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  • Knob to ball..

    Just watched the local LL coach talk to a group of Coach Pitch kids when the practices overlapped. He told the kids to remember "knob to ball" and to "throw their hands at the ball"...
    Is there really any reason in 2012 to still be using these cues?
    Sorry had 2 rant

  • #2
    99% of youth coaches use these cues. They heard these cues as a kid and they can't wait to share them with others.

    These are helpful
    macks-ear-plugs.jpg
    Last edited by songtitle; 04-25-2012, 08:17 AM.
    efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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    • #3
      Originally posted by songtitle View Post
      99% of youth coaches use these cues. They heard these cues as a kid and they can't wait to share them with others.
      I agree... but I will add that I would not get to hung up on which cue to use at this age ... as long as it's part of a process that leads to a reasonable swing.
      "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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      • #4
        Last day of spring training I had a talk with Johm Mabry (mark McGwire's assistant hitting coach). He said it was important to teach knob down to the ball...then added to make sure the hitter doesnt "do this" with his hands (upon initiation). He turned his rear hand upward. I then asked him if the hitter doesnt turn begin to turn his hand upward, then how would he get the bat on plane. His response, " knob down to the ball and let the hands take care of that later."

        This is the knob down teach and then get on plane and finish high.

        My take.....The hands do go down and forward, but if you teach this alone your hitter will be in trouble. It has to be combined with the turning of the bottom hand upward and getting the bat flat. This second part is what is almost always missing from the teach...whether LL or MLB.

        SC

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Willisf View Post
          Just watched the local LL coach talk to a group of Coach Pitch kids when the practices overlapped. He told the kids to remember "knob to ball" and to "throw their hands at the ball"...
          Is there really any reason in 2012 to still be using these cues?
          Sorry had 2 rant
          Look on the bright side. If the coach doesn't know what he's talking about he probably can't explain it and demonstrate. Therefore, it doesn't mean a thing to the kids.

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          • #6
            "Knob to the ball" isn't the worse cue in the world at that age bracket, as it may help keep kids from dropping the bathead and uncocking their wrists too soon. But, when combined with "throw your hands", you'll get disconnection for sure, and probably a low finish. I prefer "Back shoulder to the ball" in conjunction with the broomstick drill (hitting a wiffle ball off a tee with a broomstick horizontally placed behind your back).

            Any variation of "throw the hands" should be limited to kids who have dead hands just before and at contact, though there may be other causes of (and optimal solutions to) that problem.
            sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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            • #7
              Duplicate post deleted.
              sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ursa Major View Post
                "Knob to the ball" isn't the worse cue in the world at that age bracket, as it may help keep kids from dropping the bathead and uncocking their wrists too soon.
                So when is too soon to "uncock" the wrists and when is too late? This seems to be the great divide.

                SC

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                • #9
                  Remember this, no coach is teaching kids something that they know is incorrect. They are simply giving the kids the best information they have. They may be uninformed, but they are stupid or cruel.

                  Knob to the ball also prevents bat drag, which is something I see a lot.

                  While it's not ideal, knob to the ball will result in a far more useful swing than some of the other things kids are taught ... or rather allowed to employ.

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

                  When one looks at all of the little things a batter needs to do for a very good major league swing, and do them all at the same time (or in proper sequence in a short period of time) ... it can be ridiculous to start teaching them at young ages. Combine with the amount of reps that it requires to make such a swing a habit, and there's simply not enough time for a little league coach to actually teach each player the "best" mechanics. We worked from Jan till present teaching kids during 2 hitting sessions/wk how to "take the hands back, turn the barrel, finish high, etc". Guess how many have it down? 1 learned and one that pretty much does it naturally. Learning and being comfortable with a swing like this takes time, perhaps multiple years to really understand and execute. Then, you've got kids at the plate thinking about their hands or making sure their knee initiates the movement with some toe push, but not too much, but not too little, and you can easily get kids in the box that think about everything else ... and forget to track the ball.

                  Our city league has 3 weeks of practice before games start. How much could even the best coach teach neophyte players (even some that have never played before) in that time period?

                  How many LL's bring in HS coaches or professionals to educate the coaches in a "coaches clinic" or some type of event?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Swing Coach View Post
                    My take.....The hands do go down and forward, but if you teach this alone your hitter will be in trouble. It has to be combined with the turning of the bottom hand upward and getting the bat flat. This second part is what is almost always missing from the teach...whether LL or MLB.

                    SC
                    This is very interesting, but I am having trouble visualizing this move. Can you point me to any .gifs or images of this move?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CircleChange11 View Post
                      Knob to the ball also prevents bat drag, which is something I see a lot.
                      Knob to the ball can very easily create or worsen bat drag.
                      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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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Swing Coach View Post
                        Last day of spring training I had a talk with Johm Mabry (mark McGwire's assistant hitting coach). He said it was important to teach knob down to the ball...then added to make sure the hitter doesnt "do this" with his hands (upon initiation). He turned his rear hand upward. I then asked him if the hitter doesnt turn begin to turn his hand upward, then how would he get the bat on plane. His response, " knob down to the ball and let the hands take care of that later."

                        This is the knob down teach and then get on plane and finish high.

                        My take.....The hands do go down and forward, but if you teach this alone your hitter will be in trouble. It has to be combined with the turning of the bottom hand upward and getting the bat flat. This second part is what is almost always missing from the teach...whether LL or MLB.

                        SC
                        Swing Coach, can you explain what you mean when you say 'get the bat flat'? When I hear flat I imagine parallel to the ground. When I hit, the angle of the bat is usually angled around 45 degrees. The only time it's flat or what I call parallel is on a high ball around the letters.

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                        • #13
                          This is "the move" in my opinion. You have to have hands initiate down and forward and you have to turn the barrel rearward with your top hand....all at once, which is difficult to do and not taught at most levels. When properly executed, your hands, elbow and stripe of pant leg will all be lined up on top of each other....see MLBers. Also, notice how soon they start getting the bat flat. I believe you should figure out if your problem is not turning the barrel and getting the bat flat or if it is turning too soon and not getting the hands moving down and forward. Here are some examples of what i am talking about.

                          The Move2.jpgThe move.jpg

                          SC

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Swing Coach View Post
                            ...you have to turn the barrel rearward with your top hand...[ATTACH]107772[/ATTACH][ATTACH]107773[/ATTACH]
                            This isn't done primarily by the hands.

                            The hands just ensure that the barrel keeps up with the rotation of the shoulders.

                            Tell most people to turn the barrel with their hands and the result is what golf instructors call hitting from the top, which leads to a very long, weak swing.
                            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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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Chris O'Leary View Post
                              This isn't done primarily by the hands.

                              The hands just ensure that the barrel keeps up with the rotation of the shoulders.

                              Tell most people to turn the barrel with their hands and the result is what golf instructors call hitting from the top, which leads to a very long, weak swing.

                              True.....how you teach it is important. I tend to lean toward stretching the rear elbow back and then dropping it to the side like an anchor. This won't automatically make the hands turn up, but it is at least half the battle IMO.

                              SC

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