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Re: Jack Mankin linear?

Posted by: Jack Mankin (Mrbatspeed@aol.com) on Mon Apr 28 03:04:10 2003


>>> Hi Jack, You mentioned that you taught linear mechanics for 18 years. Do you mean the Lau Sr. technique or the Walt Hriniak technique? I am still confused as to what most people think linear mechanics are. I don't feel that there is a linear technique of hitting unless as I said it is the Lau Sr. Hriniak teachings. <<<

<u>Jack Mankin's reply:</u>

Hi Doug

I agree there is confusion as to what constitutes linear and rotational hitters. Most coaches would contend that if the batter takes a long stride or transfers weight forward during the stride, they are linear. All "no-striders" would be considered rotational. I place no value on the length of stride or how much weight is transferred when classifying a hitter's mechanics.

Regardless of a good hitters length of stride (or lack of it), all forward movement of the body flows to a stop before they rotate around a stationary axis. During my study of how energy is transferred in the baseball swing (data from 3000+ charted swings), I could find no correlation between the type of mechanics used to generate body rotation and hitting performance.

Great hitters use a wide variety of body postures and lower-body mechanics to induce rotation around a stationary axis (the energy for the swing). Some stand tall while others like to squat. Some take a long stride toward the pitcher (like Brett) whereas Bagwell moves the lead-foot away from the pitcher. Bonds' axis fades away while Aaron's tilts forward. Therefore a powerful rotation is what really counts regardless of the mechanics used to achieve it. --- Yet, while viewing video clips most coaches spend 95% of the time discussing the batter's lower-body mechanics.

During my study I found that what separated the great hitters from all the rest was the mechanics they use to transfer their body rotation into bat-head rotation. The most talented natural hitter ever born cannot 'will' the bat-head around. Like the average player, the bat speed he attains will be governed by the forces his transfer mechanics applies to the bat. Even a great athlete like Michael Jordan could not overcome the poor transfer mechanics Hriniak taught him.

There are two (and only two) forces a batter applies that accelerate the bat-head. They are from a "a circular hand-path" and "torque". An angular displacement of the batter's hand-path (a circular hand-path) transfers body rotation into bat-head rotation. Great hitters keep their hands back and allow body rotation to accelerate them into a CHP. Average hitters use the arms to extend the hands toward the pitcher. The straighter the hand-path, (or more linear) - the less bat speed generated.

Doug, this site defines any cue or mechanic that causes the hands to be extended into a straighter path as "linear mechanics." Almost every film, video or book published on batting technique promotes mechanics that extend the hands, or knob, straight back at the pitcher. Therefore, for 18 years I had no choice but to teach linear mechanics and most coaches still do.

Jack Mankin


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