turn drives handpath.

    If instead arm action disconnects/takes over/drives handpath,the back elbow will get ahead of the hands and the wrists will uncock early/bathead drops,etc (remember importance of retaining unbroken wrists till very late).
    I also think I agree with Tom on this. A lot of MLB hitters tend to "slot" their elbow. But they can get away with it because they are not using their hands/arms to power their swing. They maintain connection and efficient transfer of momentum from their rotation, which is what is driving their swing.

    On the other hand, in terms of development, "slotting" the elbow is almost always an inefficient movement in the swings of young hitters because almost all of them tend to swing with their hands/arms. To get them to change their "motor program," it is necessary to take the hands/arms temporarily out of the picture, in my experience and my opinion. Elbow "slotting" is a reference point suggesting that they are still trying to "drag" the bat with their hands/arms.

    Comment


    • #3
      Fungo:

      DMac made the observation that a lot of MLB hitters "slot" their elbow and it leads their hands quite a ways into the swing.
      I also think I agree with Tom on this. A lot of MLB hitters tend to "slot" their elbow. But they can get away with it because they are not using their hands/arms to power their swing. They maintain connection and efficient transfer of momentum from their rotation, which is what is driving their swing.
      Would you agree that the difference is a vertical vs. horizontal rear forearm; subsequent (and resulting) maintenance of connection w/ shoulders (as hands are typically very close to the shoulder if the rear forearm is vertical); and very early change of direction of the knob / set up of fish hook?

      (Thanks to Steve if I got this even close to right - if I don't yet have it, I didn't listen well. He patiently explained it to me the other day. Richard spent some time explaining it as well. I did not even have a LUE about this until a month ago, but it is starting to sink in. I think.)

      Best,

      Scott
      Last edited by ssarge; 03-12-2006, 11:02 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        scott is this what you are talking about?:

        Yeager's post from:

        http://s6.invisionfree.com/Hitting/i...topic=254&st=0

        Teacherman wrote:
        QUOTE
        Be sure to add why you teach that your rear elbow can/should lead the rear hand in your swing analysis.


        Yeager:
        Because it maximizes shoulder rotation before involvement of the arms. Maximizes stretch reflex and momentum transfer (Kinetic Link). I have an entire DVD dedicated to it.

        This is very important to the KL. Nearly all elite hitters align (or lead) the hands with the back elbow.

        A year ago "Gator" sent me an email stating this caused "bat drag".

        This is incorrect. The Problem occurs when the top hand prematurely supinates (palm turns skyward) as the elbow comes in. It is easy to see how this happens as the wrist can over rotate with the elbow. It is also easy to fix by learning to maintain the strong vertical position of the hand during the movement.

        Do not teach players to keep the elbow away during the swing! Golf has a lot of crossover and it is very important in both swings.

        Comment


        • #5
          No, I hadn't read that. I read the first part of the thread at Shawn's site, but kind of missed the later posts on the thread, including Yeager's.

          At first reading (just now), Yeager's information sounds reasonable.


          As a practical matter, teaching kids, it COULD be devestatingly bad advice w/out a VERY knowledgable instructor administering it.

          Close to half of all young hitters have bat drag. Sometimes, severe bat drag. It dramatically affects swing quickness. Awful swing flaw. And insidious. Can be very hard to fix.


          And as noted, many - but by NO means all or "nearly all," as Yeager asserts - elite hitters attain a position where the rear elbow is slightly ahead of the hands for a (video) frame or so. And they use this position to very good effect.


          In both cases - the youth hitters, and the elite hitters - the rear elbow is leading the hands. But the devil is in the details. It's pretty much like the difference between HDL and LDL (cholesterol). One can keep you alive, one can kill you.

          IMO, the difference is NOT well understood. And comments such as "this is very important to the KL. Nearly all elite hitters align (or lead) the hands with the back elbow" are very dangerous.


          It is apparent that Yeager knows the difference, which is good and to his credit. But the average dad - even the average hitting instructor - is going to read the above sentence, and ISN'T going to read - much less absorb - "the problem occurs when the top hand prematurely supinates."

          I think my language is clearer, if less technically accurate - "vertical forearm vs. horizontal forearm." But this is a quibble, other than to point out that terms like "supinate" are precise and correct and. . . .lost on "BB Dad."


          And that cues can be interpreted any number of ways, and need to be very carefully considered. "Rear elbow lead the hands" is a BAD GENERAL cue, in my estimation, because it is unlikely to engender the optimal behavior from most who read it at a surface level. Which is how most will read it.

          Best regards,

          Scott



          One final thought, re: this comment from Yeager:

          It is easy to see how this happens as the wrist can over rotate with the elbow. It is also easy to fix by learning to maintain the strong vertical position of the hand during the movement.
          Although I don't know, this leads me to believe Yeager has not worked w/ many young hitters. He seems to be a skilled researcher, and he skillfully collects data. Form and function, though. Based on the above comment, I wonder about his field experience. Because I don't find the condition he describes AT ALL easy to fix. at least, not typically.

          S.
          Last edited by ssarge; 03-14-2006, 10:57 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ssarge
            Would you agree that the difference is a vertical vs. horizontal rear forearm; subsequent (and resulting) maintenance of connection w/ shoulders (as hands are typically very close to the shoulder if the rear forearm is vertical); and very early change of direction of the knob / set up of fish hook?
            I think the vertical forearm is a result of maintaining tension in the rear scap. I believe that these MLB hitters are actually loading their scap in such a way that their elbow moves into a more "slotting" position. The reason they maintain connection is because they maintain the "scap load" and let the rotation take their hands/bat to the ball. In Steve's Drill #1, the vertical forearm is a "checkpoint" or even a "cue" to get the young hitter to maintain the scap tension, which prevents disconnection and excessive external rotation of the shoulder/upper arm.

            Once again, this movement is very complex. It is the way that many - but by no means all - MLB hitters have "learned" to load their scap, connect the knob to their shoulder rotation with their bat perpendicular to their spine as shoulder rotation begins. It is both difficult and dangerous to teach this to young hitters who have both poor rotation and poor connection. Hence, the value of Drill #1. I do not agree with Yeager below:

            Because it maximizes shoulder rotation before involvement of the arms. Maximizes stretch reflex and momentum transfer (Kinetic Link).
            This is very important to the KL. Nearly all elite hitters align (or lead) the hands with the back elbow.
            I don't know what "stretch reflex" he's talking about nor how it "maximizes shoulder rotation" nor how this has anything to do with "momentum transfer." From what to what is momentum being transferred? Momentum is transferred most efficiently by maintaining connection through 2/3 of the swing and then unloading the scap at the right time. Or at least this is my understanding. Leading with the elbow has nothing to do with either of these since they can be accomplished without "slotting" or leading with the elbow as in the case of McGwire, Edmonds, Beltran, and Derek Lee, just to name a few.
            Last edited by fungo22; 03-12-2006, 11:35 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Scott ,you are correct.

              And just for the record ,what I am saying with regards to the functioning of the back scapula and what Yeager is saying is functionally distinct.

              I am not describing the functioning of the back arm /scapula in the same manner relative to what's described and demonstrated on the Yeager cd.

              And what's on my dvd as regards the back arm /scapula is very much modeled on very important aspects of how Aaron created a very quick swing.
              For a number of reasons ,there are aspects of Aaron's "shoulder /arm action" that make it a very very good model for young hitters to emulate [and many of the drills are designed in ways that help to practice this].

              I have spent many hours looking at AAron and I have never seen anything remotely close to the Yeager description above.I have seen many elite hitters with a slight leading for a very brief period ----but seldom does the elbow get ahead of the hand in the manner that we see many young hitters creating.]

              And on his cd there is a back arm drill [using a cable on the back elbow] that is designed essentially to "take the back elbow to the ball.]

              This is something that I would not even remotely consider as being in any manner beneficial.

              Beyond this ,I am very hard-pressed to understand how one can lead with the elbow ----which he is advocating----while "learning to maintain the strong vertical position of the hand during the movement ."

              This is a near impossible set of moves to engage in ---------any rapid external rotation of the elbow will necessarily cause supination [palm turned skyward] In other words it would be equivalent to Mankins THT.

              As to how one could keep the wrist upright and rigid -----while at the same time externaly rotate the back elbow------is something that someone will have to show me. I am at the computer here trying to figure out exactly how the hell one can do this .

              This is aside from the question as to why one would want try to do it .

              Other noteworthy quotes revolve around the notion of "maximizing shoulder rotation" to "maximize momentum transfer".

              Optimal transfer of momentum is not a function of "maximizing shoulder rotation " [or any segment for that matter] so much as it is about optimally linking these segments at the precise time ie ,its much more a function of timing of the sequencing of the links ,than simply measuring the speed of one link.

              "Maximizing rotation " is distinct from optimally timed linkage between segments.And optimal or near optimal performance is going to be much more of a function as to how one can precisely link the segments together as opposed to simply "maximizing rotation" of one particular segment.

              This has important implications ,in the sense that if the focus is on trying to "maximize shoulder rotation"/increase segmental differentials without a careful consideration of the potential for "delinking /disconnection " the bat from the body, you may well suffer a loss of an optimal combination of batspeed/bat quickness.

              In other words ,be careful what you ask for ,and the road to hell is paved with good biomechanical intentions.

              He may know and understand some or all of this .On the other hand he may not.

              It is unclear based on what is quoted here and what I have seen elsewhere.

              Finally I would argue that assuming the "stretch reflex " is operative in this context [there is an argument as to its importance in this kind of ballistic context ---see for ex. Journal of Applied Biomechanics vo. 13 no 4 Nov. 1997] it would be in the adduction -abduction of the scapular complex where it would most important to be operative ----not the rotator muscles surrounding the glenhumeral joint ie ., the muscles involved in external rotation of the arm /elbow[elbow leading the hands action ].

              It is the scapula that is most funtionally critical in terms of optimal of near optimal linkage of the bat to the body mass.

              And interms of young hitters ,it is the lack of good functioning of the scapular complex that creates many of the problems that we see in young hitters [high school down]. THE critical link between the lower body [hips/lower torso ] and the bathead is the scapular complex.In many ways ,it is the "missing link " in many young hitters.

              The critical link ---in terms of momentum transfer from body to bat AND interms of critical movements involving efficiency in creating the swingplane /swingpath --- is NOT at the glenhumeral joint.


              steve





              steve

              Comment


              • #8
                I think the vertical forearm is a result of maintaining tension in the rear scap. I believe that these MLB hitters are actually loading their scap in such a way that their elbow moves into a more "slotting" position. The reason they maintain connection is because they maintain the "scap load" and let the rotation take their hands/bat to the ball
                I agree with this statement. I think if you look at some of Yeagers work especially a rear view of Piazza and hear Yeagers comments about keeping the bat vertical for as long as possible you would see that it keeps the scap loaded for as long as possible...they are linked in many swings.

                When the scap stays loaded for as long as possible and the rear elbow is up and internally rotated then the rear elbow goes tight to the body from lead arm connection in the rotation.

                You will see this ( bat position ) in Aaron as well at foot plant
                Last edited by swingbuster; 03-13-2006, 04:55 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  And optimal or near optimal performance is going to be much more of a function as to how one can precisely link the segments together as opposed to simply "maximizing rotation" of one particular segment.
                  very much yes.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    And on his cd there is a back arm drill [using a cable on the back elbow] that is designed essentially to "take the back elbow to the ball.]

                    This is something that I would not even remotely consider as being in any manner beneficial.
                    I agree here.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      All I know is that in every pro hitter I analyze, the back elbow begins its move to the ball well before the hands--and the bat/forearm stays vertical--ie elbow leads hand like in throw---this is imp. b/c I think the elbow does move to the ball before hands.-

                      -elbow moves fwd-hands stay back

                      From side view the elbow almost always lines up with the hands and frequently leads during the early part of the swing.

                      Dmac's post:

                      http://s6.invisionfree.com/Hitting/i...topic=267&st=0

                      For those of you who have the Rightview Pro disc, checkout how long that the top hitters have their back elbow leading their hands. Below is a list of the guys and how many clicks forward before their hands pass their elbow.

                      Anyway, it is interesting to note that for about half the swing, the elbow leads the hands, and the term slotting the elbow is not bad at all, as that is what the guys are doing.

                      Edmonds- 4th
                      L. Gonzalez- 5th
                      M. Ordonez-5th
                      Manny- 3rd
                      Sweeney- 3rd
                      M. Young- 5th
                      Palmeiro- 4th
                      Sosa- 5th
                      Glaus- 5th
                      Vlad- 5th

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        All I know is that in every pro hitter I analyze, the back elbow begins its move to the ball well before the hands--and the bat/forearm stays vertical--ie elbow leads hand like in throw---this is imp. b/c I think the elbow does move to the ball before hands.-

                        Look harder, starting at the linked site (below). Look at Boone, Jones, Glauss (despite what DMac said, he apparently doesn't ALWYS do it; I would admit the angle is a little inconclusive), McGriff, Palmiero (despite what DMac said, he apparently doesn't always do it - maybe Tejada injected him), Renteria, and Tejada. The elbow never seems to be leading the hands. This is NOT a universal, IMO.


                        What IS universal is that kids with bat drag can't hit.


                        http://www.youthbaseballcoaching.com/swings.html

                        Regards,

                        Scott
                        Last edited by ssarge; 03-14-2006, 11:18 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          From side view the elbow almost always lines up with the hands and frequently leads during the early part of the swing.
                          HUGE difference between "lining up with" and "LEADS."

                          But it isn't the most relevant factor in the discussion. What IS relevant is understanding what is the fulcrum and understanding how to stay connected w/ the shoulder so that the body and the bat are one entity.

                          Best regards,

                          Scott
                          Last edited by ssarge; 03-14-2006, 11:28 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ssarge

                            What IS universal is that kids with bat drag can't hit.



                            Scott
                            Well...they can't hit GOOD pitching. They can hit the ever lovin' pooky out of mediocre pitching.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well, of course you are right. And it's unfortunate. Kind of gives an early false sense of security and accomplishment. Not unlike - in my mind, anyway - the stride discussion on the other thread. A 12 YO hitter who strides (CORRECTLY) is great. A 12 YO hitter who ROTATES and strides is even better. But rare. One who does BOTH is really rare.

                              What is quite common is a 12 YO hitter who compensates for an inability to produce power from the middle in a variety of ways. One is linear weight shift. Another is a dragged bat w/ "hand whip," which does create force and bat speed. But also makes the swing less quick, because acceleration is slow. Meaning the hitter has to start sooner, and gets less of a read on the pitch. Meaning as the level increases and pitchers can throw off-speed for strikes, life gets harder than it has to.

                              Regards,

                              Scott

                              Comment

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