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  • Originally posted by jsiggy
    Which site was that where someone said they are wasting their time?
    What do the hands do? "THEY HOLD ON TO THE DAMN BAT". If thats all they do, then it surely must be a waist of time to make them strong.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by swingbuster
      H Gem...

      Mr Piazza...does he take the barrel vertical an tipped away from body still
      yep, hasn't changed.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by hiddengem
        What do the hands do? "THEY HOLD ON TO THE DAMN BAT". If thats all they do, then it surely must be a waist of time to make them strong.
        What do the hands do in a deadlift? What do they do in any weightlifting 'pressing' or 'pulling' type movement? Grip strength is terribly important, once again, it's how that strength is used that is the important point. Same argument basically as the front leg, just because something isn't 'actively moving' or being the main source of movement does not, by any means, mean that that particular muscle is not Working...
        "Do not dismiss what you do not understand"
        "A word to the wise ain't necessary. It's the stupid ones who need the advice." - Bill Cosby
        "There are sound intellectual grounds for holding faith positions" - Fungo 22

        Comment


        • Originally posted by hiddengem
          What do the hands do? "THEY HOLD ON TO THE DAMN BAT".
          On a well-timed pitch, I pretty much agree with your thoughts here. But don't you think strengthening forearms can be important if you're fooled?

          If thats all they do, then it surely must be a waist of time to make them strong.
          I tend to disagree here. I think forearm strength is still very important - other body part's strength too. It's not what I'd concentrate on until I had solid mechanics - so it's unlikely I'd emphasize it much with a kid unless he/she had abnormally weak forearm strength - but it's important IMO.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by jsiggy
            On a well-timed pitch, I pretty much agree with your thoughts here. But don't you think strengthening forearms can be important if you're fooled?
            I'm finding it hard to belive that we players spend so much time strengthening our hands and forearms to be prepared when we are fooled. What I think happened was that players found out a long time ago, that there bat speed and quickness drastically went up when they had stronger hands, wrists and forearms.


            I tend to disagree here. I think forearm strength is still very important - other body part's strength too. It's not what I'd concentrate on until I had solid mechanics - so it's unlikely I'd emphasize it much with a kid unless he/she had abnormally weak forearm strength - but it's important IMO.
            You don't need to concentrate on it, only. But a smart hitter is one that works dillegently on hand strength and forearm quickness along with everything else.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by chesspirate
              What do the hands do in a deadlift? What do they do in any weightlifting 'pressing' or 'pulling' type movement? Grip strength is terribly important, once again, it's how that strength is used that is the important point. Same argument basically as the front leg, just because something isn't 'actively moving' or being the main source of movement does not, by any means, mean that that particular muscle is not Working...

              I guess at this point, I could care less what my hands do or don't do. All I know is that I'm much quicker, have better bat speed and the bat feels lighter in my hands when I've been training my hands and forearms for strength and quickness.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by hiddengem
                I'm finding it hard to belive that we players spend so much time strengthening our hands and forearms to be prepared when we are fooled. What I think happened was that players found out a long time ago, that there bat speed and quickness drastically went up when they had stronger hands, wrists and forearms.
                I'm just going by my (maybe incorrect) understanding of basic physics of ballistic movements, the kinetic link, etc. - but I really wouldn't think that hand/forearm strength would effect speed/quickness much. At least I wouldn't have expected them to increase "drastically". Again, not saying forearm strength isn't useful - just would think the effects on batspeed/quickness on a "non-fooled" swing would be limited.

                May be my own limited understanding of the physics. Or maybe at your level (pro), a small improvment feels like a dramatic difference?

                Comment


                • (from Rob) - The thing is though, that everyone already concentrates on what the hands and upper body is doing. That is what everyone sees when they watch major leaguers. Kids all over the place have been practicing what to do with the hands. But the hands alone cannot generate the power that Bonds generates. So, if a kid who is 12-15 or so and has been concentrating on his hands for his whole life, and has no idea what to do with this lower body, what do you think he/she needs to work on?
                  Englishbey expanded on this very valid point by Rob in his post yesterday. And I actually spoke w/ him on this subject today.

                  Or rather, I was listening as Cletus described more about the action / perception gap. Which has broad implications, but the current discussion is a great case in point.


                  Think about the almost astonishing rotational forces created by an elite hitter (using his torso), and why he might subsequently "feel" his arms are lagging / need to be involved. MIGHT even be reality (Garrett commented on this very subject a couple of days ago.)

                  And consequently, descriptions of this feeling - and cues to deal w/ it - become part of the universal hitting lexicon. And this is true irrespective of whether the cues describe reality. (To me, video shows that they don't, but the feeling is still quite apparently reality for elite hitters.)


                  And then there is "BB Dad", listening to "Elite Hitter" pass on these cues, and subsequently passing them on to young Jr. Who DOES NOT create anywhere near the same kind of rotational force. And who naturally "feels" something entirely different. Apply the same cue, and the innate propensity ALL of us feel to use the arms to swing becomes an absolute mandate. Which is lamentable.


                  It is not invalid to listen to and try to understand what the best hitters in the world "feel." In fact, it is illustrative. Every hitter alive should strive to get to where he "feels" the same thing. But that mimicry / emulation HAS to start w/ the most foundational elements of the swing.

                  What is LESS valid is to assume the feelings are universal. They MAY be universal among elite hitters. But for ALL kids, and for hitters NOT in the .9999, feelings differ.

                  I NEVER hear ballplayers talk about the rotational force they obviously create w/ their torso. Are we to conclude from that that they AREN'T creating any force? Or is it more logical to conclude that it is such a "given" universal FOR THEM that it has moved past the point of even being discussed or needing a cue?

                  But it is NOT a given for a kid. Not even close. And for that kid to concentrate on the same feelings / "reality" as the elite hitter is NOT going to be productive. In fact, it will increase the action / perception gap and potentially further DEgrade the swing.



                  MY feeling is that it is a severe disservice to analyze the clip of a 12-14 YO, and dismiss it as "not an MLB swing."

                  No kidding?

                  The description of all the elements differing between the young and elite swings is also less than maximally helpful. Commenting on whether a 12 YO who may not even be post-pubescent has the same loading pattern and "universal arm action" as does Bonds and his semi-peers is NOT a keen observation.


                  In my mind, the ONLY valid question is whether progress is being made in the areas most foundational to the swing.

                  Of course, evaluating that requires an understanding of what IS most foundational to the swing.


                  And I think it is entirely possible to move beyond theory in determining what those foundational elements may be.

                  By that, I mean that it is PRECISELY those aspects of the swing that are universal among elite hitters - BUT WHICH THEY SELDOM TALK ABOUT - which are probably MOST foundational.


                  Because they don't NEED to talk about them because they are so foundational.


                  The irony of this is not lost on me. But I am convinced it is a valid observation.

                  So, is this a valid premise? And if so, what are those universal foundational elements?


                  I'll leave that discussion to others, because the answer is complicated and involved. And probably is predicated on validating my premise.

                  Although - I just can't shut up - I would assert that P-C-R is pretty darned close. And that dismissing it as a mere simplistic mantra - or an obsession of lemmings - does a HUGE disservice to ALL young hitters. Who desperately need to close the action / perception gap on those very foundational elements before they can even begin to truly understand the "feelings" of an elite hitter.


                  To me, this all manifests rather obviously.

                  The discussion can go in one of two ways:

                  1) Endless dissection of the most arcane elements of the elite swing. Comparing same. Finding microscopic differences in same. Striving to develop and support theories of ever-increasing complexity to universalize same.

                  or. . .

                  2) Figure out how to teach a kid to hit. Communicate at his level. Develop drills that will short-cycle the still-necessary trial-and-error process. Understand that there is some need for a kid to enjoy some success NOW in order to even keep him around long enough to develop the higher level swing (this relates not only to his own interest but also to someone giving him a chance to PLAY - meaning there have to be SOME results NOW.)


                  It is tempting to marginalize point 1) to a "how many angels on the head of the pin" level. In fact, I think it IS a valid and interesting topic. As long as it is identified as a separate topic from "Dad, here is what you need to do to begin the process of teaching Jr. to hit." Which to most of us is MORE valid - and more interesting.

                  Finally, it is my firm - and growing - belief that mixing / matching the two topics is counter-productive, no matter the sincerity of intent.


                  Regards,

                  Scott
                  Last edited by ssarge; 03-24-2006, 03:57 AM.

                  Comment


                  • Oh, not at all. I was working out with Piazza, Giles, Cameron and Green yesterday and we all spent a large amount of time on hand strength and forearm strength, Green swings a 34.5inch 33 with ounce bat.
                    David:

                    I would submit to you that my 15 YO 6' tall daughter (who wears a medium jersey and medium softball pants) - or any number of her peers - swinging a 34/25 bat in a similar reaction time window to an MLB hitter is a more impressive measure of strength. IF strength were the issue, which I don't believe it is.

                    At least not arm strength.

                    And obviously, I am not comparing the challenge of hitting in my daughter's environment to hitting in your environment. There IS no comparison (other than reaction time, and there, reduced closing speed makes her challenge much less difficult.)

                    What I AM saying is that her typical swings are 70mph and her best swings are near 80mph (as measured on a Setpro device). And that she isn't very strong in her arms, wrists, and hands. Probably less than the norm for a 15 YO girl, frankly. Maybe 25% the strength possessed by Green? 30%?

                    For whatever it is worth.

                    Best regards,

                    Scott
                    Last edited by ssarge; 03-24-2006, 03:34 AM.

                    Comment


                    • Scott..I have a new " kid" project for discovery since there is little data proving this stuff and probably never will be .

                      My neigbor has a 7 yo little boy so I get to do it all over again. He is on par with my now graduated son's natural athletism. I have started him in MLB loading pattern in a few sessions. His Dad was skeptical as a previous college player( pitcher) but consented. I told him that I would create a swing that would give immediate oppo gap power. He told me his son was a total pull hitter. I said
                      " not anymore". THe first 5 balls he hit were RC field line drives that he had never done.

                      I will continue this work and see what happens. As always I do get your well articulated points. Whether the middle is foundational to power creation or foundation to power storage and transfer from the forces above and below will always be debated.

                      Whether it is more central to FP vs MLB guys can be debated until infinity. Do I see some big strong brutes that don't use the core right..absolutely..but they don't load right either
                      Last edited by swingbuster; 03-24-2006, 04:19 AM.

                      Comment


                      • Whether it is more central to FP vs MLB guys can be debated until infinity. Do I see some big strong brutes that don't use the core right..absolutely..but they don't load right either
                        The comparison between 15-18 YO girls and MLB hitters is not my point.

                        I believe the action / perception gap is reality for all hitters, irrespective of age, gender, or skill level.

                        My point is that the gap is different for different hitters.


                        I am very interested in the progress w/ the young hitter.

                        Regards,

                        Scott
                        Last edited by ssarge; 03-24-2006, 08:30 AM.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by hiddengem
                          "THEY HOLD ON TO THE DAMN BAT". If thats all they do, then it surely must be a waist of time to make them strong.
                          Thank you very much. Now I'm confused. I seem to recall another thread on this site where I had the temerity to suggest that the hands serve some function other than being a hinge. I was battered by some of the people on this thread for suggesting same.

                          After thinking long on this subject, it seems to me that, if nothing else, the hands are THE connection point between the body and the bat. In order to transfer all that rotational energy to the bat the hands must be proportionally as strong as the rest of the batter's body. Highly trained athletes will have very strong bodies and therefore need very strong hands (and forearms). The trick, as I suggested in the other thread, is to transfer that energy without diverting the bat from the swing plane.

                          Comment


                          • I'm sure some of you have read this before. I thought it might be useful to some out there who haven't:





                            This also:
                            RELATIONSHIP OF GRIP STRENGTH AND FOREARM SIZE TO BAT VELOCITY IN COLLEGE FEMALE SOFTBALL PLAYERS
                            by
                            Drew Giardina, Heather Leslie, Lezlie Raridon, and Dan Zimmer
                            Exercise Science Program, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO

                            Original Publication Information:
                            IAHPERD Journal Volume 30. No.2 Spring, 1997.



                            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            INTRODUCTION
                            Most research in the field of baseball and softball has been done to investigate the relationship to the properties of throwing the ball. Little research has been completed to determine the various aspects of swinging a bat. While throwing is a major portion of the game, hitting is becoming increasingly important. Hitting for power and higher averages are what are more important in today's game.
                            One of the main focuses in hitting is the quickness with which a player can "get around on the ball". This concept may be even more important in the game of softball than in baseball. Decreasing the amount of time it takes to swing the bat will enable the female softball athlete to have more time to decide whether to attempt to hit the ball.

                            Past research has also shown that the faster a bat is swung, the more force that can be applied to the ball causing it to travel farther in flight, all other factors being equal. Therefore, identifying factors that can increase bat velocity may increase hitting productivity. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship of grip strength (GS) and forearm size to softball bat velocity.

                            METHODS
                            Eighteen female college varsity softball players (age = 20.3 yrs; weight = 162 lbs) with a minimum of five years of competitive experience were used in the study. An electronic timing system was used to measure the time interval of each bat swing through a 0.54 m space over home plate. The system consisted of two infrared cells attached to a digital timer. Following five practice swings, each player was measured for three trials, and the average bat velocity used for all analyses.

                            Three right and three left isometric GS measurements were taken on each subject using a Jaymar hand dynamometer. The dynamometer was held to the side of the body with slight flexion at the elbow to maximize results (Vanderburgh, Mahar & Chou, 1995). Trials were done alternating hands to decrease fatigue, with approximately 45 seconds rest between each trial. The average for each hand was used. Right and left forearm circumferences were taken around the maximum girth immediately distal to the elbow. Forearm skinfold (SKF) measurements were taken on the lateral aspect of each forearm while in the anatomical position. These values were used to calculate right and left cross-sectional area (CSA) according to the following formula:


                            CSA (cm2) = [(Circumference - (pi)SKF/2)2] / 4(pi)

                            RESULTS
                            There were no significant relationships between bat velocity and any size or strength measurements (Table 1). The relationship between bilateral measurements were positive and significant, indicating symmetry in size and strength.

                            Table 1. Means And SD For Performance Characteristics Of The Subjects (n= 18). Variable Mean SD Range

                            Bat Speed (m*s-1) 20.5 2.2 15.9 - 24.6

                            L Grip Str (kg) 38.1 5.5 30.1 - 48.0

                            R Grip Str (kg) 41.0 4.5 30.7 - 51.3

                            L CSA (cm2) 42.8 5.1 33.6 - 56.2

                            R CSA (cm2) 45.0 5.6 35.5 - 56.2





                            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            DISCUSSION
                            The current study agrees with Adair's theory that the torque applied by the hands and wrist during the bat swing are negligible (Adair, 1994; Adair, 1995). This may suggest that increases in either or both grip strengths beyond a minimal amount will have no effect on enhancing bat velocity. Performing exercises such as forearm curls to increase forearm CSA and strength will not have a measurable effect on bat swing velocity.
                            The current results may indicate that other factors not examined in this study may have more effect on bat velocity. Adair (1994) suggests that the energy for the swing must come largely from the large muscles of the thighs and thorax. The rotational force generated by these large muscles are then transferred to the arms for the swing in a carefully orchestrated summation of forces (Shaffer, Jobe, Pink, & Perry, 1993). Previous research has suggested that strengthening the triceps brachii muscles of the lead arm may increase bat velocity to a greater extent than grip strength (Kitzman, 1964). It would be worthwhile to determine the contributions of arm extensor strength and trunk rotational forces on batting performance (Shaffer et al., 1993).

                            Effective batting may be more dependent on coincident anticipation timing of the bat to contact the ball over the plate than on strength (Mikel, 1984). Therefore, future research might include measures of both anticipation time and trunk rotational and/or arm extension strength. Identifying the contribution of these factors might provide ground work for the development of conditioning programs to improve hitting.


                            Table 2. Correlations Of Size And Strength Measurements To Bat Velocity (n= 18). Variable 2 3 4 5

                            Bat Speed (m*s-1) - 0.71 - 0.04 0.23 - 0.05

                            Left Grip (kg) 0.83 0.58 0.65

                            Right Grip (kg) 0.51 0.57

                            Right CSA (cm2) 0.87

                            Left CSA (cm2)



                            r = 0.47 significant at p<0.05.


                            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            REFERENCES

                            Adair, R. K. (1994) The physics of baseball (2nd ed). New York: Harper Collins.

                            Adair, R. K. (1995). The physics of baseball. Physics Today, 48:26-31.

                            Kitzman, E. W. (1964) Electro-myographic study of batting swing. Research Quarterly, 35:166.

                            Mikel, R. A. (1984) Relationship of specific variables to successful baseball batting in selected varsity college baseball players. M. A. thesis, Northeast Missouri State University, Kirksville, MO.

                            Shaffer, B., Jobe, F. W., Pink, M., & Perry, J. (1993). Baseball batting: an electro- myographic study. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 292, 285-293.

                            Vanderburgh, P. M., Mahar, T. M., & Chou, C. H. (1995). Allometric scaling of grip strength by body mass in college-age men and women. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 66:80- 84.
                            sigpic

                            Comment


                            • also remember "working point" concept:

                              http://www.setpro.com/NEWWEB/mmax03.htm

                              Comment


                              • Also remember the Nyman simulation that showed the profound effect of "back arm inertia"/merrygoroud effect on swing.

                                hard to believe this inertai could not be used as a controller by active arm motion.

                                Also remember.the golf swing is very similar and has a universal sequence to the load/unload motion. Teaching the full sequence is a proven way to learn a high level swing.

                                Tiger's old swing required lots of arm action compensation (primarily forearm twist to try to always have clubface square at contact) as last second error correction for a swing where he had to "turn the lower body like heck".

                                Turning lower body like heck will "trap the club" IF the arms do not load well in golf.

                                Golfers can learn a high level pattern at VERY young ages.

                                Comment

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