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teaching the whole motion vs backward chaining

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  • teaching the whole motion vs backward chaining

    In sports science there is a method of didactics called backward chaining. translated to a baseball pitch this means you start in the release position and develope the whole motion from there backwards.

    to use the pitch example again this is what you do:

    1. start at release
    2.do a wrist snap
    3.do arm extension
    4.do internal rotation and extension from ER position
    5....

    I contrast to this you can also directly start with the full motion.

    I think both styles have their advanted. with the full motion you directly learn to use the full kinematic sequence. also you directly learn motor patterns close to game action. you won't have to integrate parts.

    on the other hand a full motion is basically guaranteed to be executed wrongly in the beginning. that means you will need to correct all the time to get closer to the ideal. however if you get it you have it game ready.

    on the other hand the backwards chaining allows the athlete to emphasize the importance of the main action and position at finish. it might allow for a more precise execution of the parts.


    which method do you prefer?

    here is a little paper on both methods:
    http://coachsci.sdsu.edu/csa/vol31/backprog.htm
    I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

  • #2
    I'm surprised this hasn't gotten any replies. I'm interested in this myself. There is a lot of conversation on what a good swing looks like, but not much on the best way to get hitters there. Personally I use "chunking" which is breaking the swing down into smaller bite size pieces, then working on putting those pieces together. The advantage is you can focus on smaller vital movements and ingrain them in the hitter's muscle memory. The difficulty can be in getting the fluid transitions from one "chunk" to the next. Up to the point of contact I break the swing down into three chunks. "Load", "hips", "hands". The load gets the batter to the proper position at toe touch, the hips gets the batter into proper bat lag position, and hands is squaring up the ball in the proper position. Keep in mind I work with youth hitters, but I've had good luck with this strategy.

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    • #3
      I'm big on backward chaining, that's how I teach hitting, but I'm sure some folks will tell me that it's all wrong. That's why I don't bother to even reply. Both methods work, I've seen success both ways, but it's just the way I think and it works for me.

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

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JJA View Post
        I'm big on backward chaining, that's how I teach hitting, but I'm sure some folks will tell me that it's all wrong. That's why I don't bother to even reply. Both methods work, I've seen success both ways, but it's just the way I think and it works for me.

        -JJA
        Personally I don't think there's a wrong way. I know what you mean about not wanting to post. There are some on the forum who feel it is their duty to contradict every theory or opinion. Lately I've started to grow tired of it. Too many egos who think they know everything and aren't interested in learning. Don't mean to get off topic, but I've already seen a lot of the best posters on here are no longer very active because of this. Eventually we'll only be left with the posters who just repeat what they've heard from their "guru" without putting any independent thought or research into it themselves.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by azmatsfan View Post
          Eventually we'll only be left with the posters who just repeat what they've heard from their "guru" without putting any independent thought or research into it themselves.
          Personally, I believe that most of the ones that have left, fell into your above description more than the ones who have stayed.....but again, that's JMO.

          To remain on topic, nothing wrong with "backward chaining" in certain instances with certain players. I haven't thought about it too much with pitching (but I'm also not a pitching instructor), but I have used it on occasion with some of my hitters.
          In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JJA View Post
            I'm big on backward chaining, that's how I teach hitting, but I'm sure some folks will tell me that it's all wrong. That's why I don't bother to even reply. Both methods work, I've seen success both ways, but it's just the way I think and it works for me.

            -JJA

            does this mean you teach hand action/barrell throwing before you teach the whole body swing?
            I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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            • #7
              For some reason, I do backward chaining when it comes to fielding a routine ground ball. I feel it's important to understand the athleticism involved at the end when you are trying to get from point A to point B. I can't think of another area of the game where I do this-maybe with throwing breaking pitches, you know, you just get a pitcher to work on the spin. I guess it depends on whether a coach feels an individual could benefit.
              Major Figure

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              • #8
                Slightly OT, but I get hitters to hit opposite side, to ensure they know why they swing the way they do (they usually don't). Then they return to regular side with more enthusiasm and better listening skills. :o
                efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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